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Old November 10th, 2009, 11:53 AM
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kitjv kitjv is offline
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Question PSE: The Pathway to Mastery

I suspect that I speak for a multitude of PSE newbies who are both amazed & a bit bewildered by the vast content & tools within PSE. For the past couple of months I have jumped head first into the PSE6 for Mac (& subsequently upgraded to PSE8 for Mac). Using a combination of the electronic manual, Barbara Brundage's book in the Missing Manual series, online tutorials & Q&As from this & other forums, I have started to piece together a small chunk of the information in PSE.

But as a former educator, I cannot help but wonder if there is a preferable learning sequence as opposed to my rather scattered "shotgun" approach to learning.

I think that many of us newbies would benefit from the advice of the veteran experts on this forum. From the knowledge you have acquired over the years, if you had to learn PSE again, what would be the preferred pathway to mastery?

Thank you.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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Wendy Wendy is offline
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Hi ...

I still think that the best way to learn Elements is simply to do tutorials ... that way you learn what the tools are, what they do ... and you also have a little fun too

Wendy
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Old November 10th, 2009, 12:52 PM
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mrod mrod is offline
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Hi kitjv-

Welcome! Great question. As a former educator, you probably know this already, but I suspect the answer is as varied as the learning styles of different people. Some learn best by experiementing, some by following step-by-step instructions in a book or video, some draw on previous experience, some enjoy seminars...you get the idea.

For me, when I first started out, I found a combination of step-by-step instructions (in both books and videos) along with my own experimenting tended to fit my learning style best. As I got a little more familiar with the tools, features, etc., I read a few things that covered more general topics, such as color correction, layers, and various adjustments.

Now, I learn best when I need to teach something. That tends to be a pretty good motivator. I still like the book/video & experimenting approach for my learning.

Not sure if that is the kind of answer you were after, but in reflecting back on my own experience, that's the process I found to be best for me.

If I were to go back and do it again, one thing I'd do differently is to get a general overview of the different tools in the tool box as well as the menu items and commands. I learned a few tools, and ignored others because they were somewhat confusing. In my opinion, knowing what's there is a key step to learning how best to use them.

Finally, I think it's important to take baby steps. Pick one thing and do some projects using that tool, or that command. Experiment, and really get yourself familiar with that specific tool, feature, or concept. Then, add something new.

Take care, and hope you enjoy your time here!

Mike
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Old November 10th, 2009, 01:15 PM
frank abramonte frank abramonte is offline
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kitjv, doing tutorials and repetition is the way to learn. Eventually things will begin to make sense to you, and you will be able to advance more quickly.
An important part is learning the tools, what they do and where to find them.
Understanding terminology is also important.
Here's a link of tuts you may want to visit.


http://www.3photoshop.com/photoshop-...video-tutorial
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Old November 10th, 2009, 01:25 PM
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BillandCat BillandCat is offline
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Hi Kitjv--I am not a newbie any more but I am still learning. I have PSE 6 on a Mac. One thing I learned after a short while is to learn how to read and or take instructions. They are usually written like this for instance---" layers> new layer> transparent." The first word means where to go, open up "layers" After the angle mark (whatever it's called) is what to do, create a new layer and then chose transparent-- etc. Most instructions are presented that way unless you request to be taken by the hand and led through the steps. Believe me, many people on this forum have held my hand many times. The second thing is to try any tut using your own picture. It is probably easier using the given picture but I like to learn on my own. Out side of what you probably know all I can say is that EVERY change or adjustment you make--SAVE--SAVE-- SAVE. I never did at first. I would forget to copy layers and to save. It is a lot of fun to say "I wonder what will happen if I did this or that?" If you have saved as you went along and you try something and you don't like it, delete it. You delete only as far back as the last time you saved. And as you probably well know, there are no "dumb" questions. As it is written "ask and you shall receive." Especially on this forum. BillandCat
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Old November 10th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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My first thought was to start with each command, learn it thoroughly then move on to the next one. After thinking about this I'd say it's near impossible with the endless possibilities and combination of things in Elements. Filters alone could cover a book, especially with all the blending options, opacity etc and how they affect different items. Often times the effects I get with filters is a surprise. Now that I've graduated to CS4 it's even more mind boggling the number of possibilities!
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Old November 10th, 2009, 01:46 PM
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I agree with the book, video and tutorial approach. And of course just experimenting on your own.

Also, if you are using PSE for scrapbooking there are some very good video tutorials by Linda Sattgast, who has also been showcased in some of the magazines and tutorials on this forum in the past. She takes you step by step and you make a page along the way.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 02:04 PM
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There are so many different things you could learn in PSE. It depends on your interests and desired results. There is no one "Pathway" to mastery.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 02:20 PM
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Thank you, everyone, for your input. Fortunately, I tend to learn things quite easily through books & tutorials. Thus, my experience with learning PSE has been very smooth. As with other acquired knowledge in life, however, I posed my question with a sense of humility. The best teachers are those who have "traveled the road" before. I am not so smug to believe that I cannot use some help now & then along the way.

Thank you for thoughts.
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  #10  
Old November 17th, 2009, 08:10 AM
jkpenner2 jkpenner2 is offline
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Confused Newbie

I have doing Photography as a hobby for years and starting to learn how to use elements through tutorials and some books that I have bought. My problem that I have not seen addressed in books or video tutorials, or at least have not been able to find yet, is tying everything together. I have a Mac and Elements 6 and Adobe Lightroom 2. I use iphoto for my organizing and trying to learn elements and lightroon for editing but I don't know what Adobe Bridge is for and should I be using it. Should I be importing all of my photos into Lightroom. I guess my question is I have all these tools and I am not sure how to integrate them together for the proper work flow. Has anybody done a sort of tutorial that explains the basics for a beginner to integrate these tools? Or is there a book, seminar or videos that shows were or how to start at the beginning? Is anybody else in the same boat?
Thank You For any help I can get.
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