I used Elements 2 up to about a 6 weeks ago when my pc decided to blow up so I had to replace it with a Vista based system. I couldn't get Elements 2 to work under Vista so I'm now using Elements 7. I must say I'm not impressed with the new layout of Elements 7. Previous versions were far better and easier to use with having the browser built in to the editor rather than the now organiser being a seperate part of the software.
That aside, the workflow is pretty much the same regardless of the software you use. The same principles apply. You'll probably develop you own way of doing things, but should comprise of the following (this is the order in which I do things):
- Level the photo using the horizon / verticles as appropriate
- Crop (compose) the photo to centre the aircraft as desired and ensure 3:2 or 4:3 aspect ratio
- Levels (adjust the high / low and midtones as required)
- Check colour balance (I rarely change anything)
- Equalise (check for dust spots and other blemishes)
- Resize to 1024 pixels (will give you 1024 x 683 or x 768 depending on the aspect ratio)
- Sharpen (either selectively or the whole photo as required, 1 run of 500, 0.2, 0 and normally one at 50, 0.2, 0, then further as required. Don't sharpen the sky).
- Double check the photo and save as high quality (setting 12).
I think you'll find 99% of people on here use this approach, not necassarily in that order but each of those components. Don't forget to get a good quality result, you need a good quality original. Photoshop is a great bit of software, but it can't work mirracles!!!
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX