PSE From Scratch: A Quick Start Guide to Photoshop Elements by Everyday Elements (Giveaway Closed)

PSE From ScratchIf you’re a blogger, you know the importance of using images in your posts. Those images are used to enhance meaning in your post, and are pinned to Pinterest, pulled to Facebook when someone Likes or Shares your post, etc. Many bloggers take their own pictures, but find they need tools to enhance their photos. While some people can afford Photoshop or Lightroom, most, like me, balk at those costs because photo editing isn’t their passion or their job.  Some of us (yes, I’m including myself in this mix) just need a tool that can help us make some basic images or enhance our photos. That’s where the more reasonably priced Photoshop Elements (PSE) comes in. I’ve had PSE for years and I like it just fine. The problem I used to run into, though, was that there were few tutorial resources specifically for PSE; most resources refer to the full Photoshop software. And then my friend Darcy introduced me to Amanda Padgett of Everyday Elements. That website is the motherlode of PSE resources: Tutorials, actions, workshops, a blog, you name it! Amanda has developed an e-book specifically for new PSE users and she’s asked me to give one away to my readers. (Of course I said yes because I knew you guys would LOVE it.)

The book is filled with information and screenshots — it’s perfect for the new PSE user. In fact, although I’ve had PSE for years (and I used to be proficient with Photoshop), there were several things I didn’t know how to do. After reading the book, I gleaned several efficiency tips and learned a TON. In fact, every time I open PSE, I refer to this book to make my life a little easier. Here are a few highlights:

  • Organizer. This was a revelation for me! I had no idea Organizer even existed. I learned that I can import pictures from my camera, a memory card, or even from my hard drive and I can easily organize them with virtual shortcuts. The book also shares advice on how to cull bad images, tag the good ones, and create and organize albums.
  • Full Edit Workspace. If you’re not sure what tools you have at your disposal in PSE, this is the section you want to pay attention to. You’ll learn keyboard shortcuts; how to use layers and brushes; and how to correct exposure and contrast.
  • Faces. I’ve found that my pictures of humans don’t always turn out the way I’d like — things don’t pop the way I want them to. Amanda’s book explains how to smooth skin tones and make eyes sharp. This made such a difference in my own images even if I’m not using them on my blog. I just loved knowing how to fix my pictures!
  • Actions. This is the good stuff. Actions are “prerecorded edit steps which create a particular look or clean up an image.” Amanda explains how to download and use actions (and the e-book has several links to free actions). If you’ve never used actions before, you are going to fall in love with how easy they make your photo editing life!

PSE From Scratch A Quickstart Guide for Photoshop ElementsAnother great thing you’ll love about PSE From Scratch is that its table of contents is linked so you can go straight to that topic, and there is a return to table of contents link at the bottom of each page. Want more? Amanda includes links to blog posts that will give more information about topics throughout the ebook. She even has a short video of how everything works.

I have one copy of PSE From Scratch: A Quick Start Guide for Photoshop Elements to give away. It comes on a thumb drive as well as a hard copy so you can take it with you or make notes as necessary. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment about why you think images are an important part of social media and blogging. The giveaway closes on Friday at midnight CST. I’ll choose a winner via and will send out the package once the winner is confirmed. Happy photo editing!

If you don’t win, don’t worry! You can still get a copy of PSE From Scratch: A Quick Start Guide for Photoshop Elements for $25 (incredibly reasonable for the amount of information you’ll get!).

These aren’t extra entries, but you may be interested in keeping up with Everyday Elements via Facebook and Twitter.

Giveaway is open to US Residents only.

Congratulations to Barbara! She’s lucky number 14!

38 Responses

  1. Brenda September 24, 2012 / 7:03 am

    Images are inspirational, evocative, descriptive in a way words just can’t match, give the eye something to greedily absorb and can grab a reader’s attention like nothing else. Thank you SO much for this post – I am off to explore and improve my PSE skills!

  2. Audrey Scarante September 24, 2012 / 7:28 am

    Images help our imagination improve!

  3. jen September 24, 2012 / 7:47 am

    Images paint a picture and evoke emotion and feeling. I love posts with images!

  4. Amy B. September 24, 2012 / 8:08 am

    I guess we’re all just preschoolers at heart — we like our words to come with lots of pretty pictures!

  5. Shana D September 24, 2012 / 8:21 am

    Images to me are a way of speaking to someone. You can describe a scene all you want but to get someone to see the true beauty of it they have to see it.

  6. hchybinski September 24, 2012 / 8:43 am

    images are an integral part of social media – I think we are becoming an increasingly visual society. A powerful image, has the ability to conjure up emotion immediately, before one word is read.

    SO want this book!! =)

  7. Wanda September 24, 2012 / 10:19 am

    Images have a way of declaring what our words fail to often.

  8. Beth Zimmerman September 24, 2012 / 5:51 pm

    Images connect with our reader on an emotional level that is some times hard to do with words alone.

  9. Heather September 24, 2012 / 8:37 pm

    Images are very important in social media because they are usually what first attracts your audience.

  10. Kim @Not Consumed September 24, 2012 / 9:36 pm

    Images evoke feeling and passion. They lure a reader in and keep them captivated. Great images are a must.

  11. Rita September 25, 2012 / 3:49 am

    picture is worth a thousand words.

  12. Megan McCann September 25, 2012 / 9:53 am

    Visual media is the best way to use social media. A photo or graphic encourages more engagement and is easier for audiences to share.

  13. judi September 25, 2012 / 11:31 am

    Images are important because the internet is a visual medium. An image give instant identity where text has to be deciphered.

  14. Barbara September 25, 2012 / 12:15 pm

    Images enhance the words, in my opinion. I try to use only my own photos so no copyright infringements occur. I’m also a bit lost on the newest version of PSE so would truly LOVE this book!

  15. Evie September 25, 2012 / 3:14 pm

    Images … well what can I say better than words! Thanks for the post.

  16. Shannon September 25, 2012 / 6:49 pm

    Photos tell a story — and who doesn’t love a good story? In my (limited) experience, the better the photo is, the more engaging it is. And the magic is in the editing.

  17. dalinda September 26, 2012 / 6:26 pm

    Images tell what we’re unable to write in words.

  18. Tammy Weir September 26, 2012 / 6:37 pm

    People are very visual…images play an important part in drawing your audience to your site.

  19. Joanne September 26, 2012 / 6:56 pm

    Photographs help express and complete your thoughts/message.

  20. greta s September 26, 2012 / 7:13 pm

    Images are what people NEED. We are visual people, and sight is very important for learning, absorbing, etc…..I post at LEAST one photo per day.

  21. Bijubabu Arayakkeel September 26, 2012 / 7:15 pm

    It is being said that pictures are worth 1000 words ! It is so true and an image in a blog just gives so much extra helping hand for the blogger to tell the story in a much effective manner. The thought process and conveying the thoughts to the audience become much more impactful with images. PSE is a great tool to help in this process.

  22. Deb September 26, 2012 / 7:32 pm

    Images are a way of expressing emotions in a way that often words cannot.

  23. June September 26, 2012 / 7:43 pm

    For me Images- my photographs are the most important part of why I blog being a photographer. The images are why people visit my blog to see the photographs of either their children, family or friends. PSE is a great program that I “attempt” to use.

  24. Mary French September 26, 2012 / 7:50 pm

    Images make facebook and blogs come to life.

  25. Robinsismai September 26, 2012 / 7:51 pm

    Images draw you in. If you are intrigued by a photo, you will be more likely to read the content.

  26. Barry Kidd September 26, 2012 / 7:57 pm

    Though I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop from what seems like dawn of time Photoshop Elements just confuses me. My cousin once asked me to help her out with Photoshop Elements. I though this was going to be a snap. I downloaded the trial version and went to work on “helping”.

    I was so lost I could do little more than open the program! I could have use Amanda’s book that day!

  27. Sarah September 26, 2012 / 7:58 pm

    Images connect us to the subject and create empathy. They clarify the conversation by sharing emotion that we each might imagine differently. Cool share! Thanks.

  28. Chris C. September 26, 2012 / 8:15 pm

    Social Media is about getting to the point quickly. Attention spans are shorter than ever in the iPhone age. Pictures let bloggers tget to the point quickly, and thus retain their audience. Short. And. Sweet.

  29. Elizabeth September 26, 2012 / 8:26 pm

    Social media is all online – there for, all visual. So of course it’s important to have high quality photos that readers can connect with. :)

  30. Jean September 26, 2012 / 8:29 pm

    Pictures speak louder than words!

  31. Shawn Owens September 26, 2012 / 8:41 pm

    Images are important because it helps you grow your business (if you have one) and images grabs peoples attention and allows us to connect to each other. Social media is the hottest newst marketing trend today. Images are important is because its something that can not be ignored. Once you see the image, its stuck in your mind sometimes it causes to be curious to learn the story about that particular image. Images is one way you get more followers on facebook, pinterest, twitter, tumblr, etc…It’s a never ending marketing strategy that allows you to express your message!

  32. Nancy Edgin September 26, 2012 / 9:52 pm

    We see a million thoughts in an image..We, humans, are visual beings!!

  33. Thom September 26, 2012 / 10:39 pm

    We are so inundated with information all day long; photos tell stories at a glance. They are a great way to communicate on the go.

  34. Patty September 26, 2012 / 11:07 pm

    Pictures are worth a thousands words! They tell a softer more beautiful story!

  35. Lea September 27, 2012 / 6:20 am

    I’m a photographer, so naturally, pictures are huge to me! I also blog separately from my business and realized pretty quickly how much more traffic I got when each post included an image. Images are the hook to get people to read the words and thanks to social media, fishing has never been easier!

  36. Cherie September 27, 2012 / 8:13 am

    Images can tell more of story than words ever will. Without images social media would be a very boring world. =)

  37. Arslanh September 27, 2012 / 8:23 am

    seriously this really helped and motivated me!

  38. Leigh September 27, 2012 / 11:43 am

    I think pictures draw readers in and visually invite them and inspire them to want to read more.

Comments are closed.