PhotoShop Elements for Zapplication

by Karen Seymour and Geoff Carson

Purpose of class:

How to prepare digital images for Zapplication


  • PhotoShop Elements, version 6.0 or higher
  • Picasa, iPhoto are more for organizing images—not ideal for editing images

Zapplication Requirements:

  • Color Profile to be sRGB (standard – red, blue, green) (PS Elements default)
  • Maximum image size is 1920 pixels on the longest side
  • Minimum image size is 1400 pixels on the longest side

Standard JPEG (extension .jpg) not progressive:

  • JPEGs must be under 2MB (Mega Bytes) – do this by varying the quality of the saved file
  • 1920 x 1920 pixels is best for many shows
  • Resolution (resolution is for printing purposes only and does not affect the quality of the image for Zapp)

Why set your camera at the highest quality image setting:

  • You can reduce large images
  • Having to enlarge small images results in a blurred view

Edit One Image

Saving your image in an “un-degradable” format:

  • JPG format deteriorates after each modification
  • TIF, or TIFF or .psd formats do not degrade after modification 


Great for one image that was professionally done of one piece of art (large file)

  • Open your original and save it to a new name in .PSD or TIF
  • Crop, if needed
  • Go to Image/Resize/Image Size
  • Check the size in pixels, resize down to 1920 pixels along the longest dimension.
  • Save as JPG with the highest quality you can and still keep under the 2MB limit


Create a blank workspace (canvas)

  • File/New/Blank File
  • Enter a file name like “ZappTemplate.psd”
  • Width 1920 (pixels) x Height 1920 (pixels)
  • Resolution – leave this at whatever it has defaulted to—it doesnʼt matter
  • Color Mode – sRBG or just RBG (Elements default is sRGB)
  • Background – Use BLACK, WHITE, or a Color that complements your artwork
  • Save this workspace as a Template for future use
  • Save As… myZappTemplate.jpg
  • You now have a blank workspace

Open your image:

  • Dragging a layer of your image to the blank workspace
  • Sizing the image using the size boxes
  • Sizing box functions
  • Moving the image
  • Showing ʻundoʼ ʻredoʼ commands

Closing original image file:

  • Never “SAVE” the original.  Always use “Save As”
  • Save As… myZappImage 1.jpg
  • Check file size (Zapp 2MB max.)

Edit Multiple Images on One Workspace:

  • Deleting a layer
  • Selecting a layer for editing
  • Moving layers
  • Explain Layers
  • Dragging/resizing/laying out images
  • Opening all the images you want on the one PS workspace
  • Opening new/name/save blank file. (or open myZappTemplate.jpg)
  • Save As… Never just Save an original
  • Check file size (Zapp 2MB max.)

Reducing Image Size for Website and making a Thumbnail (Images load faster if reduced beforehand):

  • Open an image
  • Go to Image/Resize/Image Size
  • Adjust pixels on width or height to match the space on your webpage that will host the image.

PhotoShop Elements – Contrast & Color Correction

  • Usually for images taken yourself under less than ideal conditions
  • Enhance / Auto Levels
  • Enhance / Auto Contrast
  • Enhance / Auto Color Correction – not desirable
  • Enhance / Adjust Lighting / Color, Contrast
  • Enhance / Adjust Color / Hue, Saturation
  • Show Adjusting multiple images on one workspace
  • Better to match other images on same space
  • Save As… Never just “Save” an original.  Always use “Save As”

PhotoShop Elements – Simple Shadows

  • Cutouts and shadows