Nadia Bettega / Pimlico Academy / Visual Literacy activities

Activity: Photoshop Basics

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An introductory Session for students

Materials needed:



Computer with access to internet/video and photoshop



PowerPoint illustrating Basic Functions of Photoshop (e.g. converting from colour to B&W, DPI, crop, selection tool, clone tool, healing tool, type tool, layers, levels, canvas size, move tool, cutting tool).

Prepare talk about the tools above and tailor this to the content of your students work, how they can make their work stronger.

Load video which illustrates the role of photoshop in commercial photography


  1. Show the Dove video link illustrating the role of photoshop in commercial photography
  2. Discuss what students feel about photoshop. Is it about creating new images, or perfecting existing. What are the ethics around photography? Why does it matter? What role do the students feel photoshop has in their own work? What type of things might they want to do or learn?
  3. Show students how to open/find photoshop and where they can find the basic tools (show the palette, how to save work, where, different file formats eg JPG, PSD etc)
  4. Show PowerPoint with the basic tools outlined above.
  5. Allocate a computer to pairs of students (or small groups if there are not enough computers)
  6. Students are asked to:

Select an image that they would like to change.

Explain to their peer why and how this would improve/change the image.

Practice altering images using the tools above, adding captions  to the new image and saving work in different formats.


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