The creative tutorial home of image wrangler, Lesa Snider.

Photoshop Elements

Classic Colorizing

Adding color to a grayscale image is a neat little effect you see all over the place. Recently I saw it on a congratulatory wedding card where two cute little kids were all dressed up in pastel formal wear, while the rest of the background was draped in shades of gray. I've also seen it in movie posters, like Schindler's List.

Placing Text Behind an Object

Have you ever wanted to float a piece of text behind a portion of an image? It's really easy to do using layer masks in Photoshop, though Photoshop Elements doesn't support layer masks. Never fear for clipping groups are here!

Painted Edges in Elements

Both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements come with some pretty cool brushes. Today I'm going to show you how to get creative and use them to paint in a photo, or rather, give it painted edges. The technique is very simple, we'll use Photoshop Elements' Group with Previous command to create a layer mask. It's also a non-destructive process, meaning we'll harm nary a pixel in the process.

With Macworld right around the corner (my favorite time of year!), I thought it appropriate to use this box of crabs I shot while strolling around Fisherman's Wharf last January.

The Beginner's Guide to Image Editing, Part 2

Last week we chatted about pixels and resolution, and the importance of deciding what an image's purpose in life shall be. "To print, or not to print," that was the question. This week, I'll show you how to navigate inside the Image Size dialog box, enabling you to tweak image resolution and sizes at will. Though this tutorial is done in Photoshop Elements, the steps are nearly identical in the full-blown version of Photoshop.

To illustrate how tweaking the resolution of an image affects its document or physical size, let's take a peek at resizing a web image.

The Beginner's Guide to Image Editing, Part 1

So you bought a cool new Firewire scanner, and a piece of software named Photoshop Elements came nestled snuggly in the box. Sweet! Now you can do fun things with photos! There's just one little problem: you have absolutely no idea where to start. Never fear, for the Beginner's Guide to Image Editing is here (thanks for the idea Kirk!).

How to Fix Animal White-Eye, Part 2

I recently wrote a tutorial on fixing animal white-eye in Photoshop, where I used a photo of a beautiful dog named Abbey... and that was good. Then one of my readers sent along a photo of their fluffly cat Chloe... and that was good. Chloe did indeed suffer from white-eye, though only in one eye--the other eye was an odd turqoise. That is not good.

Livin' La Vida Levels

Poor little Levels. It sits patiently in the adjustment layer pop-up menu, waiting to serve you. Quietly it watches you struggling to color correct photos. Flinching only inwardly, it is deeply saddened by your ignorance of its powers. Indeed, there are few who are wise to its color correction prowess.

I dare say it's time to give Levels a little lovin' :)

Let's continue on with our pretty kitty, Chloe, whose eyes we fixed in another tutorial. We're going to use Levels to color correct the photo, thus bringing out the regal beauty of this fine feline.

Secret Layer Masks

Recently, Dave Cross of NAPP turned me onto secret layer masks that live within adjustment layers. So this week I decided to recreate the Softening Freckles Photoshop tutorial in Photoshop Elements to show you how easily they work.

Scanning Secrets

One of the frustrations that folks commonly face when scanning black & white documents is the appearance of "paper crud." This is when the bits that were supposed to be white end up a dirty-looking gray. This can simply be from imperfections in the paper, actual gunk on the paper, or a color cast from the scanner itself. Another problem is getting the document straight in the scanner to begin with. Luckily, both of these things are easily fixable in Photoshop Elements.

Elements Extras!

Want to give Adobe Elements more power for absolutely free? No problem! There are bunches of people out there who have written Actions that give Elements a few more of Photoshop's powers.

Do a Google search for Adobe Elements Extras and you'll find a host of sites offering free downloads. For instance: