Let me start with full disclosure. I edit most of my photos in some way. I do a lot of it manually, using techniques I have picked up along the way and perfected via trial and error over the last 5 years. Some edits are quick whilst others can take a lot longer. I don’t claim to know all the techniques and I am sure I do a lot of things the long way. I have spent hundreds of hours and dollars over the years taking classes and buying the related actions/brushes/overlays to help my photos shine. To me, the photos are the most important part of any scrapbooking page.
I do have other (and more expensive) Editing actions, which I admit I rarely use. They work well but they are not as logical as Linda’s and they certainly didn’t come with the instruction Linda provides. They have been relegated to the ‘rarely’ used category as I can never find the one that does what I want it to, and I am not adept at getting the results I want.
When I sat down to watch Linda’s videos the first thing that struck me was how capable I felt. She had the class set out to show a slideshow of the ‘before and afters’ which led on to a video of how she edited the photos. Each edit was clearly explained as to ‘what’ she was trying to fix, followed by a ‘how’ to do it. For each edit she gives several examples, which not only shows the various photos each action may work with but also gives the student the chance to recognise the flaws in the photo and to begin to predict which action she will run. This gives a lot of confidence as you find you are selecting the correct action before she does, and then you get to see her expertly apply it. Some photos which looked ‘good’ before she explains the flaws and how to correct them, now look amazing! Following Linda’s examples and playing with my own similarly composed photos I was able to not only replicate some of her results but also achieve some wonders of my own.
The next thing that struck me was the logical naming protocol Linda follows as well as the ordered sequence of her actions. She presents them in a way that makes sense and allows you to correct one aspect before attempting the next. The actions range from Quick edits which correct common flaws, through to ‘Beauty’ edits which smooth the skin and enhance features, through to Artistic effects, colour variations and correction. They are all labelled to fit with the video which demonstrates how to use them, and are easily recognisable in the Actions panel by their descriptive names. Each step makes perfect sense as the videos follow a pattern and the clearly explained videos show the results, giving the student the confidence to tackle the next section. You get a real feeling of accomplishment as you work through each class with her and feel your skill level climbing.
The third major revelation I had was gradients. I use them a bit but nowhere near as much as I will from here on! The gradients Linda applied to layer masks allowed her to not only blend in her edits but also to isolate them to selections. Learning to copy these layer masks and manipulate them was a major eye opener. For beginners she explains what the masks do and how they work so all skill levels can benefit from this section.
So would I recommend this class to my friends? The answer is a resounding yes. If you want to take your photo edits to the next level, or simply want to learn ways to make your photos have more impact, this is the class for you. Linda is a gifted teacher and a Photoshop/Photoshop Elements Whiz – and she makes you feel a little smarter and more capable just from spending the time taking her classes. – Jody West
If Jody has convinced you that Enhance Photos FAST is the class for you, you can learn more here.
P.S. – If you missed our sale on the Fix Photos FAST class that is the perfect companion to the new class you can still buy it here: Learn more here.