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Learn Photography

Photo Tips >

Editing Class Tips

1 - Get the Program

Photoshop Elements or Lightroom should be on your computer.

If not, your highest priority should be getting the program.

You can immediately download a thirty-day free trial from Adobe.

2 - Windows or Mac

Photoshop Elements or Lightroom are almost the same whether you're using a Windows or Mac computer.

If you're using a Mac, when you see Ctrl in the handouts, use the Cmd (Command) key instead.

3 - Laptop Users Need a Mouse

If you use a laptop at home, you may want to purchase a two-button mouse.

A mouse is much easier to use than a track pad for certain Photoshop Elements and Lightroom actions.

4 - Bringing Work to Class

To bring your photographs to class:

• Windows users can use a flash drive or an external hard drive.

• Mac users can use a flash drive.

You can also use your laptop in class.

5 - Work at Home

You must reinforce what you do in class at home.

If you're able, right after class, work at home for twenty minutes to review what you did in class.

During the week, do your homework.

You'll receive copies of the articles and tutorials to help you at home.

6 - If You Miss a Class

Please use Ask Jim to find out what you need to read and do to remain in-step with your classmates.

You may be able to make an appointment to meet with me before the next class.


Walk to Paradise Garden

W. Eugene Smith

7 - Expect Confusion

If you're not confused by Photoshop Elements or Lightroom at first—you're either an idiot savant or are very ill.

Don't worry.

You will pass from the darkness into the light, like W. Eugene Smith's children above.


8 - Deception

Photoshop Elements, especially, and even Lightroom, are deceptive.

They're easy—in class.

At home—they're not as easy.


In class, you've got a helper.

• I'm prompting you to do each step.

• You can glance at the big screen to see the step.

• I'm walking around to check everyone's progress on their monitors.

The programs are easy.

But if you miss a step—you're in trouble.

You have to be a detail-oriented person for a couple of classes.


9 - Temptation

You may be tempted to explore Photoshop Elements or Lightroom.

Avoid experimenting.

If you experiment, you'll have fun.

But you won't be building a good foundation.

Wait a few weeks, then experiment.


10 - Communicate with Me

Please communicate with me if you have a difficulty with a topic.

Please contact me:

• Before class

Ask Jim

11 - KISS

Keep it simple!


Mathew Carey Lea (1823-1897)


When you do a tutorial at home, don't start with a photograph that you'd like to work on.

Instead, start with a photograph that's easy.

For example, if you want to darken a sky (burning in), select a photograph with a sky that doesn't have buildings or trees.


Check off each step as you go along, so you don't miss one.


As described, if you start to experiment and stray from the tutorial, you won't learn much.

If You Encounter a Problem

First, click Undo until you return to the step before the problem occurred.


Undo is Ctrl + z.

Redo is Ctrl + y.


Undo is Cmd + z.

Redo is Cmd + Shift + z.


• If you're using Photoshop Elements, check to make sure the right layer is active (highlighted).

• Check if you missed a step.

• Feel free to contact me.

Go to Ask Jim.