Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements


Lesson Info

Recommended Workflow

Last but not least, I want to talk about your general workflow for how you would deal with images when you are downloading them. And then we should talk about backing up and restoring your catalog if something were to happen. So I've named this folder here workflow to just sort of show you, like walk you through a typical download process. So, I'm gonna turn off my timeline by coming to the view menu and hiding timeline. And let's just pretend that I took some pictures with my camera and I just downloaded them and I have pictures from several different days, different sessions, and they're all just kinda heaped in this one folder and how am I gonna deal with this? Well, I would leave them heaped in whatever folder. I think a natural inclination of people, when you get your hands on this software, is you get really ambitious and you think, "I'm gonna go through my whole catalog "and keyword tag and reorganize "everything that I already have." I think that's a lot to try to do. I think a...

more realistic goal would be keyword anything that's really important to you maybe just as you're looking for it. So I don't know that I would try to carve out like a week of time to just go through and deal with a backlog of images. I would maybe as I search for things and I find them, I might think, "Oh, well while I'm here I'll add a keyword." But then going forward, I would come up with some sort of workflow that you can implement to keep your catalog and your hard drive and everything ship shape from that point forward. So not so much looking back but more moving forward. So this is gonna represent a shoot that let's say we just downloaded. One thing that I like to do is quickly go through and delete any images that are just obvious trash files just to keep a few extra space on my hard drive if possible. So some things are like really repetitive, I mean these images are practically identical. Some of them are just silly or like the exposure's bad or they're blinking or whatever. So I might just take a quick scan and I'm holding down the command or control key and I am just gonna get rid of some of those images that maybe I'm not as excited about. Or sometimes you know when you hold down the button on your camera, you take sometimes way more photos, you get like a burst of photos when you really only meant to get one. So I can actually go through and delete a number of these. Maybe the exposure's off, maybe he's falling over or something and I just don't care for that image. So I'll just select a bunch of those and then I'm actually, I'm gonna hit delete and I'm not gonna panic when I say yes, I also do want to delete those not only from my catalog but I'm gonna add a check mark here that says to delete from the hard disk too. So I'll go ahead and click OK and get those off my hard drive 'cause I really just don't want them even on my hard drive. So that makes it easy. Then I'd wanna go through and maybe add any keywords. If there's something here that's new and different that I don't have a keyword for yet, I would go ahead and add that. Otherwise, I could just go to my people tag and these are all gonna be Za so I would just select all those images and then drag them onto this tag if Elements didn't already do it. In this case of course, these have already been tagged with Za because Elements scanned his face and found him. They've already been tagged but if they hadn't, I would go ahead and do that. Maybe if I wanna tag them with anything else like I don't know, I like color a lot and I like patterns and contrast and geometric type patterns so if I wanted to I guess I could create a tag maybe for some reason if I thought I would search for that later, maybe I often shoot that and I wanna be able to have a collection going, I could add a keyword for that. But I wouldn't worry about it. I think in this case, as long as Za is tagged, that's all I wanna do there. So I would name any people. If I wanted to name these events I could but they're not really name worthy, I mean just plain, just really random. These are just random things, eating, making a mess, reading a book. Those aren't necessarily events. Places, if I wanted to tag them as being taken at home I could but again, I don't really mind. So do any of your tagging and then you know, you're good, that's it. That's how easy it is to just quickly download your images, go through, do some regular routine housekeeping on them, and then that's it. They're in your catalog, they're tagged with anything you might want, and you're ready to go back to whatever you're doing or start editing these and having some fun with it. We wanted to make sure though that your catalog is safe and backed up so that in the event of a dreaded hard drive failure, you can recover. So we can, at any time, you can go up to the file menu and choose backup catalog. Of course, if you're using backup software, this kinda stuff would be included in there. I mean your whole system would be backed up so that's a good thing. But let's say too maybe you wanna back this up and take it somewhere else or you're gonna transfer computers, this would be one way that you could take your whole catalog and transfer it. So I come up to the file menu and choose backup catalog. It's gonna prepare everything. And in this case, you could do an incremental backup, which just like it says here it would just back up things that have been modified since your last backup. Or if I'm getting a new computer, maybe I decide I wanna sell this one, I could do a full backup and that would copy all the items from my catalog and it would copy, it would maintain all of my virtual organizational structure like tags and keywords and the albums, all of those things. And I could copy those on to a hard drive somewhere. So I'd wanna choose full backup and click next and I would just walk through the process. I'm not gonna do it on camera but that's how you would walk through that process. And then, on your new computer, you would install Elements and then you would come up from the file menu and you would just choose restore catalog and then you would navigate to that catalog file that you created when you did the backup and then it would just unpack everything and it would just work. And it really can be that simple.

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 2015.5.1


Class Introduction
Understand How Elements Works
Importing Images
Workspace Basics: Organizer
Workspace Basics: Editor
Tonal Adjustments in Quick Fix
Color Adjustments in Quick Fix
Apply Black & White Filters
Sharpen an Image
Fix Red Eye & Pet Eye
Straighten an Image in Quick Fix
Explanation of Photoshop Elements
Basic Cropping in Quick Fix
Guided Edit Overview
Guided Edit: Tilt Shift
Ways to Save Files
Layers & Simple Selections
Combine Images with Layers
How to Use Layer Styles
Make Selections with Layers
Make Selection with Lasso
Compositing with Multiple Images
Refine Edge Selection on Image
Use Refine Edge on Images
Create Gradient in Image
Gradient Map Differences
Options for Saving
Brushes Overview
Creatively Use Brushes
How to Change Brush Settings
Use Shape Tool with Brushes
Work with Multiple Shape Layers
Finish Image with Custom Shape Tool
How to Load Brushes into Elements
Add Layer Style to Image
Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template
Retouching Overview
How to Use Content-Aware Fill
How to Use Content-Aware Move Tool
Spot Healing Brush on Blemishes
Remove Frown Lines with Retouching
How to Remove Tattoos
Remove a Gap in Teeth
How to Whiten Teeth
Adjust Facial Features
Working with Type Overview
Match Type for Image
How to Manipulate Type Layers
Create Postcard with Type
Add Type on a Path
Organizing Images in Elements
Add Keywords to Images
Smart Tags Overview
Using Albums in Elements
Places Workspace Overview
Use Event Tags on Images
Timeline for Image Organization
Recommended Workflow


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