20 Questions: Post-Processing Photos, Start-to-Finish

Here at Digital Scrapbooking HQ, I love to share Photoshop Elements techniques and tips, but I tend to focus on the scrapbooking side of things.

Lately, you've been asking for more information about making your photos pop, and I've called in my friend, photographer and post-processing wiz Liz Ness. Inside these five video lessons Liz will walk you through editing your photos to bring out their best!


post-processPhotoshop Elements guided edits are excellent teachers when we set out to learn how to post-process our photos.  However, as our skills grow and we gain mastery, we soon realize that a single recipe rarely suites all images. At that point, our focus shifts from “how?” to “what and when?” and that’s when the 20 Questions method becomes useful.

Rather than a specific technique, the 20 Questions approach poses questions like, “Does the image look hazy?” Each answer—which differs from image to image—guides the actions we take and the tools we use to bring out the best within our images.  Moreover, the questions are posed in a chronological fashion, stepping through prost-processing from start-to finish. This approach is:

  • Designed to address “What and when?”
  • Flexible
  • Able to guide us toward treating each image uniquely

However, as you may have guessed, a start-to-finish process can be a lengthy adventure. So, I’ve created a five-part video series to make it all a bit more manageable. Each video focuses on a specific set of questions and various Photoshop Elements techniques to address the answers of those questions.  For example, in addition to evaluating the exposure, lighting, color, and structure of three different images, I demonstrate how to use a variety of Photoshop Elements tools, such as:

  • The Camera Raw Tool
  • Levels, Saturation, Gradient Maps, Masking, and Blending
  • Convert to Black-and-White
  • The Move/Skew, Paint Brush, Straighten, Spot Healing Brush, and Cropping Tools
  • The Paint Brush,  Tool
  • The High Pass and Unsharp Mask Filters

Truly, “how?” is an important question to answer—it’s the first question, really.  But, I have to admit, it’s this second question, “what and when?” that I love thinking about most.  And, when Melissa asked me if I’d share my thoughts on it with you, I felt both honored and grateful (thanks again Melissa!).

Post-Processing Walkthroughs in Photoshop Elements

Exposure and White Balance






I hope you enjoy the series and find the 20 Questions Handout useful.  Meanwhile, I wish you the very best as you post-process your own images.

liz nessLiz

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  • Kimberly DeMucha Kalil

    LOVE the 20 Questions Handout … what awesome reference.

    • http://digitalscrapbookinghq.com/ Melissa Shanhun

      :) I think I need to print it out and stick it up by my computer! Super handy!

      • http://www.liznessstudio.com Liz Ness

        Thanks Kimberly and Melissa! =)

  • Sylvia Cuillo

    Thanks for all this valuable content!!!

  • http://GinaZee.com/ GinaZee

    What a wonderful thing. Thank you.