Course Updated: October 27, 2016.
Are you ready to take charge and learn simple, quick, and efficient methods for creating and editing powerful images for print and the web?
Whether you are an employee, business owner, content creator, teacher, author, or social media maven, over the last few years it has become CRUCIAL to know how to do a little bit of everything online. With this course as your guide, you'll learn how to confidentially and professionally manage your OWN unique, original images for your website, blog, eCourse, eBook, presentations, or social media pages.
Save time, money, and sanity by learning how to finally choose, edit, and enhance your own images without having to always pay someone else to do the most basic but essential tasks for you.
This course was created especially for complete beginners as well as people who fight with technology who want to gain new and valuable image editing skills that can be used every day.
The techniques discussed in this course are software independent, meaning I can show you how to make better, more professional images regardless of which software programs you are using. You'll learn essential imaging do's and don'ts, tips about which images are safe to use regarding copyrights, how to properly save your images (so you don't lose them in the abyss,) and my very favorite "art school" hacks that will help take your images from so-so to PRO in no time even if you don't yet have Photoshop or Gimp.
We'll then go through the most basic but important imaging skills you NEED to know from the very beginning using Adobe Photoshop. Free 30 day trials of Photoshop are available from Adobe's website. I also show you the same imaging techniques in the FREE software program GIMP.
You can watch and follow along with me as I show you how to make the most useful and essential image fixes in whichever program you have or feel most comfortable in. If you ever decide to switch, you'll have all the lessons available to you in BOTH Photoshop and GIMP as one go-to resource.
What Students Are Saying:
"Great course - the lessons were easy to follow and provided all sorts of useful tips for people like me with limited background in using graphics programs. Kristen's teaching style is comfortable and supportive. And trust me - once you've learned to put lipstick on a horse, you'll never forget the lesson behind it!" -Deborah Wojcicki
I'm a tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media and the Program Director of Film & Digital Media at The American University of Rome and a practicing award-winning multimedia artist.
I have 16+ years of experience teaching students all over the world using my tried and true custom approach (turning complex information into something simple, memorable, easy-to-understand in as short amount of time as possible) to ensure that you get the most important, relevant, and useful information that can be applied immediately to your art, work, and everyday life.
New bonus lectures and Photoshop | GIMP resources will continue to be added and timely design advice will be provided in the discussion forum. I love to help and always respond to inquiries and discussions ASAP.
Please Note: All students who enroll in this course also will receive periodic free and discounted access to my other top-rated current and upcoming courses.
You have a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee with no questions asked so you have nothing to lose. I make myself available so you will have access to me if you have questions or need specific feedback along the way.
Empower yourself now by enrolling in this course and join our growing learning community! Click the "Take This Course" button in the upper right corner and let's get started building your new digital imaging, software, and design skills today.
Welcome to this essential imaging skills course! In this lesson I'll explain how this course will help anyone with an online presence become more credible and influential by learning how to create professional-looking images. I'll explain what is covered and what you need to get started.
Take a moment and learn the best way to use this course for maximum results.
Learn once and for all which images you are allowed to use on your blog, in your course, eBook, website, or anywhere else. No more excuses for not knowing! By following these simple rules you will be sure to have the best and most original content and also protect yourself from unnecessary legal troubles due to using other people's copyrighted material without their permission.
Now that you understand the importance of using your own original content or royalty-free content, please make sure not to fall into this potential trap when choosing which imagery to use. There are some exceptions to this rule but first we need to learn the rules before we can break them.
Here are more free resources you can use in your creative projects.
Learn how to make your life MUCH easier just by setting up your projects for print (larger files/higher quality) even if you only initially need images for the web or screen (lower quality/ lower file sizes). This lesson also covers important saving basics which will save you hours, days, or weeks of frustration if the unthinkable happens: you lose files due to file corruption or computer/device failure.
In this lesson I'll discuss that while software programs are cool and can fix a lot of things, it's ALWAYS better to get good lighting for your photos from the initial get-go.
This lecture will give you a quick rundown and heads up on a very important concept and feature that you will find in almost all imaging programs: Layers. In a nutshell, they are like little transparent acetate sheets where you can draw and then stack over and/or under your main background layer. There are many benefits to using layers. Learn more in this lesson.
This quiz will test what you learned in Section 2.
This is a quick crash course lesson that will introduce you to 8 simple rules that can have a HUGE effect on the quality, look, and feel of your images. I've tried to mimic a lesson I give my own University students at The American University of Rome here by using Photoshop to draw visual examples for you as if using the classroom white board.
Topics I cover include aspect ratios, composition, odd versus even numbers of elements, size changes, moving objects around on the picture plane, letting objects get cropped off the canvas, the triangle principle, and ways to create the illusion of depth on a 2D surface. It's Art School 101 in under 9 minutes! Ready? Let's go.
Everyone makes mistakes. I'm here to stop you from at least making some common amateur imaging mistakes. Chances are, you ALREADY know what works and what doesn't intuitively. Have a look at some typical image faux pas so you can approach your next design tasks with more and more confidence.
I'm all for exploring and having fun with the special effects and filters available in your imaging program. Go ahead! Get them out of your system. (I'll wait for you...) You're back? OK. So in this lesson I'll explain that while filters and special effects can be fun to play with, they are NOT always your friends when you are trying to make professional looking images.
Let's test your knowledge of Section 3.
There is a reason that I put this lesson first in the Photoshop section. No matter which imaging program you are using, always make sure to adjust your levels. In some programs it's called adjusting the tone, value, or gain. It's the values in your image and it's crucial for ensuring your images are as crisp and vibrant as possible. Images that don't have levels adjusted often look muddy, blah, and amateurish.
Learn some essential features you can use to create multiple variations of the same image. Brightness, Contrast, Hue, and Saturation control the lightness and darkness of your image, whether it's black and white or trumped-up technicolor, as well as some cool tinting effects.
In this lesson I'll show you how to scale, rotate, flip, and transform individual layers as well as your entire image if it only has one layer. Please note that actual full image resizes (dimensions, resolution, as well as file size) is covered in the NEXT lesson.
Being able to resize, reformat, crop, and adjust file sizes for your images is a MUST HAVE skill that will free you from waiting around for others to do it for you for a fee. Many websites require images that are under a certain physical size, dimension, or file size. Learn once and for all how to do it yourself quickly, easily, and painlessly.
In a perfect world, people wouldn't care about a little blemish or demonic glowing eyes in a photo. But if you'd like to present your subjects in a professional, flawless way, here are a few essential tools that will help you out.
In this lesson, I'll show you how to whiten a smile and how to apply lipstick, makeup, or other enhancing painting techniques you may wish to add. You can also use these same techniques to tint your background, some clothing, skin tones, etc.
Secret agents, take note. If you need to blur your face out in a photo or the face of someone else, you need this lesson. You can also use these techniques for blurring out backgrounds or logos.
You have the PERFECT image... except for that one annoying thing in the background (a hand, a person, a sign, a fly on the wall, whatever...) Let me show you some tools you can use to make your image the masterpiece it deserves to be.
I'll discuss the importance and uses of the following tools: smudge, sharpen, blur, dodge, burn, and sponge. I show you how to use them in Photoshop, but the same tools are also available and are used in the same way in GIMP.
In this lesson I wanted to let you know about my experience level with GIMP and why it's important to be open to change, especially since software versions and types are constantly in flux. Learn how you can get the most out of these programs so you can apply what you learn to other programs down the road.
In this lesson I'll walk you through a handy online resource I came across over the summer when I wanted to edit some snapshots but was away from my computer and usual programs. This is a great and powerful free toll that will help you fix your images even when you are in the go.
Here are some resources for adding more functionality to GIMP.
Online Learning Podcast: Episode 121 With Kristen Palana
This interview with top Udemy instructor, John Colley is full of some of my very best secret color tricks for making an impact, getting your content noticed, and boosting engagement online.
The podcast is aimed at other Udemy instructors, but my color tips can be easily used by anyone with a website or someone who uses text and images online, in presentations at work, etc.
From the program notes, we discuss pretty much in this order:
I like to practice what I preach. Here are all the Flickr Creative Commons images I used in this course along with titles, authors, and attribution licences.
I'm so happy that you took this course. Thank you for visiting my online classroom. Please don't be a stranger and I hope to see you again soon.
Here is more information on how to connect with me, see my online portfolio, and where to find special offers.
My goal is to empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
I'm an American/Portuguese multimedia artist and educator recently based in Rome, Italy and a tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media at The American University of Rome where I also co-founded its Film and Digital Media Program. I have over 15 years of university teaching experience in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Since July of 2016 I live and work in Yangon, Myanmar and am a Visiting Associate Professor at American University of Myanmar.
Besides teaching tens of thousands of students at Udemy and other online platforms, I'm also a Course Facilitator for the UN-mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica) through their Centre For Executive Education.
My work is exhibited internationally and online and has received a number of awards. I received my MFA from Pratt Institute in Computer Graphics and Interactive Media and also hold a BFA in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
I love taking complex topics and making them simple. I'm currently researching 21st century learning methods and technologies and am enjoying exploring the world of online teaching and connecting with diverse groups of students from all over the world.
What can I help you with today?