(from Brad Fountain – NC/SC DEN Field Manager)
Well this seems to be an appropriate follow-up to Rachel’s wonderful post about the image collection in unitedstreaming. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Adobe Photoshop Elements is a software program that allows you to edit, organize, and add special effects to photos/images. With schools continuing to use digital cameras with greater frequency it may be time to look into software that allows you to take advantage of the flexibility that the digital format provides.
The highest priority for me is to find a means of organizing photos. With everything I do with Discovery plus my own 2 year old daughter I have a ton of photos. In the past this would mean boxes of photographs with dates and labels on the boxes. With Photoshop Elements you can tag photos with any or multiple tags. For example I can tag a photo from a Discovery event with the tag Event and then tag it again with NC so that when I want to find Photos from events in NC it will come up. I can create virtually any tagging system I desire. This is really helpful if you a re familiar with the labels given to digital photos by various cameras. Typically it is just the date at most. Check out this screen shot of photos tagged with NSTA (National Science Teacher Association).
You also have the ability to edit photos. This includes everything from simple red eye fixes and basic auto fix features to advanced tools for adjusting for color correction and photos that have sections that appear dark. There are countless websites out there with tutorials and walk-throughs on the features of Photoshop Elements, but I would start with http://www.photoshopsupport.com/elements/index.html and http://www.photoshopelementsuser.com/ for beginners.
I would also recommend a copy of The Photoshop Elements 4 book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby. It is a VERY easy read and walk through on many of the neat tricks you can do with photos in Photoshop Elements. A sample of what can be done with a simple 4 step trick using images from the unitedstreaming web site is this one I did in about 1-2 minutes using three images from our library.
This technique is called creating a montage and is VERY simple and easy to do. So if you are interested in learning to Discover what you can do to enhance your photos or images from our library. Check out Adobe Photoshop Elements with a free trial at http://www.adobe.com/products/tryadobe/main.jsp#product=40.
Once you have Discovered the basics watch your students Deliver even better presentations. Your enhanced photos and image collections will Document your success.
As always, I am