Tip #22: Photoshop Elements – How to Take Images to a New Level

(from Brad Fountain – NC/SC DEN Field Manager)

Dddtix_141 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. 
Space1_2 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
Ubiquitously yours,


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One Comment;

  1. Lee Kolbert said:

    What a great tip! Did you know you can also use Photoshop Elements to capture frames from video footage?

    To capture still video frames, do one of the following:
    On the shortcuts bar, click the Import icon and select Frame From Video or from the File menu, choose Import > Frame From Video.

    With the Frame From Video dialog box open, you can browse for and play movie files. Click the Browse button to locate the file you want, and then click Open to see the video footage.

    The video clip appears in the Frame From Video dialog box. After you open a movie file, it appears in the Frame From Video dialog box, where you can play, pause, and grab movie frames.

    To view your footage, click the Play button. When you see the frame you want, click the Grab Frame button.

    In order to the grab the frame you want, you can also use the Pause button to stop the video at the desired frame or simply move the slider (scrubber bar) to the correct frame in the video.

    Grab as many video frames as you want, one by one, then click Done. As you click the Grab Frame button, you will see the images appear as Photoshop Elements files in your work area. Captured frames automatically appear as Photoshop Elements images in your work area. Once you’ve captured the frames, you can save and edit them just like any other images.

    You can open any supported movie file format. Supported Windows formats include .avi, .mpg, and .mpeg, and Mac formats include QuickTime and mpeg. Although I prefer to do my work on a Mac using iMovie, if you only have a PC, this is a great alternative. Also, iMovie ONLY support Quicktime formats, so this is an easy way to get the frames you want out of other formats.

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