Photoshop Elements Made Easy For Photographers
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Photoshop Elements Made Easy For Photographers

Learn how to make your photos pop using the industry leading program, Adobe Photoshop Elements.
4.7 (38 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
303 students enrolled
Created by Spencer Pullen
Last updated 6/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $90 Discount: 89% off
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  • 7 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Organize, edit and print photos just like the pros do.
  • Have a workflow that will easily take the photo from the camera to the finished product, i.e. web, email and/or paper print.
  • Understand how camera settings effect what you have to work with in Elements.
  • Will be able to make their prints match the screen as much as possible.
View Curriculum
  • Have Adobe Photoshop Elements version 11, 12 or 13 installed.
  • Know how to use the Windows or Mac operating system. (I'll give commands for both)

This course is for folks who are looking to take their photographs from drab to fab. I use plain english and not techy words to confuse the student. I explain each step with simple, time tested, easy to use concepts. I have been teaching this course almost ten years now in live venues and it has been a raging success. This course is laid out in a workflow fashion as we start with how to get all the photos on to the computer, then make them look great and finally how to make a print that anyone would be proud of. Also, If your having issues such as your prints are not matching your screen, we'll cover those as well. I include all of the practice photos that you can download and work through the lectures with me. There are many very sophisticated courses out there, but I teach this and structured the course so anyone can understand, and learn in a relaxed environment.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for folks who what to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop Elements specifically to enhance their photos. We will cover a complete workflow and break everything down into easy, understandable lectures. Folks who are looking for a course on how to create graphics from scratch for websites or print projects may want to look elsewhere. If you are new to Adobe Photoshop Elements, you should be able to follow along as I discuss every feature as we go along.
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Curriculum For This Course
89 Lectures
1 Lecture 02:53

During this introduction we will look at the different areas that we will over in organizing your photos.

Preview 02:53
Organize Photos
16 Lectures 01:12:52

We will discuss to keep your computer running as fast as it possibly can. Also, how to set up affordable hard drives to store your photos. We will also cover an option to permanently archive your photos so you never run out of room.

Preview 05:16

We will discuss how to arrange your photos outside of Elements. This option has it's advantages, it's not dependent on what kind of computer you like to use or what version. This is what many pros use when they don't want to organize in a specific program.

Manually Organize Photos

Here we will look at all the buttons and sliders in the Element's Organizer.

Tour of the Organizer's Workspace

One of the options is to import existing photos from your hard drive. In this lecture, we will look at how to add them to the Elements Organizer.

How to Import Existing Photos From The Hard Drive

Another option that Elements gives users is to import photos directly from the camera or camera card. Here will cover the steps on how to do this.

How to Import Photos From Your Camera or Card

Elements give users different ways to see their photos. Also, not every photo is a keeper. Here I'll show you how to look at your photos and delete the less than perfect photos.

How to Sort and Delete Photos From The Organizer

Elements give us the ability to tag photos with keywords to make the searchable so we can find them later.

Using Keywords to Help Find Your Photos

Elements gives us a way to identify people's faces. Later, if your looking for someone, you can locate them or a series of photos that has them in it.

People: Identifying People

Albums are how you can group photos together by subject, place or event. This makes finding them much easier.

How to Create Albums

When you push the shutter button the camera doesn't only take the photo, it also embeds settings that it used to take the photo called EXIF data. This can be very handy to learn what made the photo look great or what needs to be changed for next time.

Looking at Your Photo's Metadata (Camera Info)

Eventually, there will be a photo that you would like to locate. During this lecture we'll look at how to find the one your looking for.

How to Find Your Photos

If you travel, this is an amazing feature. You can look at your photos on a map to see where you've been and where you might like to go!

Places: Using a Map to See Where You've Been

All of this is great stuff, however it would be best if you knew everything was backed up in a safe place. Here, I'll show you how to make sure your priceless photos are safe.

How to Backup Your Catalog

Wouldn't it be nice when you returned from a trip that you could watch a slide show of all your photos? In this lecture, I'll show you how to use the built in option.

Elements Built In Slide Show

Some find the built in slide show function a little limiting. There are others out there that give you many more options. I'll recommend one for Windows and one for Mac that are affordable and give the user many more options.

Alternatives for Professional Looking Slide Shows

Have a great photo that you want to share with someone? Elements has a built in email option that makes it easy to send them an email with your photo(s).

How to Email a Photo From the Organizer
Adobe Camera RAW
12 Lectures 01:01:43

Some folks many be new to the RAW format and why they might want to use it. We will also discuss RAW vs JPG so as a photographer you'll know which one will serve you best.

What is a RAW File, What is a JPG File?

In this exercise, we'll look at how to open a RAW file from the camera.

How to open a RAW file

If your have a bunch of JPGs laying around or you don't have a camera that doesn't capture in the RAW format, no worries! I'll show you how to open JPG files and work with them in Camera RAW.

Preview 01:39

Here, we will go over the different parts of the Camera RAW interface. So, you'll know where to go when.

Introducing the Camera RAW Interface

White balance can be an issue depending on where your taking photos. During this lecture, I'll show you how to change your white balance three different ways.

Camera RAW: White Balance

There are three tabs in Camera RAW and the first one is the Basic tab. I'll go over every slider and how they can enhance your photo and why you would want to use them.

Camera RAW: Basic Tab

Have a photo that needs a little trim? In this exercise, we'll cover the crop tool and how you can use it to not only crop your photo, but also use it to compose your photos.

Camera RAW: Cropping

You might notice that your photo isn't as sharp as it could be. Using the Detail tab in Camera RAW, you will be able to give your photos some edge and make them look sharp.

Camera RAW: Sharpening (Detail Tab)

If any of your photos have subjects with red eye, no worries. Here I'll show you how we can fix it in a flash.

Camera RAW: Removing Red Eye

Working with RAW files and miss the look of the JPG? You can now apply the "JPG look" to RAW file after the fact. You can also check to make sure your using the latest Camera RAW engine here as well.

Camera RAW: Camera Calibration Tab

Black and white photos are making a comeback. If you have a photo that you think would look great in black and white, I'll show you how to do it easily and fast!

Camera RAW: Creating Black and White Photo

Have a photo that the color isn't close to what you took? Included with this course is color management. We will break down how to set up a color managed workflow step by step and make it easy to work with. In this first part, I'll show you a tool that I use for difficult colors to make sure that the color that you take is the color that you're going to get.

Color Management: Part 1
Photo Editor: Getting Started
14 Lectures 01:00:54

In this lecture, we'll take a look at the different parts of the Editor and how it's laid out.

Elements Editor Intro

In this lecture, we'll look at how to straighten horizons and make sure buildings are not leaning to one side or the other. It's fast and easy!

Preview 03:07

This first technique I'll cover how to crop a photo for composition. Great for using on blogs, email and websites.

Crop Tool: Freely Cropping

Eventually you're going to want to crop a photo to a certain size so it will fit into a ready made frame from the store. Elements makes this task easy with crop preset sizes.

Crop Tool: Standard Print Size

Found a frame at a yard sale that is an odd ball size? Here we'll cover how to crop to a customized dimension.

Crop Tool: Custom Size

Have a bunch of photos that you scanned and you would like them rotated, straightened and cropped all at the same time? This one feature will save you HOURS of time!

Cropping Multiple Scanned Photos At Once

This is one of the most requested exercises that I get asked every day. How do I resize my photos so they will email easily? I'll show you the tricks to making your photos look great and you can send quite a few and your ISP won't give you a problem.

Resizing Photos

What happens if you went on vacation and took 4,000 photos, and you want to change them all to low res JPG files for a slide show? It would be a drag to have to do this 4,000 times! Elements has an automation tool that will take care of this task for you.

Automation For Resizing Your Photos

In this lecture, we'll look at how to set up Elements so the software is rendering your photos properly.

Color Management: Part 2

One of the biggest advantages of Elements over another piece of software is it's layer ability. This is a nondestructive way of working. If your new to layers, I'll take all of the mystery out of it and show you why you want to use them.

Introduction To Layers

Sometimes Camera RAW can't seem to fix a color cast. In this lecture, I'll show you how to set up the Color Picker Tool and program the Levels adjustment layer with industry standard numbers to make your life much easier.

Fixing Color Casts

When I show this in my live classes, this usually gets the "Ooh" and "Ahh". This one simple trick will help add contrast to your photo without blowing out your highlights or filling in your shadows. It's super easy as well.

Power of the S Curve

There are times when you might want to make a local change to part of the photo and not a global change. This can be done with adjustment layers and masks. Masks are another way to control where you want an effect to be on your photo.

Painting With Color (Using Adjustment Layers and Masks)

In this lecture, we'll look at how to calibrate the monitor and why this is important. There's nothing more frustrating than working on a photo, only to find out the monitor has been lying to you the whole time!

Color Management: Part 3
Photo Editor: Fixing Common Problems
8 Lectures 38:33

Elements comes with dodge and burn tools, but they can ruin your photo. In this lecture, I'll show you how to set up a special layer to lighten and darken areas of your choosing and it will be editable at any time.

Dodge & Burn With Layers

Is there an area in your photo that is too light? This will be an introduction to blending modes. These effect how one layer reacts with another.

Fixing Over Exposed Areas (Blending Modes)

This is the opposite of the preceding lecture. Here we'll fix areas that are too dark.

Fixing Under Exposed Areas (Blending Modes)

Elements has a great red eye removal tool. I will show you three ways to make red eye a thing of the past.

Red Eye Removal

Sometimes your lens can play tricks on you such as vignetting, distortion or bloating. Here, we'll take a look at a sure fire way to fix all of these issues in one area.

Correcting Lens Issues

Do you need to get a specific size out of your photo and cropping will cut off something vital? With the recompose tool, you can adjust parts of the photo to make it fit without losing any important areas.

Recompose Tool

Have a photo that has detail in the shadows? Elements has a neat tool to help us fix this issue specifically.

Revealing Details in Dark Areas

This is the reverse of the previous lecture, we will be bringing out details in the light areas of the photo.

Bringing Details in the Light Areas
Photo Editor: Selections
7 Lectures 32:46

Do you have something in your photo that needs adjusting and it's square or rectangle? We'll go over the tool that is specifically designed for this.

Selecting Square or Rectangle Areas

In this lecture, we'll look at how to select areas that are round or elliptical.

Selecting Round or Elliptical Areas

There are times when you have straight surfaces but they are at an angle. This is where the Polygonal Lasso tool comes in. This tool makes it very easy to select these areas.

Polygonal Lasso

There are times when you may spend a lot of time working on a selection and you don't want to have to reselect it. Here, I'll show you how to save selections that you created for later use and load saved selections.

Saving and Loading Selections

What happens if you have an organic shape or an odd ball object to deal with? The Selection Brush will allow you to select these items in no time.

Selection Brush Tool

The Magnetic Lasso tool will "stick" to the edge of your subject like a magnet.

Magnetic Lasso Tool

Want to make your life easier in Elements? I'll show you what a Wacom tablet is and why it's better than a mouse or trackpad.

Wacom Tablet
Photo Editor: Portrait Retouching
9 Lectures 40:27

Elements does a great job of removing blemishes, like they were never even there! There are a couple of ways to do this, we'll look at one of the options here.

Removing Blemishes

Some photos that you may come across might have a wrinkle or "fine lines", here we'll take a look at how to handle these so the repair looks natural.

Removing Wrinkles

Some photos might have folks with darker areas under their eyes. In this lecture we'll look at the best way to lighten up these areas so they are not noticeable.

Removing Dark Circles Under the Eyes

Have a photo that needs some work on the whites of the eyes? In this lecture, we'll look at how to whiten the eyes and also remove any redness that might be there.

Whitening Eyes

Just like the eyes lecture, here we will focus on the teeth. This is super easy and all done non destructive.

Whiten Teeth

This is one of the most asked questions that I get. "How do I get that perfect skin?" We'll take a look at how you can make anyones skin as smooth as you want it.

Skin Softening

There are times when some folks just don't cooperate when you want them to smile. With this technique, you have the option to help them look like they are smiling as well as tuck in certain areas.

Making People Smile

Elements has a great tool for quickly fixing skin tone. If your not sure what it should look like, Elements will help guide you. It even has an option for adding a tan or blush!

Fixing Skin Tone

This is another popular request, "Can you make me thinner?" Yes we can. With this single technique, your photo can instantly start shedding the pounds.

Slim and Trim
Photo Editor: Cloning
7 Lectures 23:17

This tool has been around quite awhile. In this lecture, we'll look at some of the times that you might want to make use of this tool to enhance your photo.

Clone Tool

There are times when you want to take a piece out of your photo and use it somewhere else to cover something. This is also where layers come in handy.

Cloning With Other Objects

There are times when there some pesky spots on the photo. These can be from dust on the lens or in the camera. These are really easy to clean up with the Spot Healing brush tool.

Removing Lens or Sensor Dust

Have you ever been to a popular spot and people are everywhere? You wish you could get a clean photo of the location? Now you can with a special function inside Elements that will make them magically disappear.

People Remover

This has been a long time coming to Elements. This has trickled down from Photoshop. This tool alone would make me buy the program, you can simply move an object and Elements will fill the hole like it was never there!

Content Aware Move

This is another big one. You simply make a selection around what you want gone and Elements will fill it in. This is another feature that has found it's way down from Photoshop.

Content Aware Fill

Nik is a set of plugins that you can purchase to increase what Elements can do. During this lecture we'll quickly look at what these can do for you and where you can get them.

Nik Software
Photo Editor: Special Effects
6 Lectures 17:01

I showed you how to convert a photo to black and white back in the Camera RAW section. Now I'll show you how it can be done in the Photo Editor.

Converting to Black and White

There are times when the camera can't get the whole scene in one shot. We'll discuss how to set up the camera and stitch multiple photos together like you took it that way.

Creating Panoramas

This is one of the most requested demos when I do live events. "How do I make the flowers in color and the rest in black and white?" Here I'll take you step by step and show you how it's done.

Isolate Color Effect

Ever see a photo with a misty or dreamy look? Have a bad photo that you really like and don't know what to do with it? This technique also works for making your own backgrounds for projects and slide shows.

Dream Effect

Want to make a photo look vintage? We'll use the power of adjustment layers to make this happen.

Creating a Duotone

Have an action type photo that you would like to turn into that high contrast look? This is also one of the popular looks that some of the sport magazines use.

Creating The Grunge Effect
Photo Editor: Sharpening
4 Lectures 13:33

I realize the name of this lecture is UNsharp Mask, but it's what we have used for a long time to sharpen our photos. It's easy and it works.

Unsharp Mask: The Traditional Way

The Adjust Sharpness feature is fairly new to the Photoshop and Elements party. This gives you another level of control and you can target how it sharpens.

Adjust Sharpness: Newer Technology

Do you have a photo that has extra detail that you would like to pull out, like a piece of jewelry? In this lecture, I'll show you how with the power of layers you can target those areas specifically.

Extra Selective Sharpening

This is how I personally sharpen all of my photos for my prints and website. It works really well and the results always gets rave reviews from my peers.

How I Sharpen My Photos: Nik's Sharpener Pro
2 More Sections
About the Instructor
Spencer Pullen
4.7 Average rating
38 Reviews
303 Students
1 Course
Patient Instructor and Award Winning Photographer

I have always loved photography, graphic design and interactive media. I have had a camera in my hands since I was seven years old. When I was in high school, that is where I found the intriguing field of desktop publishing. With my photography background mixed with my love for desktop publishing, I decided to attend a private college that specialized in these areas. I graduated in 2000 with a degree in Interactive Media and Graphic Design. I graduated at the top of my class, magna cum laude.

I have been in the commercial printing industry for 20 years. During this time, I have had the opportunity to work on many different types of projects such as business cards, newsletters, pocket folders and magazines.

In 2007, I had a life changing event and decided to start doing photography full time and teaching. I have photographed for newspapers, magazines, multimillion dollar real estate builders, newscasts and cities just to name a few. When I'm out photographing for myself, I enjoy shooting black and white Americana subjects. I have won a few awards and was picked as one of the top 50 photographers in the USA from the Camera USA 2015 competition. I have also been lucky enough to have been published on National Geographic website.

I have been teaching live venues in the Southwest Florida area for over 15 years. I have taught folks from high school into their 90's that are looking to try something new. Some of my courses are, Photoshop Elements, photography, Intro to Point and Shoot cameras, Intro to DSLR cameras, High Dynamic Range (HDR), photography for online sales, lighting, Mac products and more.

I really enjoy working with students to help them understand the material and watch as their face lights up the moment it clicks. I have been told many times that I'm a very patient person and have a way with teaching that makes what can be complicated material easy to learn with humor and bite sized chunks.

I write a weekly blog post on my site and post tips and tricks on my Facebook page. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. I hope to see you in one of my courses soon.