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Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Lesson 37 of 58

Retouching Overview


Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Lesson 37 of 58

Retouching Overview


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.

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.