Digital Photo 150 at Napa Valley College

Adobe Photoshop

Summary of Links below: I only put on this page what we can use in a semester… if you want more, anyone can google or find it at amazon, in other search engines, so this page is very brief.

Thank you for visiting.

Quick Locator

Photoshop Technical Exercises, as assigned to Photo 150 class.

Photoshop ACTIONs and action files

Photoshop BLOGS for users

Photoshop BOOKS for students in Photo150, 151, 152, et. al.

Adobe CS5


Adobe Creative Suite CS5

Adobe CS5 has a new Align to Pixel Grid. Watch this video to see what it is… Makes clean, crisp work for Web-based projects. Tutorial Videos, has a fee, per month

This site of costs $25 for a month of video training.  Some people get better jobs because of this training.  I think the videos about Photoshop at, especially the layers videos are a great way to augment the lectures of any photoshop course.  Their new Web site launched Feb 24, 2011. is the main home page and you can search for the photoshop tutorials and read down the list to the “Everything Layers” and view those.

Free Seven Day Trial of the Videos at, to see if you can use this form of learning.

Visual Quick Start Books

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Quick Start Guide (is actually volume 1 of 2)

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Quick Start Guide, Volume 2, of 2  (More advanced)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Quick Start Guide

The Visual Quick Start Guide series is the way to go, if you want steps written out, and a reference to keep, but don’t stop at the regular version of Photoshop for Windows and Macintosh CS4, as there is now Volume 2, and you have to read about it at this link to decide if you want to learn about what’s inside Volume 2: like advanced techniques, camera RAW, etc. This series is great for those of us who love to sit at home, read a step, and do it. I learn by doing, and usually miss everything when only hearing it, as I was born with auditory processing issues… I have acute hearing and hear at great distances… Remembering the steps involved when are many, when I have only hearing them once, usually has me recalling the first two or three well, then missing all the other steps. I can look up a topic in any Quick Start Guide book, and it has the steps right there, with some pictures or drawings if you need to see where a control or a button is located on the software interface of the computer monitor display. Classrooms are busy places and you will something the instructor says… This is the book I want to reference, by topic, and they have good chapter descriptions and a great index, no matter the title.

Partly Cloudy – Partly Sunny

Napa Valley can expect any weather of the year in February…from ice and snow and freezing frost to the 70’s sunny, warm..  We are entertained by the perpetual weather forecasts in the local paper alternating between “partly cloudy” on one day, to “partly sunny” on the next day.  Sometimes two days in a row may be “partly sunny”, and by June we can move into “sunny” as the only forecast.  Each year they must appoint a first grader to be the local “weatherman” from November to April.

The two photos below (a reference to the local newspaper’s simple forecasts) was from a day that was “partly cloudy” in the newspaper, and we used umbrellas.The first image is named Partly Cloudy.  The second image created a moment later,  I have name “Partly Sunny”.  They are meant to be hung side-by-side,  the names of Partly Cloudy and Partly Sunny in plain view.

Double-Click to see the Larger Image.  [BTW: locals can look up the NOAA weather online for California and get the “real scoop”.]

Central California forecast, and California links page, from NOAA

Images [below] by student, of this blog, adjusted for black and white adjustments, exposure, global color in Photoshop CS5.

More Photoshop resources for students are below the  images.

"Partly Cloudy" in the Spring, Napa, California, 2011

Partly Sunny, Napa California, 2011


Photoshop ACTIONS

An Action file is a piece of software made in Photoshop and exported in the format of a file ending in .atn. It creates layers in the layers palette to keep us in the right working order of image adjustments to be made… the workflow. It will not automatically make a bunch of layers in the layers palette until we open the file and “play” the action.

If the action file (ending with .atn) is sitting on your desktop, first open Adobe Photoshop and then double-click on the action file… this puts it into Photoshop.  To see the name of your action file, open Windows, Click on Actions, and scroll down on the list.. Click on the name of the file.  Find the black forward arrow and hover your mouse pointer of that arrow at the bottom of the actions palette… (shhh… it’s called the Play button).

Back to ACTIONS… I had an Action on my desktop one time a couple weeks ago and had NO idea at home, what to do with it.   I learn by doing, but in class, I had only heard it talked about so fast, I couldn’t keep up… What did I do?  I Googled “PHOTOSHOP ACTION FILE”.  I hate to look up stuff online when I don’t know the words to use, so I am finding you links for ACTION files.

How to Use Photoshop ACTIONS, (just the basics).  This article author, knows a lot more than any student.  Especially by keeping it simple at first.

An Intro. to Actions and Photoshop Automation

After these two sites, you will be ready to follow it in a book. (See books, below).

For Advanced Actions Users:



Re-Touch Pro

Blogs About Using Photoshop

Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider

Scott Kelby is the co-founder of the national PhotoShop Users Group, the Editor and Publisher of Photoshop User magazine, which is available in Napa at Copperfield’s bookstore in the Bel Aire Plaza Shopping Center in north Napa just off Hwy 29 at the Trancas St./Redwood offramps on the east side of the hightway 29.

Scott is the author of several technology books. He holds photography classes and workshops, is a commercial and landscape photographer, has many corporate clients.  He wrote and published a set of 3 paperback books on Digital Photography, How to Get the Shots the Pros Get.  They are carried by Barns and Noble in Santa Rosa, and online at   Most notably Scott Kelby has written the Adobe Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers.  Among his other books have been The Photoshop Channels Book, and the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers.


Books, Students Learning Photoshop

The Quick Start series is linked higher on the page, above the images… this is other books.

Adobe Photoshop CS5, for Photographers, The Ultimate Workshop; ISBN 978-0-240-81483-4; First Published 2011; by Martin Evening and Jeff Schewe. Paperback 483 pages include the index, and has a DVD of files to work with. Chapter 1: Before You Shoot; (click, click, of the shutter.); Chapter 2: CAMERA RAW Workflow (includes camera profiles in Camera Raw, which includes several brands). Chapter 3: IQ (includes lens corrections to improve the IQ); Chapter 4- Mending and Blending; Chapter 5- is about removing objects.; 7- Masking and Compositing.  9- photomerges; Chapter 11- actions and basic action editing.

Jeremy Cowart’s 4-hour Workflow DVD Series from


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