Presentation at Computer User’s Group

MB
Posted By
margaret_brock
Sep 30, 2003
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496
Replies
21
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Closed
Hi all, I’ve been asked to make a presentation on "photo editing software" at an up-coming meeting of a senior’s computer user’s group.

Since most attendees will have new computers (and scanners etc.) I will assume that most of them will have bundled copies of PSE so I’ll be using it in my presentation.

Any suggestions as to what features I should demonstrate would be welcome.

So far I intend to show the vignette magic, talk about layers, demo the clone tool, levels, and image sizes (save for web, difference between zooming and actually changing the image size etc.)

Does anyone have anything to add??

Thanks, Margaret

ps. I will also recommend that they all sign up for this most helpful forum!

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PD
Pete_D
Sep 30, 2003
Margaret

The "Layers" and image size AND resolution are the things I see new users asking about the most. Once a user has those down the rest is mostly ‘mechanical’ and just trying different tools and effects. Text is always a good way to talk about layers since it creates a new one.

Pete
BH
Beth_Haney
Sep 30, 2003
While not "features" of Elements per se, some things came to mind as fairly common questions newcomers raise on the forum.

Image formats, including a quick overview of lossy versus non-lossy and the impact repeated resaves can have on a JPEG image.

"The color of my prints doesn’t match what I see on the monitor." This often rising from issues of monitor calibration, EXIF information from digital cameras distorting the color, or using papers not matched to their printers.

"How come my prints look don’t look sharp and clear." People are either forgetting to change default settings in Picture Package (which is 72ppi) or they’re trying to make prints larger than the original image can handle.

"My Clone Tool was working just fine yesterday, and now I can’t get it to pick up a color."
You might as well teach them how to reset Preferences! Also quickly explain the difference in behavior of the tool with "Aligned" checked in the Option Bar.

"How come I can only see one or two tabs in my Layers well?" If these are seniors, many of them might have their monitors set to 800X600.

And it’s companion question: "I can’t get the Layers pallet to stay visible."

There are a couple of different ways to resize/crop images to make them fit standard picture frames, so a brief explanation of how to do that would be helpful.

The names of the various "work areas", such as the main menu, the tool bar, the layer pallet, and the Option Bar. It always makes it easier for us on the forum if we can use these terms when people ask for help.

And if any of them are using AOL, you might as well explain they’ll have trouble accessing Help and Tutorials unless they switch to using Internet Explorer as their default browser.

These are the ones that are popping into my head right now. Other people will have more suggestions, I’m sure.
MB
margaret_brock
Sep 30, 2003
Thanks Pete and Beth – good suggestions.

It’s interesting, I volunteer in a computer lab for senior’s introduction to computer classes. When demonstrating "Paint" (the Windows app), the instructor directed the class to use the zoom tool to maximize the size of the image. Some tactful questioning on my part revealed that the instructor believed that this was the way to increase the size of an and she was dismayed that increasing the size seemed to destroy the resolution.

Margaret
PD
Pete_D
Sep 30, 2003
Margaret,

That is funny about that instructor…. That was probably a little difficult for you to get that straightened out without removing all credibility from the instructor 🙂

Pete
JH
Jim_Hess
Sep 30, 2003
Every point that Beth mentioned is worth discussing. However, if you think you are going to be able to cover that much ground in a single presentation, and do it effectively, you are fooling yourself. Since you will be working with people with different backgrounds, you might find that some of them won’t even know what the layer palette is yet. I think your presentation might be more effective if perhaps you show them a few "before" and "after" examples. Then, at the end of the presentation I would provide them with a handout with the "gotchas" that Beth pointed out. One thing I have learned is that you don’t want to get into information overload with them. You might frustrate them and discourage them from using the program. You might do well to show them a couple of quick examples of what can be done and then encourage them to just experiment for a while with an image that isn’t critical. If more people would just play with the program for a while before they decide to do something meaningful, it is my opinion that they would find Elements much less intimidating.
BH
Beth_Haney
Sep 30, 2003
I thought of the problems inherent in covering that much territory while I was typing my response, and I agree it’s a whole lot. Jim, I like your suggestion of a handout with some of the most common issues addressed in writing. A handout given in advance might be a good idea, too; many people try to take notes and then get home and find they can’t reconcile what they wrote down with printed material they were given. It’s definitely more work for the instructor, but it leads to happier students!

And if you decide to create a handout, don’t forget to include "Always work on a copy"!!

Hmmm. I could get into this! 🙂
DH
Dave Hamer
Sep 30, 2003
margaret

We found in our seniors group that most were interested in scanning in old photos, restoration of old photos, altering backgrounds, adding or deleting people from photos and colorizing black and white photos.

Dave
KL
Kenneth_Liffmann
Sep 30, 2003
Margaret,
The attention span of the average individual is limited to about 3 topics. Watch a skilled orator (?politician, clergy person) sometime and you will see that he/she develops about 3 points. The folks that do media training know this. I would suggest that on your hand out you have a suggested list of manuals that they can purchase in order to learn this program at their own pace.
Ken
JC
Jane_Carter
Sep 30, 2003
Hi Margaret and all, I too, have been asked to instruct a very basic course(6 weeks, meeting Tues. and Thurs. for 2 hours) in PSE for a Senior Net group this winter. I am only a beginner myself, and haven’t said ‘yes’ yet.
I am a bit hesitant, as I use a Mac and the instruction is with PCs. However, they have provided me with a nice step by step booklet for the class, so maybe I could do it,,,,,,,,,,
I have helped ‘coach’ a few courses, that means that as the instructor leads the class, the coaches help with the individual students when they become ‘stuck’.
But have never done any actual software instruction myself. All I have ever done is get new Mac people up and running with their new computers.
I will be very interested to hear how you do with this, and will copy everybodys great suggestions here.
Would be fun, I shall think about it.
Jane

Forgot to add that the students get a copy of the instruction booklet too, so they can work and practise at home.
KL
Kenneth_Liffmann
Sep 30, 2003
Margaret and Jane,
Do it! You will learn by teaching.
Ken
JC
Jane_Carter
Sep 30, 2003
Thanks Ken, With all the encouragement here, and all the inspiration here; my answer is most likely going to be Yes!
Jane
JH
Joe_Henry1000
Sep 30, 2003
Hi Margaret,

I taught a basic digital imaging/digital photography community ed class last fall. If you’d like some ideas on how I went about this (including the mistakes I made) e-mail me at (omit the nospam). I had a great time and learned a lot in the process. I was asked to do it again this year but don’t have any time to spare this fall.

Joe
LK
Leen_Koper
Sep 30, 2003
Sometimes I teach groups of photographers amateurs and professionals. Usually I cover just only two or three topics and I always try to have some kind of break after about twenty minutes.

I think the best way is to be prepared to talk about several topics and to start by asking them what they expect to do with Elements. Is it scanning, improving the digital images from their camera etc.

In my opinion the things you definitely have to explain how to resize images, about the difference between lossy and lossless formats and how to use the simple enhancements like auto contrast etc.

Ar the end of the "show" demonstrate with a simple explanation the power of Elements by explaining the simple principles of a layer and to work your way through a seemingly rather complicated workflow by making simple corrections on various layers.

Leen
R
Ray
Sep 30, 2003
Jane, congratulations!!! It’s a wonderfull opportunity!! 🙂

Ray
JC
Jane_Carter
Sep 30, 2003
Thanks Ken, With all the encouragement here, and all the inspiration here; my answer is most likely going to be Yes!
Jane
JC
Jane_Carter
Sep 30, 2003
Hi Ray, Just got home, haven’t had time to do much with my pictures, tomorrow,,,,, Jane
MB
margaret_brock
Oct 1, 2003
Thank you all so much!! I will incorporate your suggestions into my presentation. Unfortunately, it’s just a "presentation" so there will be no time for hands on stuff. I have an album of photos I’ve enhanced (my brag book 🙂 ) and will show that around. Also will concentrate on file formats (jpeg, psd, gif, etc) and sizes.

I think if I can show them layers that will be about it LOL

And Jane – go for it. I love working in this computer lab. I enjoyed teaching my grandchildren how to use a computer (consisted of lifting them onto the chair!) and my next favorite group is these seniors.

Margaret
ML
Marilyn_Lee
Oct 1, 2003
Margaret – My suggestion for an Elements presentation would be to make it fun!!! You won’t really have time to "teach" much, but you can WOW them with all the neat things that they can do with Elements; and then they can dig through the books, or get more training, if they want to learn the nitty gritty details.

Everyone is really impressed by removing or adding someone to a picture–take the ex out; put the new husband in. This is a great way to demonstrate simple layers and moving parts of the picture at the same time. Cloning is always magical, especially when you use a large brush and clone an entire person to another part of the picture. Taking a washed-out picture and instantly turning it into a decent one, will get them to thinking about all the old photos they can repair.

And I’d demo a few of the filters like adding instant frames or turning photos into paintings. The filters are full of really neat things and they’ll learn that they can take a boring picture and turn it into a work of art.

Handouts are perfect. When I’m teaching staff, I always tell them not to take a bunch of notes because I’ll give them materials covering all the things I’m talking about and then some. I like to use more pictures than text in my handouts.

If I *had* to teach some nitty gritty, I’d definitely tell them how to turn off the darn marching ants from around a selection! I couldn’t find the answer to that anywhere when I started and it remains the biggest frustration I’ve ever encountered with Elements. Many people ask about turning off a tool, so you might show them that you don’t "turn off" a tool, you just change to another one (the hand is great for a resting tool). And you might remind them to select the photo, or even just part of the photo, before doing the final scan so that they don’t end up with a humongous-sized file and an itsy bitsy picture from scanning the entire 8×11 area, most of which is blank.

Above all, have fun yourself–it’s infectious!

Marilyn
MB
margaret_brock
Oct 1, 2003
Thanks Marilyn (and everyone) I’ll be meeting the participants this afternoon so will be able to guage some of their needs. I agree about making it fun. I find they all learn better if they’re having fun.

Margaret
MB
margaret_brock
Oct 1, 2003
Well, I met the group this afternoon and they are very enthusiastic (is that a synonym for unruly?)

The instructor put in the news letter that she wants them all to bring the disk with their own photo-editing software and we would learn together – she must think I’m Superman LOL

I explained that I would be bringing my own computer and doing a demo only and given the low level of expertise among the participants, I can just wow them with some glitz and then sit down – I’ll show them the titles of some good books and that’s it.

Why did I ever volunteer for this bwaaaaaaaaa!

Margaret
LM
Lou_M
Oct 2, 2003
Oh my–everyone’s bringing their own software? What a mess! 🙂 Oh, I’m sure you and your students (er, it’s "learners" nowadays, I suppose) will have a blast.

I really like the idea of your "brag book" too.

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