Photoshop Elements Essentials
(using Adobe Photoshop Elements 15, 14, 13, or 12)


Beginner Photoshop Elements Course in Chicago area
Conveniently Located in Downers Grove near Lisle

For: Photographers who wants to bring their pictures to life
Requirements: Software, Book, etc.   (View Course Requirements)
Prerequisites: None, but view course requirements.
Note: This photography workshop is so easy, yet the results are profound!

Photoshop Elements Essentials: A Digital Darkroom Course in Chicago by Mike MacDonald Photography This 4-session beginner Photoshop Elements course teaches you, in a comprehensive step-by-step manner, how to dramatically improve your digitally captured images using the very popular and inexpensive photo editing software called Adobe Photoshop Elements (using versions 12 or above).  (Gift Cards for this class are available.)

Photoshop Elements Essentials
Location:  Downers Grove, IL
7/10, 7/13, 7/17, 7/20/2017 (Mondays & Thursdays)

Adobe Photoshop Elements is an easy-to-use digital darkroom software that allows you to make your photos come to life. Using Elements, you'll learn how to resize and crop your pictures, correct the color, adjust the exposure, remove distracting elements or unwanted subject, preparing your photos for emailing and printing, and much more. However, we don't overwhelm you with unnecessary information. We teach you just what you need to know—practical skills you'll be using 99% of the time.

"I truly enjoyed attending Mike's 'Photoshop Elements Essentials' class. He brings a unique enthusiasm and energy to the classroom, and taught me an incredible amount in just 4 sessions. Anyone can read the book, but it is Mike's perspective and insight that makes all the difference. Very worthwhile." — Mark B. / Lisle, IL

A Class Designed to Double Your Learning!

During each lecture session, you will be taught various tools and techniques in a straightforward, step-by-step manner. Then, on your home computer, you'll repeat the same lessons learned in class. Guided by a comprehensive textbook with step-by-step instructions, you'll work on the very same images used during the lecture. (See Course Requirements for textbook.) This use of repetition and consistency aids in both learning and retention. Plus, you always have the book to help remind you about what to do.

The two big reasons why we don't have students bring their laptops to class is that many people don't have laptops and because all it takes is one slow person and everything comes to a screeching, and very frustrating, halt. Our teaching strategy has proven to be very effective, efficient, and enjoyable. Our method allows you to learn double what you'd learn from a typical digital darkroom class.

Photo Editing is Essential

There are two fundamental reasons why we need to digitally edit your photos. The first is to fix errors made when the picture was taken: red eye, distracting reflections, overexposure, color casts, etc. And though this class will teach you how to correct many technical mistakes, it's always best to take a good photo from the start (see our other classes about that). No matter how good you are in the digital darkroom, you cannot make a great image from a bad original.

In the past, people took their color negative film to the drugstore lab for processing. The advantage of using the lab is that they do a lot of "secret work" behind the scenes. They corrected the color and the exposure, even it was badly screwed up, and cranked out a decent looking print. The downside was that, since the prints looked okay, people figure that they were doing everything correctly. But, the truth was that lab was secretly fixing their mistakes, but never tell them— a world of ignorance and, of course, bliss.

Nowadays, with digitally captured images, the curtain has been drawn aside, revealing all of the shooter's photographic frailties. To get a good looking picture, the digital photographer has to do the job of the drugstore lab. This is a why it's important to know how to make adjustments to your images.

The second reason for digital editing is that digitally captured images start out as duds. They're dimensionally flat and need to be adjusted so that they best represent the photographer's experience and intention, so that they look real, lifelike, and give a sense of depth. In this classes, you will learn many useful digital darkroom techniques to better express your own personal vision and to bring your images to life.

Please read the Course Requirements before applying. It is very important that you have a solid basic grasp of your computer.


All instruction sessions take place in a classroom in Mike's home studio in Downers Grove, Illinois. Each session will last approximately 2 to 3 hours. During the lecture, various Photoshop Elements tools and applications are demonstrated using images that come with the textbook (see Course Requirements). For your homework, you will replicate the steps taken during the lecture, which is the same steps that are clearly laid out in the textbook lessons. So, it'll be very easy to understand and follow along.

This photography class will be limited to 12 students, depending on the experience level of the participants. So, please register quickly to insure a spot.

Workshop Price: $169     Deposit: 100%

Price does not include software or textbook.

Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 15


Version 15: The Photoshop Elements 15 Book for Digital Photographers

Version 14: The Photoshop Elements 14 Book for Digital Photographers

Version 13: The Photoshop Elements 13 Book for Digital Photographers

Version 12: The Photoshop Elements 12 Book for Digital Photographers

If you have further questions about Mike MacDonald photography workshops just email or phone 630-852-8448.

Photography classes, digital camera courses, nature photography workshops, and private photo lessons by Mike MacDonald Photography & Creative Eye Workshops.

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