Photoshop is a non-destructive editing program, which means that you're able to edit photos in a way that preserves all of the digital information for later changes. Most online editing programs don't do that, so using them destroys the information in the original file. For example, if you erase part of a photo you won't be able to go back later and replace those erased sections. If you use a mask in Photoshop it keeps the original information intact, and you can go back and get the original back even if you erased it during your first edit.
When I upgraded I tried to learn the basics by watching the Photoshop tutorials on the Adobe site, but they're fairly unhelpful. Watching this class made some basic things clear, including masking and some of the filters. I hadn't had to deal with them in Elements because I just hadn't needed them, but knowing how to use them will be handy.
Here's a "before" picture of a display cake I had sitting around. Notice that it was taken on my workbench, which is pretty messy and wouldn't pass muster with the cake photo police, who insist that every photo of every cake has to look like it came from a fashion shoot.
After applying a couple of techniques from the class, this is what I ended up with. I didn't even try to make it super accurate, either. The cake photo police would be much happier with this, and if you're looking for consistent backgrounds for your cake photos on your website it would be very helpful.
Or this...you get the picture, no pun intended.
The class goes over basics like how to open multiple files at once in layers, which is done differently in the full program than it is in Elements. The class follows the instructor's cursor movements on the computer screen while she describes what she's doing. If you miss something you can go back and watch it again, and because the different versions of Photoshop have different setups you might have to.
She also goes over some artistic techniques that would be handy for hobby photographers, or for people who want to do some extra effects on their website photos. I've been intending to start doing some hobby photography again, (in all of my spare time ha ha ha) and this class will be useful for that.
I would recommend this class to anyone who has a basic knowledge of Photoshop already, or who is willing to do a little work to pick up on the language. Even if you don't have a lot of experience with it you can follow the steps that she outlines to get the effects that she's describing. You can go to www.adobe.com and get a monthly subscription for their creative cloud, which includes Photoshop, Lightroom and Bridge, the program that allows you to upload multiple photos into one Photoshop document to combine.
My final review:
Skill level: I'd say either intermediate, advanced beginner or someone who isn't afraid to jump right in.
Equipment you'll need: Photoshop and some photo files to edit.
Sleep-Inducing Level: I stayed awake for this one because I was actually paying attention to where she was clicking and what happened when she did different things,
What it assumes you already know: The basics of Photoshop. You can go to www.adobe.com to find out more about the program and subscribe to their online versions so that you'll always get the updates.
Unnecessary level of difficulty for techniques shown: Not much, she shows some easy ways to do tings that I'd been doing in a more complicated way.
Annoying Host Habits: Nothing much, but I was paying too much attention to what she was doing to have time to be annoyed.
Level of Helpful Hints Learned: There's a lot of information here!
Click here for my Craftsy pattern shop, which has a bunch of freebies in it: A Cake To Remember On Craftsy
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, online cake supplies at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com