If you go to the settings on the Preferences dialog for File Handling, one of the options is Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility. The typical advice is to set this, if you want your .PSD files to be backwards compatible with earlier versions of Photoshop. There's other reasons for setting this option to Always or Ask.
Photoshop Elements 8 continues open support for Photoshop actions that began with the Action Player in PSE 7. This opens up many automation opportunities. The one limit, of course, is that the actions can only invoke features supported in Photoshop Elements 8.
That covers a lot of functionality. But it also means than many actins will have to be rewritten. Some will be completely unavailable. The first action set converted for PSE 8 is the TLR B&W Toning for Photoshop Elements action set.
Adobe released an update to Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) this week. The new version is ACR 5.5. Updating a single application that uses ACR is easy. Just download the correct installer. But, what if you run multiple applications that use ACR. For example, I have Photoshop CS4 Extended Edition, Photoshop Elements 7.0, and Premiere Elements 7.0 on my machine. They all use ACR.
One option is to download each of the installers. They're not small. They can take a while to download.
This is a quick and easy technique for giving photographs some extra "pop." You can use this with Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. It will also work with other photo editors, like GIMP, that support layers and an Overlay-type blending mode.
This technique adds "pop" by increasing contrast. It's more pronounced than using something like the Clarity slider in Adobe Camera Raw or the TLR Clarity Enhancement effect, but it's a "softer" contrast adjustment than just whacking contrast around with something like a Curves "S" curve.
Most digital photographers apply noise reduction to the entire photograph using automatic settings. Tools like Nik Dfine, Neat Image, Noise Ninja, and Noiseware can do a better job than the built-in functionality for noise reduction in Photoshop. Applying noise reduction globally to the photograph invites a softer photo.
Panoramas are popular. It's common to use an extreme wide angle lens for panoramas. Sometimes even fisheye lenses are used.
If you've ever used a fish eye or extreme wide angle lens, you know about disortions at the corners and along the edges. You can stitch your panoramas in Photoshop CS4 and correct for those lens distortions.