Not Quite Photoshop - But Pretty Darn Good!
Photoshop Elements is an excellent digital editing program.
It's not as substantial a product as it's big brother, the full
of Photoshop, and not nearly as expensive! Adobe says that
Elements is the best selling photo editor in the world and they may
well be right on that.
the fact that Elements is missing some of the more advanced features of
the full version of
Photoshop, it's a robust program that will enable you to achieve
outstanding results with your digital images.
techniques can also be
accomplished with Elements.
The current version of Photoshop Elements is Version 10.
When you purchase a Wacom Bamboo Capture,
or Wacom Bamboo Create tablet you will find the full version
(Windows and MAC)
there in the box waiting for you.
All versions of Photoshop Elements work with the pressure sensitive
from Wacom - as a matter of fact, many versions of the tablets include
a full copy of Photoshop Elements..
This is how you set pressure sensitivity. Actually there are
two different ways to set the brushes to react to pressure ...
This is a little drop down menu on the options bar. When it
is selected the different brush dynamics can be set. The
- Hue Jitter
At the risk of stating the obvious, all you do is choose
that you want! The nice thing about these terms is that they describe
exactly what the dynamic does
You can also select pressure sensitive brushes in the brush selector.
The thumbnail shows exactly how the brush will react to
|Brush changes size with pressure
||Brush changes opacity with pressure
And this is what all of this means ...
||The brush stroke changes size
||The brush stroke
Version II of Brush Settings takes a close look at the Advanced Brush
Options in Photoshop Elements.
These options are
fun and very effective.
these options is very useful for any coloring or art project
will be doing with Elements and they work perfectly in any other
Elements project as well.
The tutorial focuses on the advanced options and then works through a
Click the thumbnail to learn how to use these advanced options in
Elements Gotta Know!
There are not many photo problems that will not yield to
more of the Elements
gotta knows (specifically
working with the Blend
Modes and the Levels
adjustment to modify contrast
The Selection Brush is not an adjustment but rather an
way to make a selection, in fact, it may be the best way to make a
selection. And know this for sure - your ability to
accurate selections is a vital skill.
Granted - the Histogram
an adjustment but it tells you
a great deal about an image.
is a suggested procedure for working with Elements. No two images
are the same so the workflow for one will be completely different from
What will remain the same from image to image, however, are the big
picture adjustments - start with overall Global Adjustments, move to
some Local Adjustments and finish with some additional Global
Click on the thumbnail to follow along with an Elements Workflow example.
there is one thing you absolutely
need to understand when working with Photoshop elements is how
So many new users avoid them at all cost and you know
what - Layers are our friends!
protect our original image, they apply modifications that can be
changed, they save time - they are our useful and faithful friends.
Click on the thumbnail to learn how to use layers in all
of your Elements projects ...
Now that you have a complete understanding of layers its
time to move on to the next subject - Layer Blend Modes.
modes determine how one layer will react with the layer below it and
they blend in unique and fabulous ways.
has 25 blend modes but you only really need to understand 5 of them to
make dramatic changes in your images.
Elements and Photoshop
the Layer Blend Modes in the same way so this tutorial uses Photoshop
screen shots but is pertinent to Elements as well.
Click the thumbnail to learn more about layer blend modes in Elements.
The Elements Darkroom
is an easy place to work - for sure it's far
easier than back in the day when real chemicals and photographic papers
were the norm.
Anyone who worked in a wet darkroom knows just how
onerous it could be to fix an under or over exposed image.
Click the thumbnail to find out how to quickly and effectively fix
levels adjustment in may be the most powerful
adjustment tool in the program.
With levels you can adjust brightness, contrast and even have a
positive effect on the overall color of the image.
Click the thumbnail to learn all about the levels adjustment in
The histogram inside Photoshop Elements is a very useful but not well
understood piece of information.
It tells you valuable information about the brightness and contrast of
your image and provides a road map in the digital editing process.
Do you know all you need to know about the histogram?
If not then click on the thumbnail to learn more (Note - a Photoshop
histogram screen shot is used on the page but all the information is
relevant to Photoshop elements as well)
is an incredibly powerful selection tool with
many advantages over the standard lasso and marquee tools.
It is accurate with lots of options and it is just dead easy to use.
Click the thumbnail to lean about the Selection Brush Tool.
has a few different methods to remove the background from an image
built right into the program - the Background Eraser, Magic Eraser and
Each of the methods has strengths and weaknesses and its best to have
an overall understanding of how they work.
Click the thumbnail to learn more about these three methods.
A Review Of Photoshop
The latest version of Photoshop Elements is a nice upgrade for Windows
users and a fabulous upgrade for Mac users.
Adobe has added some really great automatic functions which may not be
of interest to the digital editing purist - but wait - after the
automatic adjustment is made all of the layers are available for
Now that's great - Elements doesn't flatten the image!
You've just gotta check out these great new features in Elements 9 -
click the thumbnail.
Terry, my favorite Paint Shop Pro
tutorial writer, has taken a walk on
the wild side - he's evaluated Photoshop Elements 10 and he's even
review on the latest version of Elements.
Terry likes the newest version of Elements with some caveats and to
find out what they are - well - you're going to have to check out his
review. Not bad for a confirmed Paint Shop Pro user!
Click the thumbnail to read Terry's review ...
With Photoshop Elements
More and more, scrapbookers and crafters are coming to understand how
powerful and fun Elements is in supporting their favorite hobby.
The latest versions of Elements (7.0, 8.0 and 9.0)
really great pre-sets for creating backgrounds and framing images.
The following tutorials are aimed at the scrapbooker but these
techniques are also valid for folks who just want to edit and present
their images using Elements.
The main page of the scrapbooking section provides an overview of the
tools in Elements and links to the digital editing tutorials on this
Click the thumbnail image to visit the scrapbook home page.
If you are going to do any scrapbooking
then you will really need to understand and use layers.
Unfortunately, layers give people more fits than pretty much any other
aspect of working with Photoshop Elements.
Click on the thumbnail to learn how to used layers in your scrapbooking
Elements has 262 built in
backgrounds you can use in your
scrapbook projects! They range from formal and understated to wild and
Click on the thumbnail to learn about this great feature of Photoshop
Elements 6.0 and 7.0
and how to create a fabulous background for your projects.
Making Your Own
advantages of making your own backgrounds are that they are totally
unique and they reflect your creative abilities.
There are a variety of different methods to making backgrounds and they
can be combined in many, many different ways.
The techniques you will learn include filters and tools like the
Pattern Stamp Tool as well as some adjustment layers.
Click the thumbnail to learn how to make your own backgrounds.
images to your scrapbook background is straight forward once you know
how. Images can be added using a simple drag and drop method
they can be added using clipping masks.
eliminates the hassles of resizing images with Smart Objects. Click the
thumbnail to learn more about the unique features of Elements including
Clipping Masks and Smart Objects.
the images are on the page, Layer Styles are the next step.
They add cool effects like Drop Shadows, Inner Glows
manner of things to help your images stand out on a scrapbook page.
styles are not confined to scrapbooking because they can be used
effectively in digital imaging as well. Click the thumbnail
learn more about adding Layer Styles.
thing your will enter on your scrapbook pages is the text.
Text can be plain or it can be fancy and it should never overpower the
other elements on the page.
Click the thumbnail to learn the basics of adding text.
Three Picture Frame
photo frame template tutorial will lead you through the steps
necessary to create a really effective way to present your images both
on-screen and in print.
The nice thing about the template is that it is a versatile and can be
used over and over again with different images, text and colors.
Click the thumbnail to learn how to create a three image photo frame.
There are a number of different portrait/glamor tutorials listed in the
right hand column of this page.
If this is a topic of particular interest to you then check out the
Portrait Series page. It's a listing of these tutorials all
one place to make it easier to locate the one you want.
The topics cover pretty much everything from tooth whitening to a
Click the thumbnail to check out the different portrait tutorials.
With Photoshop Elements
Many Photoshop Elements techniques are exactly the same in Photoshop.
Good to know, right? The following techniques work with both programs.
you have ever wanted to change the
something in an image - well - you have come to the right place.
There are a couple of ways to replace the color in an image - one is OK
and the other is very effective.
Click on the thumbnail to discover some techniques to change color in
Everyone likes to create a nice
an object and this tutorial will show you how to do it.
It was written for Photoshop but the techniques are the same in
Photoshop Elements. It is fun to do and will create a
Click the thumbnail to learn how to create a nice reflection of an
with selections can be very frustrating but it is a necessary part of
successful digital editing with Photoshop Elements.
Elements has 8 selection tools in the tool bar - here is your chance to
learn more about how to use these tools.
Click the thumbnail to learn more about selections.
Have you ever had a
digital shot except for one minor flaw - the shiny spot on a forehead
or nose or cheek or even glasses caused by the sun or a flash?
It seems that eliminating that shine is a real problem for a lot of
folks - so - here is a tutorial that demonstrates how to eliminate
those annoying hotspots.
Click the thumbnail to learn the deep, dark secrets of shine removal!
Here is your opportunity to
enter the exciting world of digital hair dressing.
no fuss and this is the only training you need!
Click on the thumbnail to start learning about changing hair color with
and burning is a time honored method of improving an over or
underexposed image and has its roots in the darkroom.
is a lot easier using Elements to dodge and burn that it was back in
the day when photographers used pieces of cardboard to do the
The thumbnail is a picture of my dogs playing outside and I did an
awful job with the exposure.
Click on the thumbnail to learn more about dodging and burning and to
learn a different method of dodging and burning.
How would you like to
take a picture of one of your
favorite people and turn it into a retro comic book page?
Imagine how they would react to that.
This tutorial will show you exactly how to do a retro comic book page
with any version of Elements - it's fun and looks great.
Click the thumbnail to discover how to make a retro comic page.
teeth whiter can have a dramatic effect on the overall look of an
image. There are a couple of different tooth whitening
This tutorial presents two different approaches - one uses a soft light
layer and the other uses the dodge tool.
Work through them with your own image to find the one that works best
Click the thumbnail to start your digital dental hygiene career!
If you have ever had an image with a nasty color cast then you know how
resistant it can be to change.
Elements has a built
in Auto feature to correct color but what do you do if that does not
You do it manually, that's what you do. This method of color
correction is surprisingly quick, easy and effective.
It makes use of the Average Filter and the technique will probably
become part of you everyday Elements work flow.
Click the thumbnail to go to the tutorial and video.
didn't think that Photoshop Elements
had the very powerful and useful curves adjustment in the program.
prowling about the menus one day I came across something called Color
Curves and what do you know - its a method to adjust the curves.
The curves adjustment in Elements is not as
comprehensive as they are in Photoshop but they do a pretty darn good
Click the thumbnail to lean how to use Elements curves adjustment.
Shadows Highlights in Photoshop
Elements is a very useful method to deal with lighting problems.
It is particularly effective with blocked up shadows and too bright
Click the thumbnails to learn about this amazingly easy to use
Layer masks are not
on normal layers in Photoshop Elements.
There is a way, however, to add a layer mask to any layer which
provides a ton of creative uses.
Click the thumbnail to learn how to add a Layer Mask to any layer.
Of A Badly
found a really badly damaged photo in a pile of slush next to my car a
few weeks ago. It had been driven over, walked on and
I rescued that photo from that nasty pile of slush, brought it home,
gave it a bath, scanned it and then set to work with the Spot Healing
Brush and Clone tool.
The project took about one week to complete and the end results were
well worth the effort. The interesting thing is that I only
two Elements tools plus one selection.
Click the thumbnail to follow along.
Do you know what a
In common use, it has become a generic term for any plan, chart or
geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or
symbolically, a microcosm of the
Universe from the
They are also a blast to paint with Elements.
Click the thumbnail to learn more about painting these beautiful
This short tutorial will show you how to get rid of those nasty green,
blue or yellow demon eyes that often adorn your favorite pet when you
take a picture with a flash - just like this shot of Maisie.
It's not particularly difficult and will likely make use of most of the
Photoshop Elements tools and techniques you already use. Of
course, a Wacom pen makes the job much easier.
Click the thumbnail of little Maisie to follow along with the tutorial.
you love hand drawn line art but have no
real artistic skill then this is the tutorial for you. It
demonstrates how to take an ordinary image and through the magic of
Photoshop Elements turn it into a passable line drawing.
There are also some embellishments at the end of the tutorial to really
spice up you drawing.
Click the thumbnail to learn how to make a line drawing with Photoshop
tutorial will demonstrate how to make a watermark brush that you can
use on all of your photographs to confirm your ownership.
It will also show you how to make a brush from an image, a selection
and from something you have drawn or painted in elements.
Click the thumbnail to learn how to make a watermark brush.
demonstrates how to convert a normal,
good looking image into a nasty looking zombie.
You can do the conversion on an image of yourself, your friend or your
significant other (if you dare).
This is a long tutorial and makes use of a lot of different Photoshop
Elements techniques. If you are new to Elements it may be a
of a challenge for you, however each step is thoroughly explained so
take your time and have some fun with the conversion.
Click the thumbnail to learn some methods to convert an image to a
member of the living dead.
This is an effective method to change eye color. The
exactly the same as you would use to change hair color and that is -
you work on the eyes!
Click the thumbnail to learn about changing eye color using a Hue and
Saturation Adjustment Layer.
The Smart Brushes in Photoshop Elements may appear to be magical or
confusing - or both!
When you take a good close look at the two brushes and how they work
you'll soon discover that they are simply Adjustment Layers with
specific settings. Being Adjustment Layers means they can be
modified to suit your needs in many different ways.
The Smart Brushes are a wonderful addition to Elements so take some
time to learn more about them by clicking the thumbnail.
The Smart Brush tool in Elements has a Portrait category.
It is useful because it includes the seven most needed adjustments to
clean up and improve a portrait. The Smart Brushes use Adjustment
Layers for all of their modifications and that means it is easy to
stray from the pre-set adjustment which is
Click the thumbnail to learn more about this fascinating category in
the Smart Brushes.
This technique makes use of the Portrait adjustments, applies an easy
to use blur filter that will smooth out the skin and then uses a Layer
Mask to selectively apply the blur.
The amount of smoothing can be modified in a couple of different ways -
when the filter is applied or by changing the opacity of one of the
Click on the thumbnail to learn how to smooth the skin.
Coloring Black and
This is just flat out
fun - coloring an old (or new for that matter) black and white image.
The easiest way to do this is to use the Detail Smart Brush with a
Wacom Pen to make the painting a easy and effortless as possible.
Once the black and white is nicely colored you can change blend modes
and layer opacity to change the look of your coloring.
Click the thumbnail to learn about coloring black and white.
The Clone Tool
is one of those tools that Photoshop Elements folks love
to use. It can produce wonderful results in the hands of a
careful editor and the results can look very amateurish.
The Clone Tool moves pixels from one place to another to add an object
or remove an object and you can even move an object from one picture to
another. The Clone Tool is particularly easy to use with a
This tutorial will cover the Clone Tool and then a couple of other
adjustments to really make the picture pop.
Click on the thumbnail to learn more about using the Clone Tool.
Camera Raw Adjustments
Adobe Camera Raw in
Photoshop Elements allows you to easily
process pictures that were shot in raw format.
The Raw Adjustments can quickly save what may, at first, appear to be
an image that cannot be rehabilitated.
These raw adjustments are very versatile and they can even be removed
from an image if you do not like the end results.
Click the image to explore the fascinating world of Adobe Camera Raw in
Black and White Conversion
Black and white
images can be really awesome.
Photoshop Elements has a couple of different methods built into the
program that do a passable job converting to black and white.
There are, however, other techniques that will do fabulous conversions.
Click the thumbnail to learn about using two Hue and Saturation Layers
to do a conversion.
A hi key image is
the blacks are toned down, the mid tones are toned down and the
highlights are accentuated. They are very dramatic images
that always elicit a positive comment.
Creating an Elements hi-key image requires
technique than the full version of Photoshop because Elements does
not have as many ways to adjust an
Having said that - you can do a really effective and attractive Hi Key
conversion with Photoshop Elements and this tutorial will demonstrate
how to do it ...
Click the thumbnail to learn how to convert an ordinary image into a hi
This page took a long time to write and came about ecause of a couple
of requests from Elements users.
different methods of converting an ordinary image into a goth are
presented - one uses a Gradient Map adjustment layer and the other
usesselections and Hue and Saturation adjustment layers.
From my pointr of view one of the two methods is easier and provides
superior results and if this type of conversion appeals to you then
give them both a try and use the one you like the best, or better yet,
simply combine elements from each method.
Click the thumbnail to learn how to comple a goth conversion of your
drawings are a fascinating study of a specific location
or a subject using line art.
With Elements you can easily duplicate this really interesting look.
Click the thumbnail to learn how to make a composite line drawing, how
to create a quick and easy line drwing and how to tone your work.
Links To Elements
Tutorials On This Page