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A ShortCourse Book
Photoshop Elements 2.0

Photoshop Elements 2.0

Photoshop Elements 2.0

Finally! An easy-to-understand introduction for digital photographers. This guide is available as a traditional 96 page large-format (8.5 by 11) spiral bound book printed in black and white, and as a full-color, fully searchable PDF eBook you can order on a CD.



Photoshop Elements is a wonderful program, at an amazingly low price. Based on Photoshop-the acknowledged leader among the many existing photo-editing programs-Photoshop Elements, like an acorn, hasn't fallen far from the tree. It has inherited both power and complexity. Widely used by photographers, graphic artists, printers, designers, and other creative professionals, it has something for everyone. It's that breadth that lies at the heart of its complexity-there are tools for everyone and everything.

Our goal in this book is to present an introduction to Photoshop Elements that lets you master those aspects of the program most useful to digital photographers. From this single perspective, the program becomes a great deal easier to master because you follow a single main road through the program. Detours along the many back roads of the program are for another time and another book.

We recognize that digital images can be edited in a wide variety of ways. In some cases you're a photographer trying to improve an image by eliminating or reducing its flaws. In other cases you are a graphic artist taking an image to a new place, making it something it never was, or incorporate it as one element in a larger project. In this book we focus on the photographic aspects, but teach you the tools you need to do graphic arts.
If you have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel, it came with a free copy of Photoshop Elements 2.0-Wouldn't it be nice if you knew how to use it?

This book is divided into six chapters.

  • Chapter 1 Getting Started introduces you to the Photoshop CS screen display and tools. This chapter lays the foundation for the rest of the book.

    Photoshop Elements, like the Photoshop program on which it is based, is a powerful program suitable to all but the most technically oriented photographer. Because it can do so much, it initially looks complicated, and in many ways it is. However, since it's a program you won't outgrow, it's worth the time it takes to master it. In this chapter we lay the foundation for everything to come. You'll learn about the screen display, help system, the toolbox, palettes, undoing mistakes, opening, closing, and printing images, and managing your work. Once you understand this material, you will be ready for the chapters that follow on editing your images. Photoshop Elements runs on both Windows and Macintosh systems. The areas covered in this chapter are where the two versions of the program diverge the most. This is because basic operations such as opening, saving, and printing images draw on operating system dialog boxes just as your other applications do. We have attempted to cover both versions of the program although the screen images are from the Windows version.
  • Chapter 2 Fixing Your Images shows you how to evaluate tones, colors, sharpness, and other characteristics of an image and how to select the tools you use to fix or improve it.

    It is the rare image that can't be improved by tweaking. These adjustments include adjusting the image's size, tonal range, colors, sharpness, and retouching small defects or blemishes. In this chapter we start by showing how you analyze an image to see how it can be improved. Until you can look at your images critically, it's hard to tell what needs to be done to make them better. You'll see how to evaluate tones, colors, sharpness, and details. In this same section we help you choose the tools for making the adjustments you decide to make-with the best highlighted. The rest of the chapter covers each tool in detail, showing you how to use it and the many options you are presented with. As with most things in life, knowing what to do and how to do it well can make all of the difference in the outcome.
  • Chapter 3 Working with Selections shows you how to select areas of an image to copy, move, or enhance.

    When editing a digital photo, many commands work on the entire image. However, if you first select an area of the image, you can edit just that area without affecting other areas. You can also copy, move, or delete selected areas, perhaps to create a collage. There are a number of ways to select the areas of the image to be affected. The selection tool or command you choose depends on the nature of your image, the changes you want to make, and the area you want to select. For example, the Magic Wand tool is useful for quickly selecting areas of similar color, such as a clear blue sky. To select a more complex area, such as a person standing in a crowd of people, you can use the Selection Brush or Lasso tools.

    Selecting parts of an image not only lets you confine your adjustments to that part, it also lets you cut out a part of one photo and paste it into another. Creating these composite images is one of the most entertaining aspects of digital photography.
  • Chapter 4 Working with Layers discusses how you use layers to adjust your images.

    When you first open a digital photograph it contains a single layer. However you can add additional layers either directly or indirectly. Why would you want to do so? In some cases you have no choice. For example, if you use the Type tool to add text to an image, the text is automatically entered on a new layer. There are many situations in which you want to add layers yourself. You can add an adjustment layer to change such image characteristics as levels, brightness and contrast, or hue and saturation. If you later hide or delete this layer, the image reverts to its original form. Before layers were introduced, changes were always made to the original image and were difficult or impossible to undo later. Every change had to be well planned, as if you were carving in stone. Now you can use layers to make changes and modify and delete them at will without affecting the original image. The more you learn about layers, and the tools you use to manage them, the more uses you will find for them-even using them to create animations.
  • Chapter 5 Painting and Drawing shows you how to use the program's painting, drawing, and erasing tools, often used to improve selected areas of an image.

    The author of a book on making black and white prints, called his chapter on spotting prints to remove dust spots "So You Have To Know How to Paint After All". That would also be a good title for this chapter because painting and drawing are useful tools in digital photography. Although often used by graphic artists to add elements to photographs and layouts, these tools are also used to fix or touch up areas of your images or to select areas that you want to change. You can paint, erase, fill areas of your image, and enter text with several different tools, each designed for a specific purpose. As you have seen, digital photos are created from pixels. In this chapter you will discover another way graphics are created and displayed-vector graphics. Unlike digital photos, type, shape, and fill layers contain elements created with lines, curves, and fills based on geometric formulas. This allows these elements to be shrunk or enlarged without affecting their sharpness. However, at some point they have to be converted into pixels-or rasterized.

  • Chapter 6 Applications is where you put the program to work to create images for the Web, create animated GIFs, send images by e-Mail, create a Web photo gallery, merge images into a panorama, create a PDF Slide Show, transform images, and much more.

    In some ways, this book has reserved the best for last because it's about the things you can do with your digital photographs. Digital photography opens up a vast new range of exciting ways to display and share the best of the images you capture. Projects are limited only by your imagination, but Photoshop Elements has automated some of the favorite ways to share your images. In this chapter you'll see how to save images for the Web-perhaps to post on a Web site or photo blog, create animated GIFs, attached your images to e-mails, create a Web photo gallery, create panoramas, and prepare slide shows you can display on the computer or TV. All of these possibilities and many others are fun to explore and easy to accomplish.


Chapter 1
Getting Started ...5

Developing A Process ...6
Introduction to Photoshop Elements 2.0 ...7
Starting and Quitting the Program ...8
Learning Photoshop Elements ...11
Using the Toolbox ...12
Using Palettes ...14
Basic Commands ...16
Undoing Changes ...18
Calibrating Your Monitor ...19
Opening and Closing Image Files ...20
Using the File Browser ...22
Viewing a File’s Information ...24
Color Managing Your Images ...25
Zooming and Viewing Images ...27
Working with Multiple Images ...29
Saving Image Files ...30
Printing Images ...34
Printing Contact Sheets ...38
Printing Picture Packages ...39

Chapter 2
Fixing Your Images ...40

Evaluating Your Images ...41
Quick Fixing Images ...45
Specifying Image Sizes ...47
Specifying Canvas Sizes ...49
Cropping Images ...50
Rotating Images ...52
Tones, Colors, and Channels ...53
Adjusting the Tonal Range ...54
Adjusting Levels for Printing ...58
Other Tonal Adjustments ...60
Adjusting Color ...62
Retouching Images ...66
Using Filters ...69
Sharpening Images ...73

Chapter 3
Working with Selections ...75

Introduction to Selecting ...76
Using Marquee Tools ...78
Using Lasso Tools ...79
Using the Selection Brush Tool ...81
Using the Magic Wand Tool ...82
Adjusting an Existing Selection ...83
Moving, Copying, and Pasting Selections ...85
Saving and Reusing Selections ...87
Replacing Color ...88

Chapter 4
Working with Layers ...89

Using Layers ...90
The Layers Palette ...91
Creating and Preserving Layers ...93
Managing Layers ...95
Copying Layers Between Images ...98
Working with Multiple Layers ...99
Using Adjustment Layers ...101
Editing a Layer Mask ...103
Applying Layer Styles ...105

Chapter 5
Painting, Drawing and Text ...107

Selecting Foreground and Background Colors ...108
Selecting Brushes ...111
Using Painting Tools ...112
Specifying Opacity and Blending Modes ...114
Erasing ...115
Filling and Tracing Selections and Layers ...117
Using the Gradient Tool ...119
Using Fill Layers ...120
Drawing Shapes ...122
Entering Text ...124
Using Effects ...128
Transformations ...129

Chapter 6
Applications ...130

Optimizing Images for the Web ...131
Creating Animated GIFs ...134
Sending Images by E-Mail ...137
Creating a Web Photo Gallery ...138
Merging Images into a Panorama ...142
Creating a PDF Slide Show ...145

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