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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11
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Introduction to Photoshop Elements

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Course Overview 0:10
    • What You Will Learn
    • Key to Learning Photoshop Elements
  • Photoshop Elements or Photoshop? 2:23
    • Elements Can Do Almost Anything that Photoshop can for Enhancing or Retouching Images
    • Photoshop Elements Has Several Features that Photoshop Does Not Have
    • Elements is Very User Friendly in It's Layout
    • Elements 11 Has Also Incorporated Some Great New Features from Photoshop CS6
    • Bottom Line
  • Three Separate Programs in One Package 6:12
    • Organizer
    • Camera RAW
    • Editor
  • Four Simple Categories for Working on an Image 8:01
    • Corrections
    • Selections
    • Retouching
    • Manipulation
  • Demonstration : Using Elements to Work on an Image 10:03
    • Editing in Camera RAW
    • Removing Parts of an Image
    • Selection Mask & Adjusting Color
    • Adjusting Overall Saturation
  • Important Axiom 18:08

Transcription: Introduction to Photoshop Elements

Hi, everybody--welcome to's Basic and Intermediate Adobe Photoshop Elements course!0000

I'm Michael Brown, and I'm going to be your instructor in this course.0007

In this in-depth Elements training course, I am going to be teaching you all the tools and features that Photoshop Elements has; but, most importantly, I'm going to be teaching you the techniques of how to apply those tools and features to dramatically and flawlessly enhance your photographic images and create eye-catching graphics designs.0010

Another cool thing about Elements: it has a wide variety of other cool stuff within it--some things that you can do with a singles click; others where you have templates that you fill in and massage and kick out some really cool graphics.0034

A wonderful course--this training course applies primarily to Photoshop Elements 11, which is the interface that you are looking at right here--the latest version.0049

We will be working totally in this interface.0060

If you have Elements version 10, this course is equally good for you; there have been some changes in the interface, but the tools, techniques, and features are absolutely identical--the only difference in those are a couple of features that were added in version 11 that have been picked up from Photoshop CS6.0063

Both will work; primarily, we are working in Elements 11.0084

In this lesson, we're going to talk about how to learn Photoshop Elements, and I'm going to show you a start-to-finish demo in how to take an image from the camera and change it from good to great, very easily and smoothly, right here in Photoshop Elements, to show you how this program works.0089

Now, Elements: it's not a difficult-to-understand program; it is simply a pretty large program with lots of stuff in it.0107

The key to learning Photoshop Elements is simplicity--breaking this program down into easy-to-understand basic pieces.0116

In addition to that, I'm going to be showing you how to integrate those pieces together to make a quick, efficient, flawless, and smooth workflow, so everything you do goes easily and the results are great.0126

That is what this course is all about.0140

I'm going to start by talking for a moment about the big question that people have: Photoshop Elements or Photoshop?0143

Without question, Photoshop is the "bomb," the "big dog"; it has everything you would ever want for image enhancement, for graphics, and for art.0150

However, Photoshop Elements can do almost anything that Photoshop can for enhancing and retouching images.0160

Ninety-five percent of Photoshop is right here in Photoshop Elements.0170

Your exposure and color corrections--same tools; creating and modifying selections--there is only one tool that Photoshop has that is different from this, and it creates vector selections--other than that, we have the same thing.0175

Elements has a selection tool that Photoshop doesn't have that allows you to easily create selections, too.0191

So, it's an even balance: retouching--same tools, same methods; combining images to create composites and panoramas--over here on the layers panel--we have adjustment layers pretty much similar to Photoshop.0198

Photoshop does have a little more precision tools and some slight expanded variations in some of the features, but predominantly, everything that Photoshop has, Photoshop Elements has, and you can do anything that Photoshop can do right here in Elements.0214

Elements also has several features that Photoshop doesn't have at all.0234

You can create a whole range of photo effects with one button, instantly; Photoshop doesn't have that.0238

You can do sepia tones, lomo effect, an in-vogue photo effect, line art, vignettes, the orton effect, another in-vogue effect, pop art, and more, simply with one click, right here.0246

Elements has it; Photoshop doesn't.0260

You can create greeting cards, photo books, collages, calendars, and more with Elements--right in it; the templates are there, very simple; it generates some really cool stuff; Photoshop doesn't have that, either.0263

Share your images through direct uploads to a whole host of online media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, SmugMug, and more, right from within this program.0276

Elements is very user-friendly in its layout, with a newly designed interface: notice, right here on the left, just for example: this is your toolbox--they are now grouped into the tools that you use for the various categories: viewing, selecting, enhancing, drawing, and modifying--as opposed to just listing them.0290

It's easier to access and understand where you need to go.0308

The whole idea in Elements is to make things simple--a wonderful program!0311

Elements 11 has also incorporated some great new features from Photoshop CS6.0318

When CS6 came out, some of the features were incorporated right here into Elements, so that you have almost everything that Photoshop has.0323

Again, Photoshop is the professional version; it has expanded and more precision tools and features; but Elements is absolutely amazing.0332

Photoshop Elements is a fantastic program for image enhancement and graphic design for beginning and intermediate use.0343

Once you are fluent with Elements, if you ever decide you need the additional features or more precise controls of Photoshop, the interface, the tools, and the methods are almost identical, so that the transition would be perfectly seamless.0352

This is a great program; I cannot overemphasize that.0368

Now, Photoshop Elements is actually three separate programs in one.0373

We have the Organizer, which is for editing, sorting, and rating your images.0377

You bring them into the program from outside sources, from folders or from the camera.0382

Organizer is accessible right here, by clicking on this button, and it will open the program--it just takes a couple of seconds--and there it is!--there is...we're going to go back to Organizer again; I kicked a button.0388

Japanese Garden--here we have images; there are albums, folders, sorting, rating, finding your best pictures--you do it right in here very easily.0404

I'll show you when we do the sample.0413

Back to Editor: Camera Raw is another program contained within Elements for use only with raw files; if you're shooting jpeg, or shoot tiff, they will come directly into Editor; but if you shoot raw, they will open up in Camera Raw.0415

I will show you that in a minute; let me just double-check--I want to see something here...yes, we have raw files.0431

Images come in here, the raw files, and you can make preliminary, non-destructive image adjustments to raw files.0439

It doesn't alter any pixels; it allows you to give it a nice head start; they're saved as mathematical algorithms; they do not affect the pixels, so there is no degradation of an image whatsoever, and if you ever want to go back and change those settings, you can do so.0447

The third part, the third program, is the Editor, where you do your primary creative work.0465

That is right here; so, all together, you have these three, and they integrate to provide a quick, efficient, and flawless, smooth workflow.0470

All that you will need to do almost anything you want to any image can be broken down into four simple categories.0482

What I want to do here for you is to make Photoshop Elements simple.0492

The four categories are corrections--and these are primarily exposure and color--very simple tools, very simple to do; corrections are simple to learn.0496

Selections--this is the most important category and feature within either Photoshop or Elements.0510

Selections allow you to isolate areas for specific adjustments.0517

Adjustments and retouch can be done, overall, very easily; once you learn the tools and the functions, away you go.0522

If you want to isolate areas and bring up something, or isolate a specific area for change, you have to select it, and it isn't just the selection itself--it's the edging, and how well the adjustment that you make blends in, so that you have absolutely no evidence that you worked on that image.0528

This is very important, and I really stress teaching this; you will be learning a lot about selections; you will become very fluent.0547

Selections apply to corrections, because, if you want to correct a specific area, you have to select it.0557

Retouching--retouching tools are simple; the techniques need to be learned; I'm going to be teaching you all of the various techniques for retouching.0564

And again, if you want to retouch a specific area and protect another part of the image, you're going to need to make a selection; so all three of these go together.0572

The fourth category is manipulation: sizing images, distorting parts of an image, combining parts--all of this is physical manipulation.0581

All together, these four categories are everything you need to know about Photoshop Elements and working on a photographic image.0593

OK--let's work on an image; I'm going to show you how this program works!0603

Let's go to Organizer: here I have an album I made from a folder that I imported; all of these images were a Japanese garden here in Los Angeles.0608

I'm just going to scroll down and pick...where was the image I was looking for before...I think it may be...let's go album order...this one right here.0618

Let's take a look at it; there is the image that I want to work on, so all I have to do is to bring it back down; I'm going to rate this 5-star, so I can remember that.0637

There it is; it's highlighted; now we're going to open it up in Photoshop Elements--I click the Editor button, and the image, since it's a raw file, opens up in Camera Raw.0648

Here you have Camera Raw: you have all of these sliders; you have a sharpening and noise reduction panel and some camera controls.0662

We're going start off; we have washed-out highlights, so we pull highlights down; look at that--just with that slider alone, the sky has become just the way we want it.0670

We open up the shadows a little bit...not maybe that, watch the image pop when I...this is kind of sharpening--look at the difference right there!0681

There is where it was, and there is where it is--just snap that image, and it looks great.0692

I think I'm going to pop the saturation just a little bit; and there: all of these preliminary adjustments will stay with the image in mathematical representation.0698

We're ready to go!0710

Let's open the image right here in Elements.0711

I look at the image, and the first thing I see that I want to work on is--I would like to remove this tower; so, this is a little retouch.0714

We're going to take a retouching tool called the clone tool, and what I'm going to do is just source and paint, and we'll just clone away this obstruction in the image; it's just as easy as that.0723

As I told you, these tools are fairly simple--it's the way you apply them.0750

Now, I'm going in a hurry here; I would probably--in fact, I will just go ahead and show you: see the edge here? I'm going to take a selection tool, and I'm going to apply it right here.0755

I've now made a selection, which you will see are these crawling ants; and what that has done--everything inside that is active; everything outside it is not.0777

So, when I go back to use my clone tool, watch: I won't be affecting the edge of the building, notice?0787

Everything I do now--even though I come down--it protected it.0796

That is the value of a selection, right there; so, in short order, we removed the offending obstruction; I see one more that can be removed--we might as well go ahead and do that, really quickly.0800

I'm going to take out this white pole; now we have the tool--we will just paint it out.0812

You have to do a little cloning from different spots so that it becomes flawless.0822

There we go; I could probably take one more out, right here.0833

There--in almost no time at all, we have removed the physical evidence around there; that looks pretty good.0837

Now, I look at this image, and I think, "It's a little bright on the building and a little dark in the foreground."0846

So, let's make another selection: I'm going to take a selection tool--this is the selection brush; this tool doesn't even appear in Photoshop; it has a different kind of a version.0853

Right here, what we're going to do is, we're just going to paint on the building.0867

There we go: it has a very soft edge on this brush, so that if I go over a little bit, it isn't going to be a problem, because it will blend--remember?--I told you that the whole idea is to blend things.0880

There I have that, pretty much, and we are going to make a selection out of it, and invert it, and I'm going to save it: always save a selection.0898

I'm going to call it Roof, and click OK, and now we're going to deselect it for a moment, copy my background layer, and reload that selection.0908

There it is--the Roof selection--and I'm going to make an adjustment of exposure.0925

Watch what happens as I snap the contrast and bring the roof down a little bit: notice, we get a lot more detail--it looks pretty good.0931

You can turn the adjustment off; there it was bright; now, it came down, and it looks pretty good.0942

Take this...and we take a look: that is where it was; that is where it is.0947

All right, now the only thing I would like to do is bring up the water; so, once again, I'm going to use this brush, and I'm going to take that down.0952

I want to make a mask...bring this up...and this is very quick; I'm just going to paint over the dark areas that I would like to open up, very quickly.0963

You can see what you are doing, because it puts this overlay on it that you can actually see what is happening and correct; if I make a mistake, like that, all I have to do is paint it away.0979

So, you paint and paint away, and that is it; there we have that; now we're going to go to the selection, invert it so we have that, and now I'm going to make an adjustment of exposure again for just that area.0990

It will be isolated--see up in the little thumbnail?--so now, I want to open it up, so see how we brighten it?--just that right there will brighten it up, snap the contrast just a little bit...and we went from there to there, and everything is bright.1006

Now, the only thing left to do on this image, as far as I can see, is overall saturation, so we're going to make one more adjustment, and this one is going to be for hue saturation; we're going to simply bump the color saturation up, and I will turn that off and on.1022

I'm going to very quickly show you: here is where the image was when we brought it in, and we adjusted this from the original image--it was pretty washed out--and now we have taken it from there to there in very simple steps with a color change, a couple of exposure changes--remember, we talked about corrections--a little bit of retouch, and selections, all right here in Photoshop Elements.1042

Very quickly, very easily, very smoothly--that is how this program works.1077

What I would like to do now is close this lesson; a very important axiom applies, not only here with Photoshop Elements, but in anything you do: If you don't use it, you will lose it.1082

In this case, you study the lessons; practice, practice, practice; don't just do a lesson once and forget about it and come back later, because you won't remember what you have done, and you will have wasted your time.1103

Study the lessons; go over them again if you need to; practice; the files I will work on with you are with each lesson so that you can do that; and continue to use it.1115

Come and join me in a fascinating journey of learning that will dramatically expand your artistic vision and creativity forever with Photoshop Elements 11.1127

Thanks for watching; I will see you in the next lesson!1139