CSTL Winter Institutes
Photoshop elements is a full-featured program for processing, editing, and managing photographs. It also provides extensive drawing and painting tools. In this workshop we will learn some of the basic capabilities of the software, and provide some opportunities to explore further.
Again, on your own machine, you’ll have your own images to work with. For this workshop, you can import images from the web site:
1. The "images" link takes you to a set of sample pictures.
2. Click on “Hannah at the beach” to open it in your browser, then right-click and choose “copy image”.
3. Switch to the “Editor” window and choose “File > New > Image from clipboard”. The picture will appear in the editor window.
1. Click on “quick fix” on the upper left.
2. Notice how Hannah is backlit, and it’s hard to see her? Try moving the “lighten shadows” slider (on the left) over to the right a bit, and see how it improves the photo.
3. You can see both the original and your modification if you click on the “view” drop-down menu at the bottom left and choose “before and after”.
4. Try another one. Download the image “Cabell’s graduation” from the web site, and use “File > New > Image from clipboard” again to import it.
5. The color balance isn’t very good in this image.
6. You can try messing with the “saturation” and “hue” sliders (“reset” will take you back to the original, or you can use ctrl-Z or the “undo” arrow to go back).
7. Another thing to try is just to click the “auto” button under “color”, or easier still, the “auto” button up at the top under “smart fix.”
1. Click “File > Save As” on the upper left.
2. You can choose the format you want and give the file a name, as well as the folder you want to put the file in. For web images, jpeg or gif will be most useful. If you choose either of these, you'll see a dialogue box that allows you to specify various parameters.
3. Another saving option is "save for web". Choose this, and note how it gives a preview of how your image will appear with various selected parameters.
4. If you click on the thumbnail of another photo down at the base of the editor window, you can select it and save it the same way.
The images that you’ve just downloaded and saved are pretty large, as is often the case with digital photos. You can resize them individually, but it’s easier to do them in a batch.
1. Click on “File > Process multiple files”.
2. Now you can choose “Process files from > opened files”, or if you’ve saved them to disk, “folder”.
3. Choose a destination folder, then click the “resize images” box.
4. It’s best to click “constrain proportions”, then choose a width or height for all the files in pixels. A height of 1024 is big enough to print, but not too large to download fairly rapidly.
5. Then click “ok”.
First you're going to need to have some images in a directory.
1. Go back to the images page and click on another picture to open it.
2. Right-click on the large picture and choose "save image as", then pick a directory to put it in.
3. Do this with a few of the pictures on the page.
4. Now we'll use the photo browser (organizer). Click on the photo browser button at the top of the Editor window.
5. In the upper left corner of the organizer window, click "File > Get Photos > From files and folders".
6. You'll get a typical Windows browser interface; find the directory where you saved the images in the previous steps, open it, and highlight the pictures. Then click "get photos".
Organizing collections and using tags:
When you install Photoshop Elements on your own computer, it will ask if you want it to search for images to import; it can import all the images it finds automatically into the organizer. Even if you do it selectively, as we did above, you will soon wind up with lots of images to sort through. Photoshop provides tools for organizing your images so you can more easily find what you want.
1. On the right side of the organizer window, click on the "Collections" tab.
2. Click on "New" and choose "New Collection". A dialogue box will pop up, in which you can make a name for your collection and add notes if you like. Make two new collections with different names -- whatever you like.
Photos can be organized in collections, and can also be tagged. How you make use of these is up to you; I find it helpful to make collections of photos for various purposes, such as teaching, research, and personal, then to tag the photos in ways that highlight the content of the individual photo, such as people in it, etc.
1. Click on the "tags" tab at the upper right of the organizer.
2. Click "new" and choose "new tag."
3. In the "create tag" dialogue box, give your tag a name.
4. Click "OK". Now make another tag in the same way.
5. Now you should see the tags in the list in the right-hand panel. Click on a tag and drag over to a photo to tag that photo.
6. You can also highlight one or more photos using the mouse and drag them onto a tag -- same effect.
8. An image may be a member of multiple collections, and have multiple tags. Try tagging some photos with both of your tags.
9. If you click on the box next to the tag you created, binoculars appear in the box, and only photos with that tag will appear in the organizer. If you click on another tag's box, the organizer will display photos with both tags. It will also display photos with either tag if you click on the box that says "[number] close" at the top of the window.
10. Click on the "back" arrow at the top left to return to all of your photos.
You've already used the editor to import photos from the clipboard and edit them. You can also edit any photo in the organizer.
1. Click on a photo in the organizer.
2. Click on the "edit" icon on the top of the window.
3. Choose "quick fix". This takes you to the edit window you've already used, where you can use "smart" fixes, as well as changing shadow levels, color, etc.
4. You can switch to "standard edit" from the edit window at any time. Click on the "standard edit" box at upper right.
1. Click on the crop tool in the toolbar at the left.
2. Click in your photo in the edit window at one corner of the area you want to keep, then drag diagonally to enclose the desired part in a box.
3. The rest of the image goes grayish, and a dotted line appears around what you've selected. You can fine-tune your crop area by clicking on a corner or edge and dragging it.
4. When you have the crop area the way you want it, press "enter" , or the green arrow under the cropping box, to crop the image.
5. As with any edit, if you don't like it, you can use the undo arrow at the top of the window to go back to the way it was before.
1. Open a photo in the "standard edit" window.
2. Click on "Filter" at the top of the window. There are various categories of filters, but you can browse many of them by clicking on "filter gallery."
3. Try the filter gallery, and some of the other filters in the drop-down list. Most filters have parameters you can alter to modify the effect.
There are several selection tools that can be used to pick parts of a photo for modification, copying, etc.
1. Look at the selection tools portion of the edit toolbar at the left side of the standard edit window.
2. At the top is the rectangular selection tool, which does about what you'd expect. Below it is the magnetic lasso tool. Click on that one.
3. Choose an item you'd like to select in one of the photos. You can click on any thumbnail at the bottom of the edit window to edit an image you've already got there. If you want to edit a different image from the organizer, just go back to the organizer, select the image, and click Edit > Standard Edit at the top of the organizer window.
4. Using the magnetic lasso, click on the edge of the person or object you want to select, hold down the mouse button, and drag the lasso around the edge of the item. It sticks to edges, as you'll see. When you get back to the starting point, release the mouse button. You'll now see a dotted "selection marquee" around the selected item.
5. Click "Edit > Copy" at the top of the window. The selected portion of the image is in the clipboard now. Open a different image in the edit window, then click "edit > paste". You'll see the selected portion appear in the other photo. You can use this technique to make collages, etc. Note that the pasted image is in a new layer in your image, shown at the lower right of the edit window.
6. To move your pasted image around, click on the move tool at the top of the left-hand toolbar, then click the pasted image.
1. If you click inside an item with the move tool, such as the pasted image from above, you can drag it around the frame.
2. You can resize a selected item by clicking on a corner or edge box and dragging. Hold down the shift key while dragging a corner to preserve the proportions of the object.
3. Click outside the boundary of the object and drag to rotate the object.
1. Open the picture of the monkey in the standard edit window.
2. Look again at the selection tools. Choose the magic selection brush (bottom of the four tools).
3. Click inside the monkey's body and scribble, staying inside the monkey.
4. Release the mouse button, and the program will attempt to select areas that are similar to what you've scribbled on. With an object like the monkey, which contrasts fairly well with the background, this can work pretty well.
5. Try copying the monkey and pasting it into another photo.
6. Note that you can use the select menu at the top of the page and choose "deselect" to get rid of a selection and try again.
Photoshop has an extensive set of drawing tools. We'll use the custom shapes tool as an example.
1. In the standard edit window, look at the drawing tools in the left-hand toolbar:
2. Choose the custom shapes tool, which is at the bottom of this group.
3. After clicking on this tool, note that the toolbar just above the image has changed:
5. If you click on the small triangle in the upper right of the shape assortment box, you'll get a longer list of shapes that are available. Choose any of the shapes.
6. You can also select a color for your shape by clicking in the color box.
7. Click and drag on a photo to make a shape. This shape appears in a new layer, and you can manipulate it if you click on it with the move tool (arrow at top of left hand menu).
1. In the standard edit window, open an image.
2. Click on the text icon in the tools menu on the left (it's a capital T).
3. You'll see this menu appear at the top of the window.
4. Select a font, style, size, color, etc. here.
5. Click in your image where you want the text to go, and type in text. To accept it, click on the arrow at the far right of the text menu.
6. Afterward, you can click on text with the Mover and move, resize, or rotate it.
We looked at batch resizing earlier. You can resize an individual image as well.
1. Click on "Image > Resize > Image Size" in the top menu of the standard edit window.