Photoshop for Beginners
with marissa gifford
February 5, 2018
March 19, 2018
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Full Participation sold out.
This workflow course is perfect for those who are starting out in Photoshop or for those who want to fill in gaps in their foundational knowledge. It is the ideal course for someone wanting to familiarize themselves with the concepts of layers, layer masks, and when you’d want to use which methods. Over the course of this workshop, students will become intimately acquainted with these tools and be able to develop their own workflow for editing their images start to finish – by hand – in Photoshop. In this 4 week workshop you’ll learn the basics of Adobe Bridge and ACR, shortcuts to speed up your workflow, how to correct exposure and white balance, how to manipulate the light and tones in your image, convert an image to black and white, polish up a frame by removing or diminishing objects, extend your image’s canvas when necessary, smooth your subject’s skin, work with templates, create a watermark, and prepare your images for print or web use. Marissa will walk you through each concept with a written PDF as well as provide video demonstrations how to accomplish each task and allow you to confidently use the tools Photoshop has to offer.
In addition to practicing on their own images, students will also receive a weekly folder of practice images from the PDF/Videos so they can edit alongside Marissa’s videos to become more comfortable with the new concepts. In addition to the weekly assignments, we have an optional brainteaser exercise each Wednesday to help students think analytically about the changes that have been made to the image and how you’d go about replicating those changes based on the tools we’ve covered up to that point. This pushes students to use critical thinking skills and push themselves outside their comfort zone – all in a welcoming, safe environment.
By the end of our time together, students will be able to visualize their end result and know exactly which tools to reach for in order to achieve that vision.
Minimal shooting required
4+ hours required per week
this course has prerequisites
Students will need either Photoshop CS6 or CC (Creative Cloud).
Marissa Gifford is a professional photographer based in Vancouver, WA (Portland, OR metro area). She specializes in natural light family, high school senior, and boudoir photography. Her work emphasizes interactions and emotions, and she loves bright colors and the interplay of light and shadows. Her personal work is best reflected in her love of street and travel photography. She is an avid traveler who loves to document her adventures – both with and without her family – and learn about new cultures and languages. She loves to capture the unique quirks of a place and the people that make it special. Marissa is also part of the instructor team for Mastering Manual Exposure here at Click Photo School and enjoys helping others on their unique photography journeys. She has been featured in Click Magazine multiple times and her portfolio can be found here. Her travel work can be found here and here.
• 1 Pre-assignment Printable Lesson & Video Download to orient you to Adobe Bridge, Photoshop Layers, Keyboard Shortcuts and Setting Up your Workspace
• 4 weekly Printable Lesson Downloads
• Numerous Video Downloads detailing and demonstrating the concepts outlined in the weekly PDFs
• Weekly folder of practice images from the PDFs/Videos for students to edit alongside me in the videos
• Wednesday Brainteaser image downloads to critically analyze an edit and use the tools they’ve learned about to recreate the edit shown
• Instructor-led weekly Q&A for each lesson
• Personal Video Critiques for each lesson’s weekly assignment by instructor
Welcome & Preassignment
Week One: ACR
Reading: Week 1 is all about Adobe Camera Raw, where students will become familiar with the different possibilities and approaches to manipulating their images in this editing platform. We will work through the various panels to understand how they work together and how the adjustments affect the image as a whole, as well as selectively with the use of the adjustment brush.
Assignment: Edit 2 images in ACR, include SOOC and Final Edit for instructor feedback.
Week Two: Layers, Light and Shadows
Reading: During week 2 we will dig deep into the foundational building blocks of Photoshop – layers. Pixel layers, adjustment layers, blank layers – when and why to use each. We also cover the ever-helpful blend modes: which to use and why you’d want to use them. We will cover exposure adjustments, contrast, highlight/shadow recovery, saturation vs vibrance, dodging & burning, matte processing, vignettes, and black & white conversions. We will also cover how to apply each of these changes selectively, allowing you to wield precise control over your images via the use of layer masks and the brush tool.
Assignment: Use these techniques to correct and/or enhance 2 images. Include SOOC and Final Edits for instructor feedback.
Week Three: Color Correcting and Creative Toning
Reading: Building upon our knowledge of layers, we will cover the various ways to control the color in your images. From correcting white balance to eliminating color casts, to getting creative with color toning and enhancing directional light in your images. We will learn how to manipulate the colors in an image to fit your creative vision – things like enhancing/faking fall foliage or achieving those light, airy greens that are so appealing – and how to use color theory and color symbolism to make purposeful toning choices.
Assignment: Use toning techniques to correct and/or enhance 2 images. Include SOOC and Final Edits for instructor feedback.
Week Four: Finishing Touches
Reading: Week 4 is all about finishing touches. We cover a lot of ground this week and build upon the foundational knowledge of layers that we’ve learned up to this point. We will learn about skin healing and smoothing, using the cloning/spot healing brush/patch tools to tidy up the frame, stretching a canvas & using the marquee tool to eliminate objects in the frame and refine composition, adding/removing grain, sharpening your images, and batch saving and resizing. We finish the week by learning to use the text tool, creating a watermark, and working with templates.
Assignment: Use finishing touches to polish up 2 images, including before/after images as reference and submit 1 populated template for instructor feedback.
The CMU workshop is a 100% online classroom experience. Once you sign up, you have access to a course forum that is open 24 hours a day so that you can learn and join discussions on your own schedule.
Each week students receive a set of course materials– these materials generally include a PDF and/or videos. Throughout the week, instructors and TAs are present in the forum every day to answer questions and offer encouragement. Students receive an assignment each week that pertains to the topics covered in the course materials and class discussion throughout the week.
Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students post their assignments in the forum and receive instructor critiques each week.
Study Along students have access to all materials and are able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum. They also receive access to their own private Study Along subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments, but they can follow along with instructor critiques of the Full Participation assignments.
Whether you are a Full Participation student or a Study Along student, the course materials are yours to keep.