If 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!
Another 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 Random.org 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!).
Giveaway is open to US Residents only.
Congratulations to Barbara! She’s lucky number 14!