The Digital Darkroom
Developed and Instructed by James Gordley 2004-2009
All illustrations and graphics  done using Photoshop Elements.

The Organizer

Organizer Work Space.


Keeping photographs organized has always been a matter of selecting a few photographs for a photo album and then putting the remainder in a shoe box with little or no organization at all. Photo Shop Elements provides an easy to use yet powerful set of tools that will keep photographs easy to find and use in many various projects. Keyword Tags, Albums, and several sorting and searching options keep our photographs as well as other media files organized.


In order for PSE to organize photos we will have to import the photo information into the Photo Shop Organizer. Photographs can be in several places such as, a digital camera, mobile phone, various folders on your local computer, or network computer, CD's, DVD's, and even those tiny little thumb drives.

PSE offers an easy way to get photos from all of those many places. On the Menu Bar click [ File > Get Photos] Then select from one of the five options presented in the selection box.

NOTE: Keyboard shortcuts are indicated to the right of most options.

From Camera or Card Reader

Once installed Photoshop Elements is able to detect when a camera or other storage device contains photos. When such a device is detected the Photo Downloader is by default automatically launched. To quickly change this setting click on the Downloader Icon located in the system tray (bottom right on your screen).

Note: Delete options by default are set to: Do Not Delete Originals. You may choose to delete the files from the memory card (digital film) in your camera, freeing up space for new photographs.


The Photo Downloader will appear on your computer screen. You can then provide custom information for the photos to be downloaded or choose to use the default settings. Those settings are:

bulletGet Photos from: Source of the photos such as a camera, card reader, CD, DVD, or any other USB device that contains images. Most of the time this device will automatically be selected for you.
bulletBrowse: Navigate to or create a location (folder/directory) to place the photos. The default location for Windows is the My Pictures folder.
bulletCreate Subfoler(s): An easy way to give the new photos their very own folder to live in. This option also makes it easier for you to keep the photos organized. There are several options available. A default subfolder is automatically created using the date information found in the photos meta data. (The shot date). You may choose to give this subfolder a custom name.
bulletRename Files: Provides a way for renaming photo files. You can choose to keep the original file name in the photos meta data by clicking the check box.
bulletDelete Options: You may choose to keep the originals on the device or have them removed completely from it giving you room for new photos the next time you use your camera.
bulletAdvanced Dialog: Includes options for:
bulletSelecting just the photos you want to upload.
bulletRotating photos
bulletAutomatically fix red eyes
bulletAutomatically suggest photo stacks
bulletMake "Group Custom Name" a Tag
bulletApply basic Meta Data to the photo.
bulletGet Photos: Downloads the photos applying all of the options that have been selected. 

Copying Files Info progress window.

Files Successfully Copied


As the photos are being downloaded the information pop ups will be displayed on the computer's screen. The organizer work space will also open.

The first pop up shows a thumbnail of each photo as it is being copied. The progress window can be minimized, the copying process can also be stopped from this dialog box.

When the download is complete an information pop up is displayed telling you that your photos have been successfully copied. Notice there is an option that will enable only the files that were just copied to show in the organizer work space. If you choose not to view just those items remove the check mark by clicking on the check box. Click OK.

If you selected to view only the items just imported the next pop up informs you that only the files that were just copied are showing. Click OK. If the check box was unchecked you will see all of the images that are in the current catalog.

The image browser populates with the photos that you imported from a camera or other device.

From Files and Folders

Click [File > Get Photos and Videos > From Files and Folders]

Navigate to the folder that contains the photos being imported

Select the photos that are to be imported

Click the Get Photos button.

The photo browser window will populate with the file(s) that were just imported.

Note: Photos can be dragged into the browser from almost any location as well.



Now that there are files in the photo browser window, take a few minutes to discover the many different ways in which they can be sorted and viewed.

Rating Photographs 

There may be many hundreds or even thousands of photographs in your catalog. Of those many photographs there will be some that are better than others or you may prefer some over others. PSE Organizer gives you a way to rate photos by using a scale of zero to five stars. Once rated they can be filtered based on the rating that has been given to them.

Below each photograph there is a row of stars. By clicking on these stars a photograph can be rated. For example, clicking the third star from the left will rate the photograph with three stars. By default photographs will have a rating of zero.

The ratings filter is used to view photographs of specific ratings, and can be used in three ways.

bulletand higher - Displays the photos rated at and higher than the selected star level.
bulletand lower - Displays the photos rated at and lower than the selected star level.
bulletonly - Displays the photos that are rated with the exact star level.

The default setting for the filter is set to "and higher".

Ratings can also be set via an options selection. To view these options right click on the photo.