Photoshop Elements Essentials

(using Adobe Photoshop Elements 2019, 2018, 15, 14, 13, or 12)


Beginner Photoshop Elements Course in Chicago area

Conveniently Located in Downer’s Grove (near Naperville and Lisle)



WarmestReflections-PrintFor: Photographers who want to bring their pictures to life

Requirements: Software, Book, etc.   (View Course Requirements)

Prerequisites: GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA or the basic knowledge described in the course requirements

Note: This photography workshop is so easy, yet the results are profound!

This 4-session beginner Photoshop Elements course teaches you, in a comprehensive step-by-step manner, how to dramatically improve your digital 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.)

Adobe Photoshop Elements is an easy-to-use digital darkroom program with tools that you’ll use to bring a “sparkle of life” to all of your captured images. Using Elements, you’ll learn how to resize and crop your pictures, correct color and contrast, adjust the exposure, remove distracting elements or unwanted subjects, prepare 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 the textbook you’ll need.) 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 allow students bring their laptops to class is :1) many people don’t have laptops and 2) 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 for Faithful Representation of Your Experience

There are two fundamental reasons why you need to digitally edit your photos: to correct imperfections and, most importantly, to restore the truth.

Correcting imperfections like red eye, distracting reflections, overexposure, contrast, and color cast is very important, and this class will teach you how. However, 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.

The second, and most important reason, for digital editing is to restore the truth. A digitally captured image usually starts off as a dud, failing to represent that special moment. Among other things, the captured image will usually appear dimensionally and visually flatter than reality. Shadows and highlights in the captured image can often be exaggerated and not true the experience. To more faithfully represent that moment in time, each captured image needs some digital correction to make it feel more lifelike and three-dimensional. In this class, you will learn many useful digital darkroom techniques to better express your own personal vision and to bring your images to life.


All instruction sessions take place in a classroom in Mike’s home and 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 and which are clearly laid out in the textbook, making it easy for you to follow along and understand.

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.

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