Level 2
Unit No:
Guided learning hours:
24 hours


Learners will understand how to use photo editing software to enhance and modify digital photos. They will learn how to select and layer photo compositions, and develop the skills to enhance photos using colour correction and adjustment techniques. They will also learn how to merge and combine photo elements to create professional digital images.

Unit Learning Outcomes


Be able to use photo editing software for a specific purpose.

  • Image (photo) properties: file size (in memory), pixel dimensions, resolution, colour space (RGB/CMYK), file name/format, print size, number of pixels, layers, channels, paths, etc.
  • File formats: JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group), TIFF (Tagged Image File Format), RAW, DNG (Digital Negative Format), PNG (Portable Network Graphics), GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), BMP (Bitmap), PSD (Photoshop Document).
  • Work space (will vary depending on software) but learners should be able to: explore and customise their work space/user interface, use the navigation tools, understand the difference between undo and the history panel, history brush, layers panel, channels panel.
  • Canvas size: to match needs, image menu to increase the canvas size, using the crop tool to increase the canvas, use fill option to replace empty area.
  • Create and save selections using tools and layers: elliptical marquee tool, moving and duplicating selections, magic wand tool, lasso and polygon lasso tool, magnetic lasso tool, quick selection tool, combining selection tools, quick mask, cropping, select and mask, channels panel, create a shadow, merging layers.

Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1

    Explain the role of image properties and file formats in photo editing software.

  • 1.2

    Select and use appropriate canvas size, selection tools and layers to meet needs.


Be able to adjust, modify and prepare digital images to meet requirements. 


  • Correction: cropping and straightening techniques, standard crop, non-destructive cropping, rotating with crop, straightening photos, perspective crop tool, image distortion.
  • Retouch and repair: spot healing brush, cloning tools, content aware tools, sponge tool, dodge and burn tools.
  • Quick edits for common problems: red eye, reducing noise, sharpening a photo, brightening and darkening an image, correcting image distortion, depth of field, applying filters and blurs, moving objects, adjusting facial features, adjusting perspective in an image.
  • Manipulation techniques: cropping, removing backgrounds, rotating, brightness/contrast, levels, colour adjustment, cloning, retouching, red eye removal, apply effects, filters, selections, use of layers, text, rendering, shadows, proportion, texture use, picking stock images, combining and merging multiple images, colour blending, extracting parts of images and combining, changing background colours.
  • Combine images together: combine/merge a number (minimum of four is recommended) of photo elements into one image, placing an image inside of another, for example, placing a number of objects on a different background.
  • Features of type: point type, paragraph type, switching between point to paragraph type, type on a path, warp, rasterising text, characters panel, change the type colour, paragraph panel.
  • Prepare files for publishing: create a flattened image and keep original layers, optimizing for the web, master file options, converting an image to CMYK, JPEG for printing.

Assessment Criteria

  • 2.1

    Use different techniques to enhance digital photos.

  • 2.2

    Manipulate and combine different photo elements together to create a new digital image.

  • 2.3

    Prepare digital images for publishing.