Perfect Photo Edits: Adobe Photoshop Elements Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Get familiar with Adobe Photoshop Elements
  2. How to import and organize photos
  3. Basic photo editing
  4. Advanced photo editing
  5. Creating collages and photo books
  6. How to use Guided Edits
  7. Adding effects and filters
  8. Sharing and printing your photos
  9. Troubleshooting common problems
  10. Useful Adobe Photoshop Elements tips and tricks

Do you want your photos to pop, sizzle, and tell a story? If so, you're in the right place. We're going to walk you through how to perfect your edits with Adobe Photoshop Elements. By the end of this guide, you'll be enhancing your images like a seasoned pro. So, let's dive right in!

Get familiar with Adobe Photoshop Elements

Before we start making waves with our edits, let's get to know our tool—Adobe Photoshop Elements. This software is a powerful ally for photo enthusiasts who want to add that extra oomph to their images. It's packed with features that make it easy to get the most out of your photos. But don't worry, you don't have to be a tech wizard to figure it out. Let's break it down into simple, understandable steps.

Interface: When you first open Adobe Photoshop Elements, you'll see three main sections: the toolbar, the editing area, and the task panel. The toolbar has all the editing tools you'll need, the editing area is where you'll work on your photos, and the task panel will guide you through the editing process.

Workspace Modes: Adobe Photoshop Elements offers different modes for different needs. The 'Quick' mode is great for simple edits, while the 'Guided' mode provides step-by-step instructions for more complex edits. And for those who want total control, the 'Expert' mode is the way to go.

Creating a New Project: To start working on your photos, you need to create a new project. Just go to 'File', then 'New', and select 'Blank File'. You can then choose the size, resolution, and color mode for your project.

Opening an Existing Photo: If you want to edit an existing photo, go to 'File' again and select 'Open'. Find your photo in the file explorer and click 'Open'.

Now that you're familiar with the basics of Adobe Photoshop Elements, you're ready to start perfecting your edits. So grab your favorite photos and let's start creating magic!

How to import and organize photos

Okay, now that we know our way around, let's bring in some pictures to work with. Importing and organizing your photos in Adobe Photoshop Elements is a cinch. Here's how you do it:

Importing Photos: To bring your photos into Adobe Photoshop Elements, go to 'File' and select 'Get Photos and Videos' then choose 'From Files and Folders'. Navigate to where you've stored your pictures, select the ones you want, and click 'Get Media'. Voila! Your photos are now in the 'Photo Bin' ready for editing.

Organizing Photos: Now, let's talk about keeping things neat. With Adobe Photoshop Elements, you can easily organize your photos into albums. Go to the 'Albums' panel on the right side, click on the '+' sign and select 'New Album'. Give your album a name, then drag and drop your photos into it. You can create as many albums as you need to keep your photos tidy and easy to find.

Remember, a well-organized workspace is key to efficient editing. So take a moment to sort your photos before you start perfecting your edits with Adobe Photoshop Elements. It'll save you time and make your editing process a whole lot smoother.

Basic photo editing

Now that your photos are imported and organized, let's get down to business. Basic photo editing is where you can really start to perfect your edits with Adobe Photoshop Elements. Here are some simple steps to get you started:

Crop and Straighten: Cropping helps you focus on the subject of your photo, and straightening can fix any wonky horizons. To crop a photo, select the 'Crop Tool' from the toolbar, drag the corners to adjust, and hit 'Enter'. To straighten a photo, go to 'Image', then 'Rotate', and finally 'Straighten Image'.

Adjusting Brightness and Contrast: Let's add some life to your photos. Adjusting the brightness and contrast can dramatically improve a dull photo. To do this, go to 'Enhance', select 'Adjust Lighting', and tweak the 'Brightness/Contrast' sliders until you're happy with the results.

Color Correction: Sometimes, colors in photos can look a bit off. Don't worry, Adobe Photoshop Elements has got you covered. Go to 'Enhance', then 'Adjust Color', and select 'Remove Color Cast'. Simply click on a part of the photo that should be white or gray, and watch as your colors come back to life!

Basic editing is really that simple! And with a bit of practice, you'll be able to perfect your edits with Adobe Photoshop Elements in no time. So go ahead, give it a try. Your photos are waiting to shine!

Advanced photo editing

Once you've got the hang of basic edits, you're ready to take the next step. Adobe Photoshop Elements offers a plethora of advanced tools to perfect your edits even further. Let's explore some of them:

Layers and Masks: Think of layers like different transparent sheets stacked on top of each other, each holding a part of your image. You can edit each layer independently, allowing for non-destructive editing. To add a layer, simply go to 'Layer', then 'New', and select 'Layer'. Masks, on the other hand, allow you to hide parts of your image without deleting them, offering even more flexibility.

Clone Stamp Tool: Ever wanted to remove an unwanted object from your photo? The Clone Stamp Tool is your best friend. This tool copies pixels from one part of your image to another, making it perfect for removing blemishes or unwanted objects. Find it in the toolbar, select a source point, and start stamping!

Selection Tools: These tools allow you to select specific parts of your image for editing. There are several to choose from, including the Lasso, Marquee, and Magic Wand Tools. Each one works a little differently, so feel free to experiment and see which one fits your needs best.

While advanced editing might seem a bit daunting at first, don't fret. With a bit of practice, you'll perfect your edits with Adobe Photoshop Elements in no time. So why wait? Dive in and explore the powerful tools at your disposal!

Creating collages and photo books

Enhancing individual photos is great, but what about creating something a bit more special? Adobe Photoshop Elements has you covered there too, with its collage and photo book creation features.

Creating Collages: Collages are a fun way to combine multiple photos into a single image. To make one, just go to the 'Create' panel and select 'Collage'. From there, you can add your photos, pick a layout, and customize as you see fit. You can adjust the size of each photo, rotate them, or even add effects. The best part is, you can perfect your edits with Adobe Photoshop Elements and make your collages truly stand out!

Creating Photo Books: Photo books are perfect for preserving memories. Whether it's a family vacation, a wedding, or your child's first year, a photo book can bring those memories to life. To create a photo book, go to the 'Create' panel and select 'Photo Book'. Then, choose your photos, pick a theme, and arrange your photos on each page. You can add captions, change backgrounds, and more. Once you're happy with your book, you can even order a printed copy right from Adobe Photoshop Elements!

With these features, Adobe Photoshop Elements is more than just a photo editing tool. It's a creative playground where you can perfect your edits and tell your stories in the most beautiful way.

How to use Guided Edits

While Adobe Photoshop Elements offers a wealth of editing tools, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. That's where Guided Edits come to the rescue. These step-by-step tutorials help you perfect your edits without needing to be a design pro.

Accessing Guided Edits: You can find Guided Edits in the 'Guided' mode. Just click on the tab and you'll see a range of categories like 'Basics', 'Color', and 'Fun Edits'. Each one of these houses a set of detailed, step-by-step guides to help you achieve specific effects or edits on your photos.

Using Guided Edits: Once you've picked a guide, Adobe Photoshop Elements will walk you through the process. It's like having a personal tutor right there with you! The instructions are clear and easy to follow. Plus, you can see the changes happening in real-time as you follow the steps. It's a fantastic way to learn new techniques and perfect your edits with Adobe Photoshop Elements.

So, next time you're unsure about how to achieve a certain effect or look, don't hesitate to turn to Guided Edits. They're there to make your photo editing journey smoother and more fun. Happy editing!

Adding effects and filters

Adding effects and filters is like the icing on the cake of photo editing. It's where you can truly let your creativity shine and perfect your edits with Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Accessing Effects and Filters: To start, click on the 'Effects' or 'Filters' tab. You'll see a plethora of options to choose from, each with a small thumbnail to give you a sneak peek of the effect.

Using Effects: Effects can range from simple black and white conversions to complex textured overlays. To apply an effect, simply click on it and watch your photo transform. Some effects also offer additional customization options, allowing you to tweak the intensity, color, and more.

Using Filters: Filters, on the other hand, can subtly or dramatically alter the mood and tone of your image. They can warm up a cool photo, add a vintage feel, or even transform your photo into a sketch. Applying a filter is as easy as choosing one and clicking 'Apply'. Like effects, you can also adjust the intensity of filters to get the look just right.

With a bit of experimentation, you'll soon find your favorite effects and filters that help define your unique style. So go ahead and play around. You never know what you might create!

Sharing and printing your photos

Once you've perfected your edits with Adobe Photoshop Elements, it's time to share your masterpiece with the world. Whether you're printing a family photo album or sharing snapshots on social media, Adobe Photoshop Elements has you covered.

Sharing Online: In the 'Share' tab, you'll find various options to share your photos digitally. You can email your photos, post them directly to social media platforms like Facebook, or even create an online gallery. Remember to use the 'Save for Web' option to ensure your photos load quickly and look their best online.

Printing Photos: If you prefer physical prints, you can easily set up your photos for printing. Simply go to 'File', then 'Print', and you'll be able to adjust your print settings. From choosing the right paper size to adjusting the print quality, you have control over how your prints will look. Make sure to use 'Print Preview' before you print to avoid surprises and ensure everything looks just right.

Whether you're sharing digitally or printing your photos, Adobe Photoshop Elements makes it easy. So go ahead and let the world see your creativity — it's time to shine!

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Even with a tool as reliable as Adobe Photoshop Elements, you might run into a few bumps as you perfect your edits. Don't worry, that's entirely normal. Here are some common problems you might face and how to solve them:

Problem: Photos are too dark or too light. The solution here is to adjust the exposure. In the 'Enhance' menu, you'll find 'Adjust Lighting'. With the sliders, you can adjust 'Shadows' to brighten dark areas, and 'Highlights' to darken bright areas. You'll be surprised at how much detail you can bring out!

Problem: Photos are blurry. This can be a tricky problem to solve, but Adobe Photoshop Elements has an 'Unsharp Mask' tool that can help. Find it in the 'Enhance' menu under 'Adjust Sharpness'. Play around with the amount and radius sliders until your photo looks crisp and clear.

Problem: Colors look off. If your photo looks too blue, too yellow, or just not right, you might need to adjust the color balance. Go to 'Enhance', then 'Adjust Color', and select 'Color Balance'. You'll be able to adjust the colors until they look natural to you.

Remember, the key to mastering Adobe Photoshop Elements is practice. Don't be afraid to experiment and learn as you go. The journey to perfecting your photo edits is all part of the fun!

Useful Adobe Photoshop Elements Tips and Tricks

Now that we have tackled some common problems, let's continue our journey to perfect photo edits with Adobe Photoshop Elements. Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for you to try:

Tip #1: Use the Magic Wand Tool for Easy Selections. The magic wand tool selects similar colors in your photo. If you're trying to select a blue sky or green grass, this tool can save you a lot of time. To use it, select the magic wand tool from the toolbar and click on the area you want to select.

Tip #2: Try the Healing Brush for Quick Fixes. Got a spot or blemish you want to remove? The healing brush is your best friend. Select the healing brush from the toolbar, then click and drag over the area you want to fix. Photoshop Elements will take care of the rest.

Tip #3: Use Layer Masks for Non-Destructive Editing. Layer masks let you hide parts of a layer without permanently deleting them. This is great if you're unsure about an edit and might want to change it later. To use a layer mask, select the layer you want to mask, then click the 'Add Layer Mask' button at the bottom of the layers panel.

Tip #4: Don't Forget to Save Your Work. This might seem obvious, but it's easy to get lost in editing and forget to save. Remember to save your work regularly so you don't lose your progress.

With these tips and tricks, you're well on your way to perfecting your edits with Adobe Photoshop Elements. Happy editing!

If you enjoyed this blog post on perfect photo edits and want to expand your skills with Adobe tools, don't miss the workshop 'Illustrate with Adobe' by Olaoluwa Olatunbosun. This workshop will help you master Adobe Photoshop Elements and further enhance your photo editing abilities.