Advanced Elements Processing – Selections, Layers, Masking and Blend Modes.

The Elements Advanced Processing Seminar is Saturday November 11, 2017, at the Hershey Library. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

When you process an image in Lightroom or Camera Raw you are doing “non-destructive editing.” In Lightroom the “instructions” you are imparting to the file are stored in the database. In ACR they are written to an XMP (eXtensible Metadata Platform) file. In either case, the original raw file is not modified until you export the file.

The best workflow for editing a digital image is to maintain the non-destructive concept throughout the process. This means you will be able to modify, update, or delete any instruction you create to change the way the file looks at any time prior to saving the file out to another format.

The most powerful tools available to you in Photoshop or Elements are selections, layers, masks and blend modes. They are also the most unused tools by many, and changing that will make your image editing improve significantly. The good news is that you already know how to do most of this, and learning the rest is easy.

As Elements evolved Adobe added features to the program that increased its power. Layer masks was the big deal from my perspective, but many of the features in Elements are either ignored or unknown to most users. This is unfortunate as the ability to modify and enhance your images is made easier with these features and they are very easy to use.

The concept of a non-destructive workflow depends on avoiding changes to the original file. You already use this concept when you process the original raw file, and using layers allows you to continue. The whole package of advanced processing techniques such as using selections, masking and blend modes all happen within the simple layer.

The layer mask was introduced to Elements 9, so if you have that or anything newer you have all the power you need. If you use the full version of Photoshop and do not use layers and masking this would be a good start as the concepts are the same.

The seminar on Saturday November 11 will explain to you how to use these tools, how easy it is to do so, and hopefully will make you wonder why you haven’t been doing this already. Doors open at 9:30. The seminar will last until about 1:00, and the cost is $45.

You can sign up at the Hershey Library in advance or pay at the door. If you do not sign up in advance at the Library, please email me ( and let me know you are coming. I need a count for preparing handouts, and the library likes to know how many people to expect to attend.


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