Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements


Lesson Info

Retouching Overview

A lot of times I think people wonder, "What is retouching really and what does that mean?" And the reality is, I think retouching means different things to different people. To me, retouching means just helping someone look like themselves but their best selves. In the fashion world, of course, retouching is taken to a pretty extreme place and people are made to look completely flawless and they may or may not look much like themselves at the end. So that's a different type of retouching. Sometimes you can use retouching to, of course, retouch people and everything, but you can also use retouching to heal problems with images or to restore images that have damage. So if you come across a box of old photos in your grandparent's attic, they may need some TLC to restore them. Some of them might be faded, there may be creases, they may even have parts missing that have torn off the page or something. So that's a whole specialty within retouching itself is restoration. So the process is the...

same whether you are restoring photos or retouching someone's face or maybe you're removing an object from the background. I end up doing that a lot in wedding photos. I shot weddings for a number of years and one of the things that always bugs me is if I was taking a picture and there'd be an outlet in the wall in the corner or an exit sign someplace or one of those sprinkler heads in the ceiling or a duct or something. So I always tried, of course, to photograph in such a way that I could block those things just based on the angle that I was shooting from, but sometimes that was just not going to be an option. So then if the client were to order a print or if I were to put that image in their album, I would definitely retouch all those little things out of the frame. So there's a lot of different ways you can apply what I'm gonna show you. And I'll try to mention that as much as I can as we go, but just keep that in mind that the techniques that I'm gonna show you and the tools that we're gonna be using are applicable in so many ways beyond the just actual literal use that I will be doing. So you can do a lot with that. We are going to start today with some really simple images. So I'm here in the organizer right now, and if you have bought the course, you get the bonus materials which includes this collection of images that in my case it's called Practice Files. So if I'm scrolling through here, the ones that I'm looking for are going to be this bird image right here, this image right here, this black and white portrait. So black and white portrait and this bird picture. I'm going to pop those over into the Editor. And let me go to my Photo Bin and close all these other ones (laughs) that I have left. They were that much fun, didn't wanna get rid of them. Alright, so here is a beautiful image, there's totally nothing wrong with this, but I'm just gonna show you some of the tools that you can use. And that's the one thing too that I wanna point out that we use a lot of words like, "This is wrong, I need to fix it." We're sort of implying that it's broken. And it's not broken, we just maybe are choosing to create something different. So I think we should just be mindful of the language that we're using when we talk about this stuff because I think it matters, I think it makes a difference.

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.