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Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Lesson 3 of 58

Importing Images


Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Lesson 3 of 58

Importing Images


Lesson Info

Importing Images

Let's go ahead and get some images imported. So this is what it will look like the first time you ever open the software, before you have anything in here. So the place to start is up here with this import button, and if I click on that, you'll see that we have four options. Import images from different files and folders on your your hard drive somewhere. We can import from a camera or a card reader. We can do a bulk import, which basically just means that you can import from multiple folders and different locations at once. Or if you work with iPhoto here on the Mac, you can import with iPhoto. In this course, we're just going to be importing from files and folders. So I'm gonna go ahead and click there, the good thing to know is that this process is really gonna be pretty much the same regardless of where you're importing from. So I happen to have some image folders here that we will be using, so we see several different folders. And this one here, I'm gonna give you the practice fil...

es that you can follow along in the editing component. So you can use this folder here too, if you want, otherwise you can practice with the actual photos that are on your hard drive. So I'm going to select this whole collection of folders by selecting the top one and holding "shift" to collect the bottom. So now they're all selected, in real life at home, probably the folder that you would be reaching for here is just your pictures folder. So you know if that's just here on your hard drive, or my photos, whatever it's called on a PC, I would probably just say that that's the place to go if that's where most of your images are, that's gonna be a good place to start. So I've got those multiple folders selected. Down here, you don't really have to change anything I don't think from the default, but just some things to keep an eye on. We would want to make sure to include any sub-folders. So what that means is I guess if I went up one more level, this is the folder that contains all these sub-folders, so I could just select this whole image folder and make sure this check mark is on, and that will include all the sub-folders beneath it. So I'll just actually do that so you can see how that works. Down here, there's an option to automatically fix red-eyes, and that sounds so good, right? Then you would never have to see red-eye, you'd never have to think about it, you'd never have to look at another red-eye photo again. But the reality is that fixing red-eye is really super easy, it's like a click, a single click and it's done. And if you turn this option on, that means Photoshop has to actively scan every single photo that you're importing. And as you can imagine, if your hard drive looks like mine, that could be a lot of photos. And it's gonna take a crazy long time for Photoshop to do all of that scanning. So we want to turn that off, I would say, and it's off I think by default, so that shouldn't be a problem. Over here you can have Elements automatically suggest photos stacks, that means it stacks images that it thinks are similar or belong to one moment in time. So if you were taking a picture I guess of for example let's say, your kid blowing out their candles on a birthday cake, and you took five photos of that exact moment, rather than seeing all five photos laid out, Photoshop would stack them to just conserve visual space. And you can unstack them at any time. But it just sort of groups them so that you have less clutter to look at, but I'm gonna leave that turned off as well. So from here, I'm just gonna go ahead and click "get media." And we can see that this is quickly loading in these images. Now this is popping up, and this may happen if you use that practice folder of images that I'm including for you, and that is because some of the images that are included contain some tags already on them. This message is just saying, "Hey, you are importing some "images that already have keyword tags attached to them. "Would you basically like to include and use "those keyword tags?" I'm not going to in this case, so I would hit "cancel." But if you're working with your own images at home, you don't really have to worry about that. So that's kinda nice. Okay, you'll also notice that, that import happened really quickly. (laughs) You may have thought, "Wow, it doesn't go that fast for me "when I download images from my camera." And yeah, for me neither, but the reason that it happened so fast here is not because of I have a fancy computer, or that we're in the magic of Creative Live Studios, that happened so fast because the images are already on my hard drive. And as I said earlier, we're not copying those files, we're not moving them into the software, the files still exist on the hard drive, wherever it is that we imported them from. All we did when we imported them, was we basically just made Elements aware of those files and the fact that they exist on our hard drive. So it was able to very quickly generate all the little thumbnails and all the links to the files as they are on the hard drive, and that's why it looked really fast. So, we're just basically acknowledging those files when we import them from our hard drive. In the future when you're downloading images off of your camera, for the memory card or something like that, again you would just choose from the import menu. You would just choose from "camera or card reader" right here, I don't happen to have it connected so it's not gonna to detect anything here. But you would get this screen, and this allows you to just tell Photoshop where you want to put those files, If you want to rename them etc. and then you go ahead and import them. And in this process, you would actually be copying the files onto your computer, so you're actually downloading them onto your computer while simultaneously creating their... Their data infrastructure in the catalog, okay? So, however it is that you've been importing images, this could potentially replace that because it's transferring the files and making them active in the catalog as well. So it's doing tow-in-one and that process will take a little bit longer 'cause you're actually moving the files onto your system. So hopefully you can understand how that works and why that makes sense. But we're not gonna do that today, the process will be the same, so at home, just go ahead import any photos from your "my pictures" folder or your "photos" folder. If you have a camera or card available, you can plug that in and try that too. Ultimately, once you get your images in, you're gonna have a workspace that looks something like this. So let's take a little scroll through here. Obviously the first thing we notice is all these thumbnails, so that's really great. We have an easy to see visual collection of all different kinds of images, whatever they may be. We can scroll through them. We can change also the way that we view them. So right now, I happen to be viewing this view mode includes details, details like when the photos were taken, the time that they were taken. I can change that at any time by coming up to the oops... Back to my organizer. By coming up to the view menu and clicking on or off this "details" option. So if I turn that off, then I get this, I forget what this is called, like "waterfall view" or something, where there's not space around the images, there's no distracting timestamps or anything. You just see all of your images, which can be really nice if you just want to scroll through and admire all your handiwork. Or if you're looking for a specific image, it might be easier to find this way if you just wanna scroll. So that's kind of up to you. Personally, I kinda like this details views, so I may go back in here and go to the view menu and turn on "details." Okay, one other thing I want to point out while we've been talking about importing really quickly, is there is the ability to turn on something called "watch folders" in Elements. And what "watch folders" means is that if you add any images to this particular folder on your hard drive, like just outside of Elements. So let's say that you're playing along on your computer doing whatever, and let's say you open an email attachment and someone sends you a photo and you open it and you're like, "Oh that's cute," and you download it or you save it. Depending where you save it, you can tell Elements if you want it to automatically acknowledge and keep track of that file as well, without you having to be remembering "Oh yeah, I downloaded this photo and now I wanna "include it in Elements." You can have a folder set so that anything that you throw into that folder, even when you're not working in Elements, anything that's in that folder would end up also showing up in Elements. And the way that you do that, is from the file menu, you choose "watch folders." And here it's going to have this "add" button you can click. And then if you want to add anything from your pictures folder, for example, you can tell Elements to keep an eye on pictures. And if I click "okay," it's gonna watch the pictures folder and any new things that I throw into that folder, they would then... I would be prompted to add them here. And I can decide if I just want Elements to automatically without even asking me just add those files to the organizer. Or if I'm like, "Wait a minute, I want to know what's "happening all the time. I want to be notified," you can have Elements do that. And how that works is the next time you launch Elements, it'll scan that folder and if there's anything new, it'll pop up and say, "Hey, there's new files "in this folder. Do you want to add them?" And it'll show you images so you can actually see what you're dealing with. So if that's something that makes sense to you, and you want to add that, and include the sub-folders, you can check here then you would go ahead and click "okay." For the purpose of this class, I'm not going to do that, just because it can get a little squirrely sometimes. But at home, I would definitely have that set up.

Class Description

We all have hundreds of images on our smartphones and cameras that we never do anything with. Adobe Photoshop Elements is the perfect tool for beginners to use for organizing and editing those images. Khara Plicanic will show you the practical ways to use this software by using step-by-step projects you can follow along with at home. You’ll get hands-on practice at making selections and working with layers, doing simple retouching, and adding text to your images.

You’ll also learn: 

• Basic adjustments to color and adding contrast to photos 
• Understanding resolution and image resizing and how to use the crop tool 
• Simple retouching and image compositing

No Photoshop Elements class would be complete without shedding light on file saving and organizing your images for a complete workflow! By the time you’re finished with this class, you’ll be creating beautiful images to share with your family and friends.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Understand How Elements Works
  3. Importing Images
  4. Workspace Basics: Organizer
  5. Workspace Basics: Editor
  6. Tonal Adjustments in Quick Fix
  7. Color Adjustments in Quick Fix
  8. Apply Black & White Filters
  9. Sharpen an Image
  10. Fix Red Eye & Pet Eye
  11. Straighten an Image in Quick Fix
  12. Explanation of Photoshop Elements
  13. Basic Cropping in Quick Fix
  14. Guided Edit Overview
  15. Guided Edit: Tilt Shift
  16. Ways to Save Files
  17. Layers & Simple Selections
  18. Combine Images with Layers
  19. How to Use Layer Styles
  20. Make Selections with Layers
  21. Make Selection with Lasso
  22. Compositing with Multiple Images
  23. Refine Edge Selection on Image
  24. Use Refine Edge on Images
  25. Create Gradient in Image
  26. Gradient Map Differences
  27. Options for Saving
  28. Brushes Overview
  29. Creatively Use Brushes
  30. How to Change Brush Settings
  31. Use Shape Tool with Brushes
  32. Work with Multiple Shape Layers
  33. Finish Image with Custom Shape Tool
  34. How to Load Brushes into Elements
  35. Add Layer Style to Image
  36. Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template
  37. Retouching Overview
  38. How to Use Content-Aware Fill
  39. How to Use Content-Aware Move Tool
  40. Spot Healing Brush on Blemishes
  41. Remove Frown Lines with Retouching
  42. How to Remove Tattoos
  43. Remove a Gap in Teeth
  44. How to Whiten Teeth
  45. Adjust Facial Features
  46. Working with Type Overview
  47. Match Type for Image
  48. How to Manipulate Type Layers
  49. Create Postcard with Type
  50. Add Type on a Path
  51. Organizing Images in Elements
  52. Add Keywords to Images
  53. Smart Tags Overview
  54. Using Albums in Elements
  55. Places Workspace Overview
  56. Use Event Tags on Images
  57. Timeline for Image Organization
  58. Recommended Workflow


a Creativelive Student

Just watching this class live. It's my first class with Khara; she is a wonderful teacher, moving at a steady speed but always being careful to let us know what she's doing in the moment. I would classify myself as intermediate in terms of PSE but I've learned lots of little things that will make further use even easier and more fun. I really appreciated her descriptions of the difference between PS and PSE and her encouragement in using Photoshop Elements and all that it can do.


I have only been able to watch portions of this class but every single part that I have watched has been technically clear and inspiring to me. Based on this experience and the thorough, 58 item list of lessons, I will surely be buying this class soon! Thank you Khara and Creativelive for making a class on this topic and making it be super!!

Ven S

Great course. You can tell she knows the programme inside out.