Saturday, January 22, 2011

Learning Elements


In December I took an on-line photo course called the Photoshop Skinny-Mini run by Kim Klassen.  It was totally free and I learned a ton about how to use Photoshop Elements (I have version 6) better.  When the first class was basically on how to crop pictures and use layers, I was a little worried it wouldn't go past my current Photoshop skills.  I already knew how to use Photoshop Elements to make a digital scrapbook.
However, how to actually use Photoshop to enhance pictures I had no clue, and she quickly got into those details.  I am not going to tell you how to do what I learned because she is a great teacher and has another class coming up in February (most of it is video lessons, so step-by-step instructions).  But I thought you would like to see how my pictures changed just by applying some of the techniques she taught me.

 After applying the "homework":

After Homework (only this time cropping off part of the main object in the picture as she did):
 I tried the same type of options as the first time, but none of those really makes up for a blurry picture:
This was all from the first few days of classes.  Then I learned more about adjustment layers (particularly hue saturation), spot eraser (I knew how to clone areas, but the quick fix for small blemishes I didn't know about--yeah, new technique!), and adding textures.  I didn't get a chance to actually do the rest of the homework (though I watched all the videos) because it was mid-December and I needed to put together my "digital scrapbook" pages for the calendars I give for Christmas.  However, I used some of the techniques I learned, plus ones I knew, to make my own backgrounds for some of the pages instead of relying on Elements preset options.
I used some adjustment layers on the penguins background so the penguins stood out and nothing else.

Then recently Kim Klassen offered a class on learning textures in ten minutes and I played with some photos a little more.  Adding one of her free textures I was able to improve the fuzzy butterfly picture a little more (I think.)
I still have a lot to learn in order to figure out what improves what and which adjustments, filters, etc. will do what, but I feel the class was worth my time if for no other reason than I learned how to adjust the layer effects after applying them (for 5 years I have been stuck with the default settings on each effect.)  Now my husband might wish I hadn't taken the class because while Office Max was able to do a 24 turn around when we ordered the calendars on December 23 because I forgot to work on the pages sooner since I was playing with Elements, I now really want to upgrade my 3 MegaPixel 12x Optical Zoom Point and Shoot Camera for something a little more fancy.
Ni Hao Yall



Nancy said...

N-I'm taking the same class too! But I'm behind on the class work. I hope to be caught up by the end of the weekend though... hope.
You images are looking great!

Grace said...

I loved your butterfly photos. Nice job.

Lisa said...

OHHHH! These are great!!!! Thanks for the tip!!!!

Kim Klassen said...

what a fab post... so many lovely images...
and thank you for sharing my class with your readers...

so kind!! happiest sunday.
xxo, Kim

Adrian Roberta said...


Lauren said...

That is incredible! I especially liked the slightly blurry butterfly with "Love" on well as all the verses (brings back many memories of my Chrysalis events). Thank you for sharing and I am definitely going to look into the February classes!

Life with Kaishon said...

It looks like you learned so many amazing things I love your work : ) Glad you had a fantastic time in your class.

The Raudenbush Family said...

Very cool! It's amazing what cool stuff you can do with photos!

Stefanie said...

Wow, impressive!
I have Photoshop, but honestly, I'm scared of it! You're making me think I need to dip my toe into the Photoshop world ;)

Julie said...

I signed up for the February class. Looking forward to it! :)