The Photoshop Course

This is a foundational course which will ground photographers and Photoshop software owners in the practical use of the software so that they can become confident in editing enhancing and creativity.

This course doesn't assume that there is any prior knowledge of the use of Photoshop. The teaching leads the user gently into the basics before branching out into more ambitious operations.

Everything in the course builds knowledge upon knowledge. It's not just about grabbing a tool or moving a slider but gives grounding and understanding how and why a certain action would work.

The goal is that the user will learn to approach the software as one might approach a familiar friend! This comes from an understanding of the make-up of the digital image and takes the guess work out of the workflow.

Week 1. The editing workspace.
Getting familiar with the editing workspace and all its muddle of features.

The Workspace  
Keyboard Shortcuts

                                                                                                Editing Workspace PSE11

Week 2. Information
Understanding all the information Photoshop gives to make sense of the image you are working on. How to read and interpret the information and use it to your advantage.
 The Colour Picker  


Week 3. Turning Out an Image.
Developing an outline of a workflow that is applicable to everything you put through Photoshop.
Includes: File types and Image size
Black & White Conversion

B & W

Week 4. Greater Ambitions.
Introducing some of the more creative editing that can be done as part of a normal workflow. Includes help for those shooting in Raw.

Eye enhancement


Cloned from an other image

Week 5. Isolation Elements
Learning the different methods for isolating elements from your images. How to use the best tools for the job and honing the skills needed.
The selection tools.

Polygonal Lasso

Process of selection 

Week 6. The Next Layer.
Now we should be at the place to get to grips with how layers work and how to use them.
Includes: How layers work

Make A layer

Week 7. The Masked Defender.
The discovery of the layer mask which enables so much more creativity.

Explaining masks
The use of masks

Mask after brushing

Week 8. Recovery.
What’s the point of Photoshop if it can’t rescue you from a bad image? Here we look at common problems and how to recover from them and turn out a cracker!
Includes:  Recovery examples.
Capturing images ready for Photoshop.


JJ grey sky layer 1024


The Style of the Course


  • Sessions are not hard slog with information overload but that there is a variety of presentations, demonstrations and class activities.
  • There will be also be voluntary homework so you can practice during the week and have fun comparing your efforts with others in the class working on the same image.
  • The aim is to introduce you to the elements and workings of Photoshop so that you become so familiar with it yourself that you will soon discover and work out things not mentioned in class.


The Software


  • Participants would need to have their own copy of Photoshop Elements, CS or CC.


  • I will be teaching from Photoshop Elements 11 and CS5 but any version of Elements, CS or CC will be applicable. We can work out any slight variations as we go.


  • However, although the course is applicable to any version of Photoshop, only features that are included in both Photoshop Elements and Photoshop CS will be covered.

Times, dates and costs


  • The cost of the course is €190 with printed notes in a binder .
  • There is also an option to receive notes per week online by PDF and avail of the reduced course price of € 160.


  • The course runs for 8 weeks at a time on Mondays from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at St Patricks
Parish Centre, Loughboy.


  • Sample images will be provided for activities and homework.



Thank you so much for such an enjoyable class. I love the structure of the classes. I was impressed with the folder we get in week 1, and then we have the notes from each week to refer to. The challenge of homework is great, as it guaranteed that I would focus on what we had just learned in class that week, and then it was nice to see everyone else’s work, as we can all learn from each other. I found the demonstrations in class very helpful, and you always used such relevant examples. With your approach to teaching the subject, which you so obviously love, you take the mystery out of it, and you put the enjoyment into it! Marian 


Thanks again for all your help with the course, you made it so enjoyable and kept it at a level that we could all understand. If you ever decide to do an advanced Photoshop class, please let me know. Eileen


Towards the end of 2011, I took Amanda Burkes ‘Beginners in Photoshop’ course. I loved it. It was refreshing to be able to take a course where the tutor loves what she is doing. Apart from her knowledge of Photoshop, (she makes it look so simple), she has all the patience in the world for her students and gives everybody individual attention as and when they need it. I am looking forward to attending further classes with Amanda, maybe photography next time. I urge anybody with an interest in photography to take a class. You won’t regret it. Stuart  




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