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A Beginner's Guide to Photoshop Elements 11 - Now Available!

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Today we proudly announce our latest video series ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Photoshop Elements 11’ – our 12 hour training title that covers everything from importing and organising your media to editing and then printing files using a local inkjet printer.

The course is available for PC and Mac users and can be downloaded digitally from our web store or ordered on a DVD. Either way, you’ll get access to the entire course in high quality video presentations as well as the project files that I use to demonstrate the full capability of the software. This means that you get the choice of either watching and learning, or following along and taking part in each exercise.

Whatever you’re learning style and pace we’re confident that you’ll find this course engaging and that you will feel an altogether more confident and competent user once you’ve reached the end.

To see the full details of the course please click this link.

I’ve outlined a summary below

A Beginner's Guide to Photoshop Elements 11

Chapter 1 – Introducing Photoshop Elements

This chapter introduces the course, looks at the differences between PC and Mac versions of the software, and runs through the process of locating and installing the project files.

Chapter 2 – Introducing the Organiser

We start off by introducing you to the workspace and what’s available in the various panels before creating our very first catalogue to hold our media. We’ll then import a collection of photographs from the hard drive of our computer, as well as via our camera’s memory card. We’ll finish up with some basic demonstrations on navigating our way around the workspace, rotating thumbnails so all of our media is correctly orientated, and change the date and time on an incorrectly stamped photograph.

Chapter 3 – Managing Media

This is where we get serious in the Organiser. We’ll begin by tagging our media with people, places and events so we can find them easier in the future. We’ll show you how to save that information to the actual image files, create stacks and folders to better group similar images, and back up the entire catalogue to protect us from disaster.

Chapter 4 – Introducing the ‘Quick’ Mode

As we take our first steps out of the Organisational setup of Photoshop Elements 11, we’ll begin our editing journey with the simplest mode available – the ‘Quick’ mode. Once we’ve explored its interface and panel structure I’ll show you how to properly navigate inside an image so we can get the best view of our files whilst working on them. I’ll use a photograph of Elvis to demonstrate how easy it is to change the colour of a person’s face by using a quick selection technique and a colour adjustment.

Chapter 5 - Introducing the ‘Guided’ mode

We’ll start out by taking a tour of the ‘Guided’ workspace and then we’ll use a few of the edits available to quickly and easily make changes to our image files. Starting out with straightening and cropping a photo, and then adding a custom vignette before saving the file in Photoshop’s native PSD format. We’ll complete the chapter by transforming a full colour photograph to black-and-white, and then producing our very own line drawing.

Chapter 6 – Creating & Sharing Media

There’s no fun in creating incredible masterpieces if you can’t share them with friends and family. Thankfully, if that’s what you want to do – Elements has your back! We’ll make our own greeting card that we can either send by post or email as an attachment, and our own slideshow to carefully play out our photographs one by one. We’ll take a look at printing images as well as sharing via Facebook or email.

Chapter 7 – Introducing the ‘Expert’ Mode

Now we’re confident with the ‘Guided’ and ‘Quick’ modes to modify our photographs, we’ll step foot into the world of the full A Beginner's Guide to Photoshop Elements 11‘Expert’ editor which allows us to carry out much more powerful, refined edits than we could previously. We’ll begin with a tour and creating a new, blank document to work with. Next on the agenda are layers, which I’ve often described as the backbone of Photoshop Elements – once you master their secrets you’ll be well on your way to image editing mastery. We’ll guide you through colour and how it works in Photoshop, and finish up with a look at image size and resolution – two of the technical but necessary topics every Elements user must understand.

Chapter 8 – Basic Photo Edits

This chapter is aimed at budding photographers and gives us an opportunity to explore the many features that make adjusting photographs easy and fun – whilst delivering sharp, clean results. We’ll start by discussing some of the basic terminology and key concepts before adjusting shadow and highlight detail, saturation, colour and contrast. We’ll reduce the effects of a blue colour-cast on a foggy image and then straighten and crop it. Finally we’ll remove the frustrating and all-too-common red-eye from a portrait shot and manually recreate the pupil’s highlights with the paint brush.

Chapter 9 – Selections Explained

Until now we’ve largely relied upon whole-image adjustments that affect everything in the image. Now we’ll begin our inspection and utilisation of the various selection tools that can help us to isolate specific regions of an image so we can adjust them separately from everything else. From the basic marquee and lasso tools, through to the wonderfully accurate and heavily automated quick selection tool – we’ll not only look at the selection outlines we are creating, but also use them in practical ways to apply modifications using adjustment layers and the crème-de-la-crème of selections – masks, both of which we’ll discuss in detail. We’ll use the magnetic lasso tool and the new refine edge command to select a balloon with extreme accuracy and place it into a new background created using the gradient tool.

Chapter 10 – Photo Manipulation

Manipulating photos can be both fun and serious business. Whether our aim is to fool the viewer or simply create a stunning, artistic graphic – the tips and tricks you pick up in this chapter will serve you well as you produce your own work in the future. From extracting elements of a photo and placing them into a completely different image, to transforming them to size and blending them into their new background – we’ll cover a lot of ground! We’ll also look at removing blemishes, spots and dust using the healing brush.

Chapter 11 – Text & Shapes

From time to time you will need to add text and shapes to a photograph, helping to get your message across and complete the look and style you’re going for. Here I’ll introduce you to the two basic structures of type – point and paragraph – and then highlight why and when you’d need them. We’ll also visit a few of the shape tools that produce vector outlines that are resolution independent, something I’ll explain during the chapter.

Chapter 12 – Effects & Filters

Here we’ll explore the key concepts and inherent differences between filters, layer styles and photo effects – and then we’ll look at practical, real-world circumstances where we might employ them to improve the overall aesthetics of an image. We’ll delve deep into their settings and respective options and look at how we can use them to create strokes and drop shadows.

Chapter 13 – Blurring & Sharpening

We’re often asked ‘why would you want to blur a photograph?’ so this chapter is the perfect reply to the blur filter’s critics – demonstrating an ultra useful and highly convenient method of getting the job done. Once we’ve done that we’ll turn our attention to the blur filters complete opposite – the sharpen filter. Here we’ll show you how to add clarity to a photograph and offer up the appearance of adding more, crisp and defined details to it using the adjust sharpness command.

Chapter 14 – Output & Optimisation

In the final chapter we’ll focus our attention on saving and printing our photographic images, starting with the low-down on the PSD, TIFF and JPEG formats before moving our attention to printing using the best, and sometimes simplest, settings. The culmination of the series will be an in-depth look at the ‘save for web’ controls which assist us in getting the balance between image size and quality just as we want it.