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Online Photography Course
Photoshop Toolbox I: Exposure and Color

Become a better photographer today!

Join 's Course: Photoshop Toolbox I: Exposure and ColorStart getting the most out of your Photoshop software with exciting exposure and color-correcting techniques. In this 8-week online course by professional photographer and digital-darkroom specialist Lewis Kemper, you will learn the important lessons for controlling exposure and color correction techniques in the full version of Adobe Photoshop.
Key Features

  1. Workflow - Intro to Setting Up Tools
  2.  Adjustment vs. Pixel Layers
  3. Blend Modes
  4. Better Than Film
  5. Creating Graduated Neutral Density Filters
  6. Curves and Levels
  7. Selective Color and Hue Saturation
  8. Putting It All Together

  • Learn the two most important concepts for photographers - exposure and color correction
  • Take the "rocket science" out of Photoshop® and make it easy and intuitive
  • Taught in photographic terms

What You Get


You get direct feedback on your photos from world-acclaimed, professional photographers. You can learn photography in this way from anywhere in the world.  
  • Learn at your pace, with structure.
  • Be guided by a real pro instructor.
  • Get your photos critiqued every week.
  • Join students from around the world.
  • Go far beyond any book or DVD.
  • Make great pictures, again and again!



Photography Instructor: Lewis  Kemper Lewis Kemper
Lewis Kemper specializes in nature and wildlife photography, and has taught over 100 workshops and classes on landscape photography and/or the digital darkroom.

He is a contributing editor to Outdoor Photographer and PC Photo magazines.

His work is represented worldwide by Getty Images, Index Stock Imagery, Stock Connection, AFLO Japan and DRK Photo. Lewis's computer-enhanced images have been used in advertisements, cards, bookmarks and calendars. He is the photographer of Ancient Ancestors of the Southwest, published in 1996.

He also runs a custom digital printing service to create fine art prints for photographers.

Lewis has been honored to be included into Canon’s Explorers of Light program, which recognizes 78 of the country’s most influential photographers.

A Couple of Photos by the Instructor

© Lewis Kemper 

© Lewis Kemper 

A Couple of Student Photos


View photos by previous students. You can make pictures like this too!

Corry  Berghout
© Corry Berghout
Corry  Berghout
© Corry Berghout

Course Outline


Lesson 1: Workflow - Intro to Setting Up Tools
Here we will learn how to set Photoshop's preferences and color management settings as well as make a few change to certain tool palettes.
Assignment: Set you computer and Photoshop to optimize performance and color space as discussed. Get images that you feel need help with exposure or color.
Lesson 2: Adjustment vs. Pixel Layers
Here we will learn when to create new layers versus new adjustment layers. How to order layers, mask layers, group adjustment layers, cut and paste to create layers, etc.
Assignment: Create multi-layered images using both adjustment layers and pixel layers.

Lesson 3: Blend Modes
Using Blend Modes for exposure and burning and dodging. Controlling over and underexposure with blend modes and adjustment layers. Layer sets and masks on sets. Black Hides, White Shows.
Assignment: Correct over- and under-exposed images using the blend modes. Burn and dodge images using the methods described.

Lesson 4: Better Than Film
Combining multiple exposures to get a full tonal range image.
Assignment: Combine images to create full tonal range picture.

Lesson 5: Creating Graduated Neutral Density Filters
Creating density masks and graduated neutral density filters.
Assignment: Use graduated neutral density filters and density masks to fix exposures in images.

Lesson 6: Curves and Levels
Using levels and curves for contrast control and global color shifts.
Assignment: Use the semi auto levels adjustment technique discussed and experiment with the curves dialog box to correct color shifts.

Lesson 7: Selective Color and Hue Saturation
Controlling colors by using selective color and Hue/saturation. Controlling local color.
Assignment: Use the Hue/Saturation and Selective Color adjustment layers in combination with the "Black Hides, White Shows" concept to adjust/enhance local color.

Lesson 8: Putting It All Together
In this final lesson we are going to work on two images that require a variety of the techniques we have covered as well as learn a few new tweaks and tricks.
Assignment: Fix the two provided images and fix two of your own images using a variety of the techniques learned throughout the class.

Review: Voting on Best Work

© Lewis Kemper 

© Lewis Kemper 



  • Photoshop CS2, CS3 or CS4 (no Elements). Please Note: Lessons are supplemented by the instructor with videos on CS4 techniques. 
  • A Mac or Windows-based computer
  • A digital or film-based camera
  • Experience with menus and layers



What version of Photoshop® is required?
You will need a full version of Photoshop® (no Elements): CS2, CS3, or CS4. But a note on CS4: Lessons are supplemented by the instructor with videos on CS4 techniques. 

What Photoshop skills do I need for this course?
You should be somewhat familiar with the program. Actually if you can create adjustment layers, layer masks and know what the tools on the tool bar are, you should do fine. I am only concentrating on teaching you the best methods for dealing with exposure and color correction. We are not going to cover the tools for cloning, sizing, etc. This class is designed for the person who has been using Photoshop for the digital darkroom and want to expand their knowledge so that they will be become masters of exposure and color correction. So if you want to move beyond Variations, Color Balance and Brightness/Contrast, and harness the real power of Photoshop®, then this class is for you!  

Are there any other requirements? Do I need particular computer equipment, for example?
No. All you need is Internet access (which you have if you are reading this on the Web). Whether you use Mac, Windows XP or another operating system, you will be fine. I also recommend a graphics tablet. It is not necessary, but I liken a graphics tablet in the digital darkroom to the tripod in photography. You can get by without one but you will have better results when using one!  

© Lewis Kemper 

© Lewis Kemper 

Do I have to be online at any specific time?
No, you do not need to be online at any specific time. The lessons are sent to your email and you are also provided the Campus Square - where you interact with your classmates and instructor. This is also where you upload your photos to be critiqued by your instructor. The instructors are very punctual and respond quickly.

Will I have access to the instructor to ask questions during the photo course?
Absolutely! Students can ask questions in the special Q&A forum set up in the course's Campus Square, or can ask the instructor via email.

Do you offer a money back guarantee?
Yes. We are confident that you will fully enjoy our courses. All the same, for our 8-week classes, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent out. If for any reason, you are not satisfied and let us know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent, you will be promptly refunded.

For our 4-week courses, we offer a 100% money back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent out from BetterPhoto. If for any reason you are not satisfied and you let the ordering department know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent, you will be refunded within 7 days. After the second lesson has been sent out, no refunds will be given.

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At a Glance
8-Week Software Course
Category: Photoshop Courses

$396.00 USD
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Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Read all 75 reviews

Course Reviews:

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Denise Aulie
Denise Aulie
member since: 8/19/2007
My photos adjustments dramatically improved with this course. I appreciate that Lewis points out that despite Photoshop updates in the future, these basic tools will never be outgrown. They are staples. Lewis teaches with clarity and sufficient repetition to make the principles stick. I am so glad I took this course and continue to use what has been learned now with new as well as old photos - making them come far more vibrant and colorful in an efficient, logical work-flow. Each lesson is a challenge and takes devoted time to complete. Each lesson builds gradually on previous foundational steps. Work that pays dividends. I feel so much more in control of what happens to the final outcome of the photos I have taken the time and effort to capture. Makes me hopeful that there will be more and more keepers because of this solid help and insight and training. Thank you Lewis.

- 3/10/2011 1:55:43 PM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Sandra L. Maxwell
Sandra L. Maxwell
member since: 10/30/2009
I really enjoyed this class. I feel that I have gone off with a lot of valuable information that I can now use on many of my photos. Lewis was on hand almost everyday to answer any questions that our class had and was quick with his critiques. With his new DVD movies that you can watch along with the printouts really made learning very easy for me. I would go back and watch them a few times over while working on the class project. If your looking to learn about layers, masking and color corrections then this is your class.

- 2/21/2011 7:10:10 PM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Bunny Snow
Bunny Snow
member since: 11/16/2004
I've wanted to take this class for at least three years now, and while Lewis' movies are a blessing and saves one's sanity, I'm still struggling and am far behind with assignments (in part due to injury) but mostly because of short term memory problems. But, I'd take it again, if finances allow and if Lewis could stand me, because it's that good!

Thank you, Lewis for the sanity saving movies.

Bunny Snow

- 2/18/2011 8:45:35 AM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Lyn Darlington
Lyn Darlington
member since: 3/21/2010
Excellent course, lessons are clear and easy to follow, Lewis is an excellent teacher.

- 8/31/2010 6:30:41 PM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Charles W. Stephens
member since: 4/24/2009
I am a true beginner at photoshop and the Toolbox I course as taught by Lewis Kemper seems a PERFECT course for both a beginner and experieced photoshop user. It would be difficult for me to come up with ANY suggestion to improve either the content of the course or the quality of the instruction unless the course could be FREE! Both the content and the quality of the instruction deserve a 100% rating at every level and every issue one could use to critique a course.

- 8/29/2010 6:51:31 AM

Read all 75 course reviews...

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More Delighted Customers:

"Lewis's activity and interest in sharing his skill is fabulous! Though an online class, he is always there, answering your questions, helping to solve problems that you run into. And the response is fast! Thanks, Lewis, for making this class a treasure!" -Bo Thibblin 

"The best course on PS that I ever had. I tripled my knowledge and got fair, even, and fast feedback... I'm so glad I took this course. Thank you, and thank you, Lewis Kemper." -Wayne Fisk 

"Lewis is one of the most accessible teachers I have had - very clear in his lessons and critiques, and very prompt with his responses to questions and problems. To sum it up: Lewis Kemper is very user friendly!!" -Janelle Barry 

"I have taken all three of your Toolbox courses and have thoroughly enjoyed them! I am using many of the things you coverd in each course every day. My final images are very much improved and I feel I have a much better overall understanding of Photoshop. ... Thanks for all you critiques and comments - they were all very helpful!" -Jack Ingold 

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