NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, November 2009
Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, Classroom in a Book
Reviewed by Willis Irons,
a member of the Tucson Computer Society, AZ
eJournal of the TCS, June 2009

http://www.aztcs.org
wbirons(at)earthlink.net (click to email author)

This article has been obtained from APCUG with the authorís permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).

This book is part of the official training series from Adobe graphics and publishing software developed by Adobe product experts. Eleven lessons in this book are made up of a series of self-paced projects that give a hands on experience using Photoshop Elements 7. An included CD contains all the image files used in this book.

The book covers the basics of learning Adobe Photoshop Elements and provides countless tips and techniques to help become more productive with the program. Each lesson has clear explanations and step-by-step instructions. The book contains approximately 370 pages allowing in-depth study of many topics.

The approach is definitely from a technical how-to-do-it. Very little mention is made about using a camera for recording a scene or composing an ideal visual photograph. Encouragement is given to starting with the best conditions possible.

I began using Elements during the earliest versions and was using version 7 prior to receiving the book, so I felt that I was reasonably proficient. However I decided that I would not skip even one step of any lesson. That was a good decision. I continually was introduced to a new or more efficient technique, a time saving automated workflow or working with multiple files in batches.

For example, the Organizer is much more complex than I had been aware of. The suggestion is made to work with multiple catalogs, each with a separate project to provide a more efficient workflow. Catalogs can then be combined. The search portion is much more sophisticated than I had discovered. A wonderful new option for me was to discover the method for capturing frames from digital video. Do you know that you can import whole pages or just selected images from a PDF document?

One lengthy lesson is devoted to creating projects. The slide show editor is very adequate for most creations. Many options are available for an appealing show. While assembling a complex photo montage from a blank screen the subject of layers is introduced. The artwork library is also introduced and explained. Several methods of sharing are the discussed including Online Album. This service can also be used for backup of all photo files.

The lesson about adjusting color in images is in depth. The three Edit modes are demonstrated and explained. Each has advantages. Guided edit, Quick Fix and Full edit were each used with the same files for comparison. Applying multiple Smart Paint adjustments to a drab sky was illuminating. No pun intended.

The more techniques that you are to master, the more likely that you can meet the challenge of fixing a difficult photograph. At this time sophisticated selection methods were introduced as well as a more in-depth look at layers. The next lesson was concerned with fixing exposure problems. Adjustment layers and blending modes were explained and demonstrated. Multiple images can be automatically fixed in batches with good results. Several methods and approaches are shown.

One lesson explores working with text. Included is a section on overlaying text that provides the ability to add a copyright of various appearances. Creating a type mask is demonstrated.

Another lesson is devoted to combining multiple images easily. The lesson learned: do not believe any image that you see.

And another very good lesson is provided regarding editing RAW images.

Overall This was a very interesting and informative book. Time-wise I spent the best part of three days reviewing each lesson and completing suggested assignments. Now, if I can just remember and use what I have learned! Practice. Practice.

About: Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, Classroom in a Book
Publisher: Adobe Press
http://www.adobepress.com/bookstore/product.asp?isbn=0321573900
ISBN-10: 0321573900
ISBN-13: 978-0321573902
Price: $44.99, $29.69 @ Amazon

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