The Most Important Basics to Teach

Q: I am looking at adding a 5 day Photoshop Elements Unit to my freshman high school students. There is SO MUCH to do in Photoshop, and I would LOVE your opinion on what is the most important skills and info to cover to give them a good start. Any help would be appreciated!

A: That is so cool that your introducing your students to Elements!

One of the most basic concepts to Photoshop Elements, and the full version of Photoshop for that matter is Layers. But you might lose some students along the way as it can get pretty complex when you're first learning.

Since you only have 5 days I would probably try to avoid anything too heavy and just give them lots of easy-to-do techniques. Things they can use right away and see the results.

How to touch-up portraits by whitening teeth and eyes, removing blemishes, and removing redeye are pretty easy to master and make a big difference in the quality of the portrait.

You could show them how to add contrast to a flat photo by using the Overlay blend mode. Or how to lighten an underexposed photo using the Screen blend modes. Those are both quick and easy fixes that show big improvements to a photo.

Then if there was time I would get into something fun like putting a head on a different body or something like that.

Good luck. I'm sure your students will enjoy it.

Take care,

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