Home Business & Other Mastering Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020 - Second Edition

Mastering Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020 - Second Edition

By Robin Nichols
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  1. Free Chapter
    Chapter 2: Setting Up Photoshop Elements from Scratch
About this book
Adobe Photoshop Elements is a raster graphics editor for entry-level photographers, image editors, and hobbyists. Updated and improved to cover the latest features of Photoshop Elements 2020, this second edition includes focused coverage of Adobe's new AI-powered features that are designed to make the editing process more efficient, creative and fun. This book takes you through the complexities of image editing in easy-to-follow, bite-sized chunks, helping you to quickly recognize the editing challenge at hand and use suitable tools and techniques to overcome it. You’ll start by learning how to import, organize, manage, edit, and use your pictures in a format that’s designed for creative photography projects. Throughout this Adobe Photoshop Elements book, you'll discover how to fix different photographic problems using an extensive repertoire of commonly applied solutions. Common processes such as applying artistic effects to creative projects, custom image makeovers, processing images for social media, and other file export methods will also be covered. By the end of this book, you’ll have learned about the impressive tools available in Photoshop Elements 2020, and how it is designed not only for photographers who’d like to dip their toes into the editing world, but also for those wanting simple but effective ideas on how to expand their creativity while remaining time-efficient.
Publication date:
April 2020


Chapter 2: Setting Up Photoshop Elements from Scratch

If you are new to Photoshop Elements, then setting up your camera, computer, monitor, data storage, and media backup are very important steps in the editing process. The correct setup at the outset will enable you to plunge straight into the learning process without having to waste time renaming files or folders, going looking for lost images, or worse, losing materials because it never occurred to you to back up your original files in a timely fashion.

And even if you are not new to Elements, take some time here to check that your camera settings, screen calibration, photo import, and backup workflow are correct. This might save you a lot of grief later on.

The following topics are covered in this chapter:

  • Preparing your camera, selecting a color space, and learning about different file formats
  • Setting up a photo-editing computer
  • Backing up files
  • Importing media into Elements Organizer
  • Reviewing the media
  • Backing up your media and the Catalog
  • Managing Catalogs
  • Organizing your work – ratings, keywords, and more
  • Working with plugins
  • Additional resources – keyboard shortcuts and working tips

Color spaces

Cameras, all monitors, and most printers can display only a limited range of colors – this is called the color space. The industry-standard space is called sRGB color (standard, red, green, and blue), but there are many other spaces such as Adobe RGB (1998) and ProPhoto RGB, to name just two.

Most color spaces correctly claim to encompass a broader range of color than sRGB. While this is certainly true, actually being able to see an increase in the range of colors on both a computer screen and in print is a characteristic that's hard to evaluate because most screens and printers cannot recreate the number of colors captured by the camera.

Most consumer cameras can be set to capture only one of two different spaces: sRGB or Adobe RGB (1998). The best practice for amateur photographers is to choose sRGB. This matches the range of colors that most monitors can display, plus it matches the gamut, or range, of most consumer photo inkjet printers. That said, some commercial lithographic print businesses now require files to be Adobe RGB (1998) in order to match the high-end print machines they use. If you are considering a move to commercial photography, then Adobe RGB (1998) is the best color space setting. That said, a good color pre-press business should also be able to make these space conversions for you, for a fee. Camera menus tend to be very different – refer to the manual to find the all-important option of color space. The following image shows the Canon screen with my preference for the sRGB color space:

While Photoshop Elements was initially designed as a pixel-based editor for the JPEG file format some 15 years ago, it's now fully compatible with most RAW file formats.

Let's take a closer look at how different file formats work in the editing process.


File formats – JPEG and RAW

Nearly all digital cameras these days can shoot and record two formats of image files: JPEG and RAW files. Some newer models can also record digital negative RAW files. We'll look at these later in this chapter.

The difference between JPEGs and RAW files is simple: JPEG files are 8-bit picture files. These are processed in-camera and then compressed (squashed) to maximize storage space, before being saved to the memory card.

RAW files are usually 10-bit files that have little or no processing applied in-camera, and they are not compressed before being saved to the memory card. The result is a file that is several times larger than a JPEG, but one that can be edited to a far higher degree of accuracy than the humble JPEG.


Bit depth relates to the amount of color information held in an image file. The higher the bit depth in that file, the more color information it contains; more information produces smoother tonal gradation. Single-bit color is made up of two colors only: black and white. 8-bit color produces 256 tones, while 24-bit color can have millions of tones.

Although shooting with RAW files is highly recommended, you will find that your camera's files are quite different to another model's (RAW) files. For example, Sony RAW files use the suffix .ARN; Olympus uses .ORW; Nikon uses .NEF; and Pentax uses .PEF. The following is a view of an original (Canon) RAW file displayed in a browser window. It has the .CR2 suffix common to all Canon cameras:

Although each camera manufacturer shares the same three-letter suffix across all of its camera range, RAW files produced by different models are quite different to each other (that is, RAW files from the Nikon D7000 are different to the Nikon D7200, D800, and D850 RAW files. This is why it takes companies such as Adobe several months to provide an update for the different RAW file types designed for each new camera make and model. If you are an early adopter, waiting for Adobe to "catch up" and release a compatibility update can be a source of frustration.

RAW files have to be edited in a specific RAW editing window, called Camera RAW, which is separate from the regular Quick, Guided, or Expert mode windows. Once edited in this space, a RAW file must be either closed (there's no saving with RAW files – it automatically records all the edits applied to it), or it can be saved in a more universally acceptable file format for storage, backup, or later distribution.

Such formats include JPEGs, TIFF files, digital negative files, and even Photoshop files. But what's the difference between these formats and when would be the best situation for us to use each of them?

File format characteristics

Choosing the right format to save your edited work can be an important decision because it can have direct ramifications on both the final image quality and your backup and archiving practices:

  • JPEG (.jpg): This is a compressed lossy format (lossy means it loses quality when saved and compressed) that's ideal for emailing, photo books, web, social media, and photo lab printing (note: most photo book companies only accept JPEG and PNG files).
  • RAW: RAW files are essentially untouched data straight from the camera. They typically contain four times more picture information than a JPEG and are therefore a good choice for shooting in tricky lighting. RAW files are big, can take any amount of editing, do not deteriorate (as JPEGs do with too much editing), and have to be saved in a more universal format such as JPEG in order to be printed or included in a digital photo book.
  • DNG (.dng): A digital negative file is like a universal RAW file, retaining all of the benefits of regular RAW files while retaining a higher degree of application than a regular RAW file. Adobe Lightroom, for example, is a program optimized to work best with .dng files.
  • PSD (.psd): Photoshop files have no compression and can store extra Photoshop data within the file itself, such as layers, paths, selections, and more advanced features. Because everything can be saved in layers, you retain a high degree of editability. This is good for preserving the best quality for complex editing and commercial print projects.
  • TIFF: Similar to .psd files, TIFF files can be compressed by up to 25% with no loss of quality (this is called LZW or lossless compression). It also preserves many features including selections and layers. It's good for preserving the best quality for editing and commercial printing. TIFF files can end up being larger than the same file saved in .psd format.
  • Photoshop PDF: These files are very similar to regular Acrobat PDF files. These are good for general distribution.
  • PNG: Portable Network Graphics (PNG) files are used primarily for website design and in photo books, where background transparency is a requirement.

To illustrate the different properties of image files, I saved the same image (a golden monkey) in six different file formats. Because the JPEG format is compressible, its saved state is considerably smaller than everything else, hence its popularity in social media, on the web, and for emailing, among other uses. Compressing it to the maximum (that is, the smallest possible file size) brings it out at only 800 KB—less than 1 MB—but the extreme compression would damage the quality irreparably.

Despite my original .CR2 RAW file being 28.99 MB, the .png file is larger (39.9 MB), followed by the slightly compressed (though lossless) TIFF file (46.5 MB), the Photoshop file (62.9 MB), and the uncompressed TIFF file (63.3 MB).

Of all the file formats available in Elements, the one that's perhaps the most useful is JPEG. The following close-ups of this bespectacled gentleman nicely display the problems that over-compressing JPEG files might create:

Don't get me wrong here – JPEG files are great because they can be compressed. However, if they are compressed too much (that is, set to level 7 or lower in the JPEG Options box), you'll see a significant deterioration in image clarity and color (the right half of the previous composite image was set to Quality: 0, producing a tiny file).

However, too much compression at this stage or repeated saving (and therefore repeated compression) will generate image artifacts, for example, in the form of posterization (banding) seen mostly in the smoother tones. Overcompression will also create inaccurate color, and might even introduce blocky-looking pixels when compared to the minimal compression setting of level 12, as seen on the left of the preceding screenshot, producing a far larger saved file with smoother, more accurate tones.

Let's now go ahead and look at how we can create the ideal imaging computer.


Setting up a photo-editing computer

Although we take computers much for granted these days, using such a machine to store, process, and edit high-resolution stills and video data requires a totally different set of features compared to a machine that's only used for web browsing, social media, emailing, or downloading music.

Although the interoperability of Windows and Mac computers used to be very minimal, their operating systems (OSes) are now far more user-friendly, both in the way third-party hardware interacts (such as external drives) and in the fact that most software is now available for both systems:

Is there a difference between running Elements on Windows or a Mac? The answer to this often-asked question can get you into a lot of hot water, depending on the technical leaning of the person being asked. To be honest, I have used Windows and Macs and both desktops and laptops for a long time and find that, when editing images, there's really no big difference in performance between the two OSes.

In the early years, Elements was a different application on a Mac because Adobe was in contention with Apple over iPhoto (being the default image browser), but that's all sorted now. Macs are certainly beautifully designed, but providing you have the same processing power, RAM chips, graphics cards, and screen resolution settings, you'd be hard pushed to pick out any real performance difference.

However, you will experience a significant cost difference between the two platforms. Macs have always sold at a premium compared to Windows gear.

An imaging computer needs to have a very fast processor (the Central Processing Unit (CPU)). This is the bit that does all the calculations. A computer with one of the latest CPU chips installed will certainly future-proof your investment for several years to come. That said, I don't advise you to purchase the very latest technology, simply because you'll pay an absolute premium for it without necessarily gaining a commensurate speed advantage. Such is the downside of being an early adopter.

It's far better to buy something that is just about to be replaced—which means it might only be 5 months old—and spend the cash saved on installing additional memory (also called Random Access Memory or RAM). The more memory installed, the more images, video clips, and applications you can have running at the same time without the computer visibly struggling. I'd recommend at least 16 GB of RAM to start with, and more if you can afford it.


Because most computers are sold off the shelf with the minimum workable amount of RAM installed to keep the cost down, it always pays to top up the RAM, either at the point of purchase, or later, where you might save money buying it from the local computer shop or online. Increasing the amount of RAM in an older computer can also be hugely beneficial – almost giving it a new lease of life. This is worth considering if a new machine is out of your price range.

Currently, screen resolutions are impressively high, with 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) and now 5K (5,120 x 2,880 pixels) curved and flat screens becoming the norm. A flat screen is best for your imaging needs. Curved screens certainly appear tempting but, because of their shape, will never give accurate feedback when trying to adjust characteristics like proportion and perspective. The size of the screen you have is also partially dictated by the capability of the computer's graphics card. That said, most preinstalled graphics cards are very powerful and are easily capable of running a very high-resolution 4 or 5K screen, and in many models, even two screens at the same time. If it's an entry-level video card not suited to a high-resolution output, you might encounter a lot of onscreen flickering, which can be quite disturbing. Check carefully before you buy.

The best image editing computer monitors are made by Eizo—these have superb edge-to-edge brightness, are easily (color-)calibrated, come with a hood (pictured), and produce extremely reliable, accurate color. However, they are expensive, so they are really only practical if you plan on running a commercial business. If you want to save some money, look at buying a monitor from Dell, BenQ, or even LG—three companies that produce pretty good display products that are considerably less expensive than the Eizo example pictured here:

Then there is the very real problem of storage. Most photographers are prolific shooters and, with consumer camera resolutions generally passing the 25-megapixel mark at present, it won't take long to fill the computer's hard drive with media.

My best advice is always to use a desktop computer, Windows or Mac, because, though large and bulky, they are significantly cheaper than laptops.

Apart from that, their size, notably Windows PCs, permit the addition of further internal hard drives when more storage space is needed and even the upgrading of internal components such as video cards and motherboards for improved performance. Mac desktop computers are a little harder to upgrade partly because of their design and partly because, if you do, you might well void your original warranty.

If you absolutely have to use a laptop (and a lot of photographers are entirely mobile these days), this is also a good option, although its storage space, CPU, and screen size will all be compromised unless you spend a lot of money. One answer is to buy several external storage drives and a large desktop screen that can be hooked up to the laptop when you are working locally in the home office:

Laptops are designed to be lightweight and compact, so there's never much storage space in them for all your files. Typically, we would buy a portable USB-powered hard drive for backups while traveling. Once home, it might make better sense to transfer all your work from the USB-powered hard drive to a physically larger desktop drive—these are usually cheaper, have far greater data capacity, and are (mostly) more reliable.

Desktop hard drives are the perfect way to keep up to date with your backups – they are relatively inexpensive for the capacity offered, and if one fills up, it's simple enough to buy another drive. There are a number of excellent devices currently available from Seagate, LaCie, and Western Digital, to name a few. In the following image, the device on the left is a single drive unit from LaCie (the company has a unique Porsche-style design for its products). A single drive, such as this 6 TB model, would suit most beginners. The Western Digital My Book Duo, shown in the middle, is a RAID drive containing two hard drive units in one box. This offers a mirroring feature, where it backs up two copies of everything, or it can be programmed for extreme speed if this is needed.

Most drives are set to RAID level 1, which mirrors the copy to give a second identical backup automatically. On the right of the following image, we have another RAID drive. This unit is designed more for busy commercial studios where speed and high capacity are crucial. This unit from Drobo can take up to five hard drives:

For absolute speed freaks, solid state drives (SSDs) are the best option – both as an internal drive in your Windows or Mac, and also as an external option. Expensive and not as high a capacity as their older SATA drive companions, SSDs are small, light, require no additional power, and are incredibly fast:

The best practice is to install just your OS and software applications onto the computer's hard drive. Everything else – photos, music, and video – is saved to an external hard drive (or drives). That way, your computer can run at its optimum, while accessing your photo library on an external drive. Once that external drive is full, it's simple enough to carry on with a second, or even a third, external hard drive.


Media backup

As we expand our image and media collection, we'll not only need large-capacity hard drives, but also backups. It's important to perform backups in case the original drive corrupts, or suffers a mechanical failure. Nothing is forever and even though the drive might be a premium brand, things can still go wrong, usually when you least expect it.

There's no point in backing up images, or your Elements Catalog, to the same place where everything else is stored—typically your computer's hard drive. If it becomes corrupted, everything will be lost. For this reason, it's important to consider buying a large-capacity hard drive, preferably one with a higher capacity than the computer's drive, which is then used only for backing up your data: images, music, Elements' Catalog, and so on. Most PCs have room for additional internal drives. If you use a Mac, you'd do best to buy an external hard drive.

If you are using a Mac, backing up your data is very easy using a pre-installed Apple application called Time Machine. Windows users also have it easy because most good quality external drives (such as Seagate and Western Digital) come with automated backup software included.

This software takes only a few moments to set up. Once done, you can forget it, because it automatically backs all your new material up every hour, day, or week (depending on how you initially set up its preferences).

The two screenshots here show Western Digital's free backup software (available for Mac and Windows) on the left, and Apple's excellent Time Machine software utility that comes pre-loaded on every Mac, on the right:

Let's move on and learn how to get our pictures into the Organizer so that we can begin the exacting process of image organization and then dive into some editing.

Importing photos and other media into Elements Organizer

As already mentioned, when images are imported into Elements Organizer, they are not really copied into the application at all; they are just linked from the place where they physically reside (typically, this is the Pictures folder) to the Organizer. This is so that if Elements develops some kind of technical issue and you have to delete and reinstall the application, you simply reinstate the catalog from the backup version, and it automatically relinks all missing files. Sometimes, it's necessary to actually point the program to the hard drive where the images are stored, but more often than not, Elements will search and find every image that was previously linked in the catalog. It's a very clever program.

Using the Import button (on the top left-hand side in the Organizer), you can bring images, audio, or video clips into Elements Organizer directly using the From Files and Folders option. These files can physically reside anywhere – locally, on the computer, or externally on a drive. There are also options to import files directly from a camera or a card reader, or in bulk from pre-organized folders. The panel on the right-hand side of the main window holds both Keyword and Metadata information about each file. Click the small Keyword/Info button on the lower right-hand side of the main screen to open/close this panel (highlighted in red):

Because of this linking process, it's not advisable to rename or move files that have already been imported into Elements. If files are moved or renamed using the Windows Explorer or Mac's Finder, the next time Elements is used, it will prompt you that the file is missing and immediately start a search for the file. This is fine if the name remains the same, but if it has a new name, it will have to be re-imported. You can leave Elements to complete the search, or do it yourself if you know where the file was moved to. How long Elements takes to locate a moved file depends on how big your photo collection is.

The import process is fast because, remember, Elements does not copy the full pixel data – it only takes small thumbnails and the metadata (essentially text) when it forms a link to the location of your original files. So, to avoid wasting time searching for files that have been renamed or moved after they were imported into the Organizer, it makes sense to sort out the storage hierarchy on the computer or external drives before importing into the application.

We all have different ways with which to organize our busy photographic lives. Some prefer to store files by date, while others prefer to name everything according to events in their lives. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The best method is the one that you are going to remember in months or years to come.

That said, there are basic rules I can suggest that will make the editing process flow better. Download and organize your files into pre-made folders as often as you can. There's no need to rename the actual files, but if you download from memory cards on a regular basis, it will help you keep abreast of the Elements import processes. Downloading frequently will also ensure that you don't accidentally overwrite files on a camera memory card that were not backed up. Always add keyword tags to freshly imported files. The longer you leave organizing your work, the more confusing it gets.

For example, I divide my images up into events. These might typically be work, trips, family, celebrations, weekends away, and so on. I create an album for each big trip, an album for a conference, an album for the kids' birthdays, and so on.

Some photographers prefer to file and search for images based solely on the date. I prefer to give everything a proper name and only search by date when nothing else works. We are all different, so it is important to consider your naming conventions before you start—it'll save you a lot of time later on.

As images come into Elements Organizer, they appear in the main window as thumbnails. You can make the thumbnails bigger or smaller using the zoom slider at the bottom right-hand side of the main screen. You can also use the edge-of-screen sliders to scroll down the page to see more thumbnails, or easier still, use the Up/Down keyboard arrows.

As a suggestion, before you import a second batch of images, it makes a lot of sense to sort out the first batch, because if you continue to import folder after folder of images, before long, you'll have thousands displayed in the main screen, and that can get very confusing. Once imported into the Organizer, you can see exactly where on your hard drives those imported files reside through the Folders menu in the left-hand bin.

Another best practice is to sort any new files into what Adobe calls Albums, which you make in the Organizer. These are essentially virtual folders that are used for compartmentalizing image files inside Photoshop Elements. Dragging image thumbnails to populate these albums doesn't alter the location of the originals. You can then apply keywords, tags, and star ratings, and even rank them according to the places and people that Elements identifies for you during the import process. I particularly like ranking images according to keywords and the star attribute hierarchy because they are easy to use. Use one or a combination of these filing systems to bring greater order to your image library. Everything can, of course, be renamed, copied, and moved while it's inside Elements.

In the following screenshot, I have created an album called Animals. Selecting the album on the left-hand side of the window will display the contents of that album in the main window. As with most features in Elements, an album can be renamed:

The huge advantage of creating albums, apart from enabling you to easily compartmentalize your work into smaller, more practical collections, is that you can have the same image or images in multiple albums without increasing the space taken up on the storage drive.

All the details of this filing system (albums, tags, keywords, thumbnails, original files, and so on) are part of the Elements catalog, which in itself is something that also needs to be backed up to a location that's different to where the original RAW files are backed up. Some photographers prefer to divide image collections up into multiple different catalogs. For example, wedding photographers might have a separate catalog for each client.

The main disadvantage of organizing your work this way is that you can only ever open one catalog at a time, which is why it works for wedding and portrait professionals – each client is entirely separate from the other. You might like to have two catalogs – one for work and one for the family – but most photographers use just the one.

Photoshop Elements has a number of quite powerful but often overlooked features – including this one, called Auto Curate, highlighted here in red, which picks the top 500 images from the Organizer. The results might surprise you:

With your media displayed in the main window, check the Auto Curate box and watch as Elements finds 50 of the best images from anything up to 20,000 images (according to Adobe). As I think most of the images in my test media are good anyway, it's a mystery how it finds 50 (or any number you choose) of the best. Nonetheless, this is worth a look for a quick, frustration-free selection.


Reviewing the media

Looking at your media in the Organizer couldn't be easier. The main window displays all media files in a mode called Grid View—these are adjustable-size thumbnails, as displayed in the background of this image here. But if you create and populate albums, the main window will only display what's in each album.

Compartmentalizing an image collection into multiple albums, therefore, is an effective way to break up what would otherwise be a confusing mass of images on the main screen, into smaller, more visually digestible quantities:

One quick tip for anyone wanting to sort through a lot of images is to maximize the thumbnail size so the screen effectively only displays one image at a time, as seen in the preceding coastal seascape image, then use the up/down arrows on the keyboard to scroll through the latest import while examining each file's full size. Every time you find an image that you love, want to keep, or think needs editing, you can classify it using the number keys to add one, two, three, four, or five stars (see the Organizing your work – ratings section later in this chapter). Use these to sort and search for images later. (Pressing the number zero on the keypad removes all star attributes.) You can also see that, once expanded to fullscreen, you can also type in a caption for the displayed image and play any associated sound (that is, if it's a movie clip).

Even better, there are no restrictions as to how many albums you can create and, since they are essentially virtual folders, they don't take up much storage space.

While sorting through recently imported images, get into the habit of right-clicking an image thumbnail – this reveals a contextual menu that offers many options, but in particular reference to sorting images, you can choose from any of the following:

  • Delete from Catalog
  • Edit with Photoshop Elements Editor
  • Edit with Premiere Elements Editor
  • Adjust Date and Time (this is good for when you cross different time zones)
  • Add Caption
  • Add a Rating (that is, 1-5 stars)
  • Add a Person (identified in the image for later searches)
  • Create a Slideshow (when more than one image thumbnail is selected)
  • Show File Info (that is, view the file's metadata)

One question often asked is "In what order do I make my edits?" Follow some of the guidelines in the next section to learn the most efficient way to process and organize your photographic output.

Suggested editing workflow

Finding the best processes to sort out all your work is important. You really don't want to keep going back and forth importing, re-importing, then losing image files because they were not keyworded, labeled, or stored correctly.

The following is a list of my workflow actions:

  1. I always run through my latest import quickly, checking for quality.
  2. Files that are blurry, unsharp, or just not interesting get deleted. (Right-click to choose Delete from Catalog.)


    You can also delete the original file entirely if required. This saves time and hard drive space if the image really is that poor and not worth keeping.

  3. Everything in that import then gets added to custom-named albums.
  4. Another important habit to get into is keywording. Select one or multiple images and add keywords. This is an invaluable search tool. You can add multiple keywords to one or hundreds of images at the same time.
  5. Import another batch of images and repeat the same steps.

Do not try to rename your files or folders in the Mac Finder app or Windows Explorer because this is liable to confuse Elements. Do all your renaming from within Elements and you should experience few problems.


Organizing your work

Some of you might be familiar with the Windows OS's star ratings. This is a feature that allows you to award a file anything from one to five stars, depending on its merit. You can then search for files (in this context, images) that are displaying X number of stars. You might give your best images five stars, and those that need editing three stars – that kind of thing. Ratings appear in a wide range of photo-editing applications, including Adobe Bridge, Lightroom, and Camera Bits' Photo Mechanic, for good reason—it's a system that's easy to implement and effective in its organizational potential.

Star-rating your photos

If photo organization and image management are new concepts for you, I recommend you start out using Elements' Ratings feature because it's simple and works well. Here's how to get this happening:

  1. Right-click an image in the Organizer.
  2. From Ratings in the contextual menu, slide over the number of stars you'd like to award the selected image (that is, from 1-5). Or, faster still, select one or more images in the main window, and hit any number key between 1 and 5 (use the top of the keyboard, not the number keypad) to add a rating.
  3. To search for an already-rated image, click the appropriate star symbol in the Ratings search field (at the top of the screen, just under the Create tab), and everything in the main screen with that star rating will remain. Everything else is hidden until you click the same star rating again to zero the search.

Note that this search can be refined by clicking the tiny symbol to the right of the word Ratings to set Greater than, or equal to; Less than, or equal to; or Rating is equal to. It can make a big difference to your search results.

This is an exceptionally intuitive system that's easy to set up, easy to modify, and very efficient in its search results – just use that pop-out menu to lower, raise, or delete the rating if required.

Using metadata

Metadata is little more than a small text file that records all your camera details at the time the photo is taken. We rarely see what's in the metadata unless we specifically need to look it up or, in this context, use it to search for images. Metadata records camera and lens details, the date and time, and, if your camera has it, a set of GPS coordinates.

So, without having to enter any data first (like we have to when using keywords and tags), we can use Organizer to search our image database using any of those pre-recorded metadata details:

You might find the Find by Details (Metadata) search field a bit confusing because it offers so many ways to look for your images. You can also use this dialog box to save frequently used searches—a real time-saver. It can also be used to search for images by the date and time captured. This is useful if you holiday in different time zones.

The easiest way to do this is to use the aptly named Find menu. By selecting Find | By Details, we can choose from a staggering range of parameters with which to search.

The obvious choices would be to search for camera type, or the date taken—but you can also look for files based on the lens' focal length, the f-stop value, ISO, shutter speed, exposure settings, and many more characteristics. In the Find by Details window (shown in the preceding screenshot), enter your search criteria using the drop-down menu. If what you see in the menu is not specific enough, simply add a second or a third "rule" to the search by clicking the + button to the right of the Search Criteria window.

The Information panel shown here shares space in the right-hand panel with tags, and is quite comprehensive—there's a compact version and an extended version (seen here currently occupying the entire right-hand panel):

Above that is the General menu (for the purposes of this illustration, it's floating over the thumbnail picture grid, to the left of the extended Information panel). This displays a few snippets of that file's metadata, as well as the star rating and where it physically resides on your hard drives.

Note that searches can be set to use Any one of the following search criteria or All of the following search criteria. Choosing one of these over the other might have a significant effect on the search result. If it is not finding the media you are searching for, flick over to the other search rule and see if that works.

Now let's move on and have a look at what many professionals consider to be the best way to organize your photos, video clips, music files, and more: keyword tags.

Organizing your work – keyword tags

One of the best features in Elements is its ability to sort out hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of images using the tested method of keyword tags.

While viewing a newly imported batch of pictures, select a file by clicking it once and, on the bottom right-hand side of the screen, type in a keyword.

I think keywording is one of the most important setup features in this program. Get in the habit of adding a keyword (or keywords) to everything you import into the Organizer and you will be able to search and find almost any image weeks, months, and even years later. It's an incredibly efficient and effective system of image retrieval.

You can see that, in the pink highlighted area in the following screenshot, I have entered the words surfing and Australia. If I import and add keywords to hundreds of surfing images in the Organizer, all I need do is click in the Surfing and/or the Australia tag (both highlighted in blue in the screenshot) to find all those images, which can then be placed in a specific album called Surfing:

Let's say you have got back home from a vacation. Select all the images from the vacation and type the name of the place you visited. If you went to Australia, for example, all images could be keyworded as Australia. But if half that time was spent in the mountains around the town of Katoomba, re-select those images of Katoomba alone and add Katoomba as the keyword. If three days in Australia were spent surfing, select those images only, and add the keyword surfing. This takes only a few minutes and, with a little forethought, you'll quickly be able to keyword all the important events in this album (named Holiday in Australia) so that, months or years later, you can search for Australia, surfing, or cocktails, for example, and Elements will locate those images almost instantly.


You can take your keywording as far as you have the time and patience for by being increasingly specific. For example, I could also keyword my holiday pictures with the words beaches, restaurants, funny signs, people, markets, nightlife, sunsets, palm trees, cocktails, and so on.

If you add multiple keywords, separate them with a comma (,) to avoid confusing the search engine. Also, limit your keywords to five or six per image. Too many keywords can be counter-productive.

It's an easy process, but the real magic only really begins when you try to search for specific images shot on that trip:

In the Search field (the blue magnifying glass icon at the top right-hand side of the Organizer screen), type in a location and maybe an event using whatever keywords are appropriate (such as Surfing or Australia), and the Organizer will find those images within seconds. It's fast because it only has to sort through its database (which is essentially a text record), not through gigabytes of high-resolution RAW files.

In the following screenshot, I right-clicked my Surfing keyword tag in the right-hand bin and chose Edit from the contextual menu. This brings up the Edit Keyword Tag window (on the left). You can edit the name of the Tag and add comments. Clicking the Edit Icon tab brings up another, larger window, into which you can load a surfing picture. It's a cute feature, but it won't really improve your workflow:

Keyword tags are written into the file so that if I sent a bunch of my (tagged) images to a third party, they would be able to sort them using my attached tags. Elements' tags can be read by a range of other image-editing software programs. An album, on the other hand, is a purely Elements-only feature.

If you create a new tag in the right-hand tag bin, you can apply it to any image simply by dragging that tag onto the photo thumbnail—easy! If you have 100 images that need the same tag, select all of them first, drag the newly made tag onto any one of the selected thumbnails, and it will automatically apply that tag to all selected images. Very smart!

In the following screenshot, I have enlarged the pop-out Tags menu to show its various options. There's everything here that you need to fully label anything you bring into Elements. Pay attention to the tagging process and you'll never lose an image again:

A green + symbol in the Tags bin, or elsewhere in this application, always points to the ability to create a new feature. In the example here, use it to create a new keyword tag, new category, new sub-category, or to import tags from a file, to save tags to a file, or to expand and collapse the tag hierarchy.


Don't forget that you can also create your own keyword categories and sub-categories to further refine your search criteria.

Elements provides a default subset of People, Places, and Events tags that can easily be expanded as and when needed.

Organizing your work – places

The Organizer has a huge range of features designed to help photographers keep track of, and search for, their images. I think there are too many—but that's just a personal opinion.

The Places feature has been in Elements for many years. Its principal use is to automatically place any image that contains GPS data onto an internet-driven world map so that users can identify pictures simply by seeing the locations where they were actually shot, as shown in the following screenshot:

In earlier versions of this program (several years ago), few cameras had GPS capabilities, so you had to drag images from the grid on the left-hand side of the screen onto the map to pin them in place instead. You can still do this.

The feature has two view modes: Pinned and UnPinned. In the latter mode, you can select single or multiple images and drag them to the location where they were shot—they are then pinned to the map. Once pinned, they automatically appear under the Pinned tab. If you get the location wrong, simply click and drag the pinned image(s) to a new location. Double-clicking the pinned image thumbnails opens them in Grid view. Double-click once more and they open in fullscreen.

On paper, Places appears to be a nice feature, but after years of teaching Elements, I have yet to meet anyone that uses this feature exclusively. That might well change once all cameras record GPS data. Since 2018, Places no longer works in any of the previous versions of Elements. At the time of going to press, Adobe was not forthcoming about why this is so. It's fully functional in Elements 2020.

Organizing your work – events

The Events category is, I think, more useful to everyday photographers. Why? Because Events starts off by using dates as a way to categorize images. We might take a bunch of shots over a family weekend or on our 12-day trip to Bali. Using the Events feature, these images can be grouped into either events dictated solely by the date, read from the metadata, or they can be grouped and renamed into something more memorable, such as Family Weekend, 2019, or simply Bali Vacation.

Events has two view modes: Named and Suggested. I normally dislike anything that suggests things to me (that is, predictive text), but in this case, it presents all your images grouped by date. This is quite useful because it instantly orders everything in the main window, whether from an album, folder, or all media. That's a good start.

The following screenshot illustrates the power of sorting by date. The base window shows Events, with the Number of Groups slider positioned to the left-hand side (highlighted in red). Everything is pushed against everything else because the search engine is effectively compressing time. The middle window (highlighted in blue) shows how, if the slider is pushed to the right, images are displayed on an almost day-by-day basis, making it easier to find photos from a day shoot or some other short-running function. The front window illustrates what the named Events look like in the Named tab (highlighted in orange). Events can be modified.

To delete an Event, right-click and choose Remove this Event. This pop-out menu also allows you to Edit the Event (that is, to add/subtract images to/from the Event); to Set as Cover, which makes the displayed image the default front page; to Create a Slideshow, which takes all the files in that specific Event stack and puts them into a slideshow that can be saved for further editing in the Organizer; or it can be directly uploaded to social media via the Share menu (at the top right-hand side of the Organizer).


When drawing a marquee, simply click and drag the cursor so it draws a rectangle over all the images you need. Blue checkmarks appear in all those that are selected. If you accidentally miss one image, add it by holding the Ctrl or the Cmd key down while you click the mouse once (Windows or Mac, respectively). By the same process, if you select too many by accident, you can hold Ctrl or Cmd and click the file to deselect it.

I give my albums and folders real names, rather than going on just the dates—the same can be done using Places. Shift the Number of Groups slider so the setting that displays your Event does so in one group of images (that is, selecting just the weekend, or just that week). Physically select all those images (do this by holding the Shift key down, and clicking the first and then the last image in the group). They are now all selected. If the images you need are in more than one group, it's easy enough to select multiple groups by drawing a marquee around those groups.

Once selected, click the Add Event button at the base of the page and, in the dialog box that opens, give the event a proper name, check the dates to ensure you have grabbed the right sequence, select a Group if that's needed, add a description if required, and click OK.

But what happens to the proper names this group of pictures was just awarded? Click the Named tab at the top of the screen and you'll see all the images that were custom-grouped and Named now appear as stacked thumbnails. Sliding the cursor over a group displays its contents. Double-clicking an Event stack reveals the individual images it contains. Clicking the Back button on the same screen moves those spread-out images back into a stack format.


As your image collection grows, you can further refine a search, or just what's displayed in this main window, by selecting different dates from the calendar that's posted on the right-hand side of the screen.

You can also create a New Event in the Media window. Click the Add Event tab at the bottom of the page, drag those images you'd like in the new Event to the right-hand side bin, give it a proper name, check the date, and click OK.

Organizing your work – people

Elements' People mode is really all about using face recognition, an algorithm that analyzes images in the background as they are imported into the Organizer for the first time.

If it detects a face in an image, it presents it as a circular thumbnail in the main People window. If it thinks that there are several images of the same person in the import, these will be automatically stacked like a deck of cards. You can view the results in the UnNamed panel. Every image will appear with the label Add Name underneath the thumbnail to begin with. If you recognize the person depicted, click in the Add Name field and type in the name. As soon as you click the check symbol to the right of the field to lock it in, the thumbnail stack disappears. Where's it gone? Click into the Named window and there you'll see the newly named stack. Hover the cursor over the stack and you'll see the words Faces or Photos appear. Click Photos to reveal the full image in which the face was detected, or click Faces to reveal just the face or faces in that group:

Elements' People window will find images of your friends—but it also finds every image that looks like a face, including in posters and abstract backgrounds, for example. These can easily be discounted by right-clicking the icon and choosing Don't Show Again. As you can clearly see here, I have some naming to do—as soon as an image gets a proper name, it is moved into the Named tab, and stacks with similarly named images.


You can merge one stack into another simply by click-dragging one file over another. You can further refine the sort process by adding stacks to Groups, such as Family. Click the Groups tab on the bottom-right side of the main window, and either use one of the default groups, or make a new one by clicking the green + symbol. As with most Elements' features, there is no limit to the number of groups you can have.

If you discover an inappropriate face in a stack, open the stack and right-click the Faces icon and choose Not…, or just rename it, which places it out of that stack into its own new stack. You can also use this pop-out menu to Assign that image as a profile photo (that is, this is the default top of the stack). Finally, there's the Don't Show Again command, which hides that image from ever appearing in the People view again.

For those of us that prefer to identify our images based on the content, and specifically on the people depicted in the files, you'll find the People feature very handy:

Like the Keywords feature, the People feature, shown in the preceding screenshot, allows you to subdivide your found faces into smaller categories, or Groups, as seen on the right-hand side of the screen. Elements starts you off with Colleagues, Family, and Friends but, of course, clicking the green plus (+) symbol allows you to add new group categories when needed.

Like most organizational tools in Elements, you can choose to work simply by adopting just keywords, or maybe ratings, or you can use a combination of everything covered in this section to create a sophisticated and deep searchable database. The best advice is to make up your mind regarding which way is best for you before you start; that way, you can streamline your workload from day one rather than having to go back over everything that's been imported into the Organizer because you changed your mind about how to organize your images.

Pre-planning will save you a lot of time and effort.


Backing up your media and the Catalog

As I mentioned in the introduction to this section, keeping media backups is very important. Once lost, there's little chance you'll ever get your images back if there's a major technical problem, so be warned!

If you have a Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Buy an external hard drive that's at least twice the capacity of your Mac's internal drive (that is, if your Mac's drive is 1 TB capacity, buy a 2 TB drive, or better still, a 4 TB drive).
  2. Plug the drive into the Mac.
  3. Format the drive for FAT32 (which means it'll work on a Mac or Windows) or Mac OS Extended (a Mac-only format) using the Mac's included Disk Utility.
  4. Find and start the Time Machine app.
  5. Follow the onscreen prompts. It takes 2 minutes to set up. You can set it to back up only your photos, only specific folders, or everything!
  6. A full backup might take several hours, depending on the amount of stuff that's already on the computer. It backs up all your documents, emails, messages, music, images, and documents. Once done, it just backs up new files only, every day or every hour. It's a fast and totally seamless operation.

If you have Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Plug the external hard drive into the PC.
  2. Locate the backup software—this should be on the hard drive when you buy it. Most good-quality drives from companies such as Seagate or Western Digital come pre-loaded with their own proprietary software backup programs. If not, you might have to either download it from that company's website, or buy a backup application to do it for you (this is unlikely).
  3. Run the application and follow the onscreen prompts to set up the data you need copied, plus the frequency.
  4. Some proprietary software apps allow you to set up a terrestrial backup or a cloud backup (that is, backing up to a service such as Dropbox). Western Digital drives offer a third-party application (from Acronis) that, like Apple's Time Machine, can be set up to copy everything on the PC to the external drive, not just pictures. Also, note that the Windows operating system also has restore functionality, should you need to recover lost, corrupted, or deleted files.

If you are a little more familiar with computers, it's easy enough to perform manual backups when needed. The process is the same for Mac or Windows:

  1. Start the computer.
  2. Locate the file or folders that you need to back up.
  3. Locate the drive icon for the backup drive unit.
  4. Drag the files or folders across from your local drive onto the external drive icon. You'll see a progress bar appear to indicate that it is under way.

This is an easy method of backup, but essentially relies on the operator remembering when to do the backups!

If you have never tried manually backing data up to an external drive, it can be a little daunting because, if you release the mouse at the wrong moment, the images might scatter all over the computer, making them hard to locate. To make this easy, I usually open two windows (in the regular Mac Finder, or Windows Explorer) and arrange them approximately side by side. The left-hand window displays all my images on the computer (that is, in the Pictures folder). The right-hand window displays the content of my external hard drive. Locate the file or folder that you want to back up, then click and drag it from the left window to the right-hand window and release. It copies over to the external drive. If you subsequently add more images to the computer's hard drive, when you manually back that up, it will ask if you want to overwrite the existing files on the external drive. You can do this, but it just takes a bit longer because everything is copied again (including those files that have already been copied). If you say No, it only copies new files, which is a much faster option.

The following screenshot demonstrates how this drag and drop process can work:

Note that although the select, drag, and drop method of backing up files is specific and fast, you can also use the time-honored method of select, copy, and paste.

Do this by selecting the appropriate files first (Select | All or Ctrl/cmd + A), then copying the selected images onto the computer's clipboard (Edit | Copy or Ctrl/cmd + C). Before you paste anything, select the destination (that is, the backup drive) and paste the contents of the selection to the new location (Edit | Paste or Ctrl/cmd + V).


If you purchase a RAID drive (essentially two or more hard drives in one box), you can program it to back up once to each drive, essentially giving you two complete backups in one operation so if one drive fails, you still have a second copy to use. Another use of the RAID drive is to split backups 50/50. This greatly enhances the read/write speeds of the device but, in this mode, if one drive goes down, you lose everything because the process actually splits files rather than putting one file on disk A then the next file on disk B, and so on. Nothing in digital imaging can be 100% safe but if you use a reliable RAID system it should give you years of good service.

Note that the Select All command selects everything in the open window. If you specifically want to select one image file, one folder, or a few selected folders on their own, you must either draw a marquee around those folders or files that you need, or hold the Ctrl/cmd key while clicking the files to be included. If you accidentally select one file/folder that you do not need, simply Ctrl/cmd click it a second time to deselect it.


Managing Catalogs

The Catalog Manager dialog box (Organizer | File | Manage Catalogs) is used for several tasks. These include the following:

  • Creating new catalogs
  • Renaming existing catalogs
  • Converting a previous, older version of Elements catalogs to the new version of the software
  • Optimizing a catalog—this helps reduce its size, making it more efficient

It's quite important to ensure that your backed-up catalog is saved to a location that is different to where the default catalog is stored. For most, this means saving it to an entirely different drive – in the following illustration, there are five different drives available for backup:

While a software-driven data backup is a good procedure to set up for all users, it might not back up your Photoshop Elements catalog. And even if it did, it wouldn't be in a format that Elements can recognize, should you need to restore it after a software mishap.

The catalog is where all your hard work is stored: tags, keywords, albums, captions, places, maps, and events; as well as your images, as RAW, JPEG, TIFF, PNG or PSD files; plus a lot of other stuff that helps Elements be as efficient as it can.

Although Elements' backup process can be a lifesaver, it's not the same as a regular Windows or Mac backup. With Elements, the backed-up files are referenced in a completely different way to those that are simply copied to a different hard drive – which is why if you open the Elements backup file, everything appears scrambled (see the following screenshot). However, if you reinstate the catalog via the correct process, everything reappears in perfect order:

If you look at the backup once it's completed, you'll probably not recognize any of the original image file names because the Organizer renames the files with alphanumeric codes. Your proper names are reinstated once a Catalog Restore function is completed. Generally, we only access an Elements backup if the original has been compromised and you need to restore the entire catalog contents.

In an emergency, you can still open the Backup folder and pull out images, if need be. If you have issues with the current catalog, it's easy enough to choose File | Restore Catalog from the Organizer and reload the entire catalog from its backup location.

The logical way to perform a catalog backup is to choose File | Backup Catalog in the Organizer and follow the prompts. Make sure that the location of the backup is not on the local drive—put it on an external drive. Elements insists on a full backup to begin with, then a partial backup if you are just updating work as you go.


Working with plugins

A plugin is an additional bit of software produced by a third-party company. It's designed to either expand Elements' existing features, or to add new ones. Plugins are typically called Photoshop-compliant plugins, which essentially means that they will work with all Adobe programs, as well as a wide range of other editing programs (such as Corel PaintShop Pro).

My current favorite Elements plugin changes the look of any image from purely photographic to something very artistic at the click of the mouse:

Probably my all-time favorite plugin for Photoshop Elements is called Moku Hanga (a Japanese phrase for wood block printing). Now, I love these traditional Japanese prints, but I could never afford one because they are very expensive—however, I can reproduce the look of a real woodblock print using this amazing plugin from JixiPix. It takes a few minutes to create an effect like this but, because the plugin offers so many variants, it usually takes a lot longer just to decide which one to keep!

One popular plugin (from Topaz Labs) brings incredible selection accuracy to the Elements edit suite, refining Elements' already excellent selection tools further. You can also get plugins for the following:

  • Sharpening
  • Noise reduction
  • Grunge looks
  • Fine art effects
  • Painting looks
  • Cartoons
  • Graphic effects
  • Three-dimensional paper effects
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) effects
  • Black and white conversions

Installing a plugin is a simple operation:

  1. Download the file from the host website.
  2. Double-click the installer.
  3. Follow the onscreen prompts.
  4. Restart the computer, launch Photoshop Elements, and open an image. To check that the software has indeed plugged in, choose the Filter menu and scroll all the way to the bottom. Plugins will be located at the base of the Filter menu, under Other.

    Important note

    Not all plugins work on both Mac and Windows operating systems, so it pays to check the specifications carefully before you part with any money.


Additional resources – keyboard shortcuts and working tips

It's a sad fact that all image editing is virtually worthless if the monitor on which you make all your creative decisions doesn't actually represent the correct color, brightness, and contrast accurately. Color management—the process of making sure that what you see onscreen is both accurate to life and will be correctly reproduced online and in print—is, I think, an unnecessarily complex operation. Although Elements' calibration is not nearly as controllable as that found in Photoshop, it's presented in a reasonably easy format that should work well in most situations. And if you are sending your work into a commercial print environment, you can always let them handle the finer complexities of color reproduction, which allows you to pay more attention to the editing process.

Color management options

One area where Photoshop Elements really cannot compete with Photoshop CC is in serious color management:

What you'll find in the program's Color Settings dialog box are four simple options:

  • No Color Management
  • Always Optimize Colors for Computer Screens
  • Always Optimize for Printing
  • Allow Me to Choose

Essentially, this means that if you choose to ignore any color management, Elements will discard existing color space settings, but if you choose to optimize colors, the color range will be kept within the existing sRGB color range.

If you go for the printing option, it would be best to set AdobeRGB (1998) as the color space in your camera. The Allow Me to Choose option permits the user to make a choice between sRGB and AdobeRGB (1998).


Screen calibration

Another important technique for ensuring that what you see onscreen is accurate is to calibrate your monitor with a hardware calibration device.

These third-party sensors plug into the USB outlet on the computer and hang over the screen. Run the associated software and the sensor will determine whether the RGB colors displayed onscreen really are 100% red, green, blue, white, grey, and black. If the screen is different to the known value for these colors, the software adjusts the brightness and color to make it display correctly. This is a far more accurate method of color management than using the human eye to gauge the settings. As a general rule, screens need calibrating every 6 months or so, especially if they are used a lot:

Calibration is done by attaching a USB-powered hardware calibrator to the laptop or desktop screen, as shown in the preceding image, with the ColorVision Spyder 5. This process needs to be done probably once every 6 months or so, just to ensure that what you see onscreen is a realistic representation of the original image.

Organizer keyboard shortcuts

I always provide my students with a list of 10-20 keyboard shortcuts. I can usually see that most are not happy with having yet more stuff to remember. But if you limit yourself to using some of these, instead of relying on the mouse all the time, you'll not only reduce the risk of RSI, but you'll find many repetitive tasks so much safer and faster to execute. Two hands are always better than one:

Here are some Windows/Mac keyboard shortcuts for specific operations:

  • Undo last operation: Ctrl/Cmd + Z
  • Redo last operation: Ctrl/Cmd + Y
  • Copy: Ctrl/Cmd + C
  • Paste: Ctrl/Cmd + P
  • Select all: Ctrl/Cmd + A
  • Deselect: Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + D
  • Rotate image 90 degrees left: Ctrl/Cmd + Left arrow
  • Rotate image 90 degrees right: Ctrl/Cmd + Right Arrow
  • Adjust date and time: Ctrl/Cmd + J
  • Edit in Expert Edit Mode: Ctrl/Cmd + I
  • Edit in Premiere Elements Editor: Ctrl/Cmd + M
  • Zoom in: Ctrl/Cmd + '+'
  • Zoom out: Ctrl/Cmd + '-'
  • OK: Enter
  • Cancel: Esc
  • Display metadata properties: Alt + Enter
  • Add caption: Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + T
  • Update thumbnails: Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + U
  • Set photo as desktop wallpaper: Ctrl + Shift + W (Windows only)
  • Open Color Settings dialog box: Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + G


Though setting up a computer isn't the most glamorous part of the image editing process, we have seen that if you can acquire at least some of the right gear, while adhering to a set workflow, the mechanics of editing will become both faster and easier. It should also greatly assist in helping to future-proof your skills for years to come.

We have seen that the process of organizing your media files is vital. If you follow even just a few of the suggestions in this chapter, you'll find that searching for and finding everything becomes so much easier. Misplacing images should become a thing of the past.

Coming up in the next chapter, we deal with the basics of image editing. Even the most basic tools and features covered in this chapter can be used to transform your work from the everyday to something quite special in just a single click. This is one of the real strengths of Photoshop Elements. The biggest issue facing any beginner is having to decide which of these editing processes to choose, but remember, most of them work in isolation, so if you find a couple of effects that really work for you, stick with them.

As we proceed through the subsequent chapters, you'll find the processes become more involved, but the important thing to remember here is that you don't have to know it all! If it's not of interest, or more importantly, not relevant to your creative direction, move on to something else and make it your own.

About the Author
  • Robin Nichols

    Born in the UK, Robin Nichols has always had a great love for recording the world with a camera. After finishing school, he studied fine art, before moving on to study at Nottingham Trent University, where he gained a degree in creative photography. He subsequently worked in the advertising industry for several years, before emigrating to Australia in 1985. Robin has always worked in photography: as a black and white printer, a cameraman, a stock photographer, and a freelance photographer. During the 1990s, Robin contributed to several photo-centric publications in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK.

    Browse publications by this author
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