Learning resources feedback

To my mind the biggest lack now in the PL system is the lack of reference and learning resources.

I just went to the website to find the manual. It took me 10 minutes to find the online guide. There’s no search function for Learn and Support. It’s there under Product Support. In my world product support means something different; it means contacting a person about a problem. And I know there’s a PDF version somewhere. Another 10 minutes?

The online guide is basic. It’s about the levers. If I wanted to know when and why particular edits should be used it wouldn’t tell me. Eg. when would I use global v details sharpening under Lens Sharpness, and what should I know to use them effectively? (There’s no entry on this function anyway).

Pascal’s tutorials are helpful. PL could offer some professional editing to improve expression and layout.

There are the recorded webinars.

Some users can’t play vids so these resources are wasted to them.

I’ve just watched the one on selective adjustments and make this comment about the assumed learning model: it’s wrong. Adult learners don’t learn well with this model.

You shouldn’t present the theory or a bunch of recipe steps ‘just in case’. You start with the tasks the adult learner typically faces, show how they can be done and distil some principles*. Better still, interact with adult learners: provide an example file to edit and let them loose on it with a task to do. Then review. Or start at the beginning: ask them ‘what about this image can be improved?’. An editor is a tool. Without being clear about what the objective is, the adult learner won’t engage.

PL management has also assumed that if someone can do X, they can teach X (and via video). Also wrong.

Specific comments on this webinar:
He needs to slow the narrative down and articulate more clearly. Too many sentences end in a rapid downward inflection.
Each change of mouse use needs to be cued; you can’t expect the viewer to always see it when it jumps across the screen esp. when this screen is going to be used as a window on the viewer’s screen.
There’s no use of Windows command equivalents.
Repetition and digression make the vid about twice as long as it needs to be.
It’s redundant to step through menu choices where they’re self evident.
He calls the graduated filter the gradient filter.
It’s not till half way in that he presents a meaningful example.
There’s no time stamp for the sections, so it assumes the viewer is going to sit through it all or do trial and error jumping forward. Adult learners tire of this very quickly. I had a general and a specific interest in watching the vid and the specific one wasn’t addressed till 30 minutes in, and then it was of no use to me because it referred only to Mac controls. How likely do you think I am to do this again? Close to zero. In the Adobe world, a few minutes of searching would’ve got me an answer to my specific question.

  • Google Knowles, or adult learning theory or andragogy

Hi @Ziggy99,
Thanks for your detailed feedback.
We are aware that we should improve our ‘Learning experience’: that’s why we are collecting feedback and other data to figure out possible solutions. Your comment points it out pretty clearly: we need to give you the right ‘tools’ to support your self-growth and learning, and we aren’t there yet.

If you’d like to add something and/or go into further detail, please get in touch with me through DM.

Steven L.


In a former job, we used to deliver technologies to telecommunications providers and we always had to provide a fairly big set of documentations. During that time, the providers were usually very happy with (user) documentations that focused on what a user would want to do rather than what a specific feature was able to achieve.

In this sense, oncoming learning resources could be composed of two major sections

  • scenarios (user centric how-to)
  • technical reference

If we look at current manuals, focus is often on the technical part instead of the user part, which I can easily understand because it is more straightforward to simply describe what you have. Customers (users) often ask questions like “How can I do this or that?” rather than “Is Prime+ based on AI?”…

Scenarios could look like this: I have this gorgeous image but…

  • The sky is boring
  • The shadows are way too dark
  • I don’t like the colours
  • There’s a satellite dish I’d like to remove…

In order to enable users to be creative, it might be a good idea to show several variants on how to achieve results in the How-To section. If you collected user questions on a dedicated page, you could build up the How-To section over time. Doing it in a forum might be an alternative but would require tight monitoring in order to keep the discussions on track.


True, and the technical section can be dive deeper in the how things work behind the userinterface. More detailed interactions and features.
The when you need to use what in the tool and why.
Then refere to the how

Like interaction/effecting area’s of contrast adjustment tools.
When you leave the general contrast to adjust fine contrast or micro contrast. And how does effect clearview + a applied general micro contrast or not.

How to manage smartlighting, EV compensation, and the highlight shadow sliders together.

Lot of those things are just trail and error along the way but a good manual guide is devided in three sections.
Quick start tour
What do i have?
Where can i find it?
What does it do?

Advanged guide diving in each tool how to work with it properly.
(lot of it would be videotutorial based i am afraid)

And a technical reference section which explains every tools workarea’s with pointers to effected other tools.
A possible flowchard. The why it is a the best way. (i know it’s non hieracical for the most part with raws but to avoid extra work some things have a certain sequense of tools
Like first adjust horizon and perspective before local adjustments. Or first WB then HSL because of changing data which effects filters or masks. (sound logic to do so but say you try to adjust a color cast by HSL and decide to change some global colortint after that. Shifting out a mask would cause some strange effects i think.

The what does it do is easy to connect to the ? Mark. The quick start.
Right click on the ? Would open the way to the advanced section of the tool.

The technical section doesn’t need to be pulled up from the program that can be a pdf manual section. Not every one needs that or want to read that.

I find the top bar for finding tutorials and webinairs working well. You need internet but hence most people do have this and mobile G4 or G5 is starting to be cheap also for when your on the road.

Here are some more things to consider …

Adult learners aren’t interested in learning a tool or function per se. They are interested in getting some work done. They will need to see the rationale for any aspect of the teaching.

I believe that many regard editing as an unwelcome overhead and want the quickest result with the least effort.

I suggest a webinar/video format something like this.

  1. Purpose of editing. It’s to get the most out of your shot and correct errors.
  2. Here’s an example shot. These are its weaknesses.
  3. Here’s what 10 minutes of editing produced. That addressed a, b, c etc.
  4. Today we going to learn how to fix a with tool x. Other webinars address b, c etc. (So assume x = selective adjustments SA).
  5. The reason we’d go selective rather than global is …
  6. There are two steps. The first is defining the area to adjust and the second is adjusting it. For this example we could use this defining method, or that method etc. Show how they’re done and indicate what’s best for this task and why.
  7. State and demonstrate the masking options because editing is very often repetitive and some will save time: inverting a mask, saving a mask, saving an edit etc.
  8. Now with this weakness we can use these adjustments. Demonstrate before and after then show how. There are ways of saving time by saving edits, eg. …
  9. And with the next weakness we can … etc etc
  10. And be aware that most shots are improved with a range of edits eg. cropping, exposure adjustments, work on noise and sharpness etc (weaknesses b, c etc above) and those were done with our sample shot. See the other recordings.

Some general points …

I shouldn’t have to say that instructions for both OSs should be covered when needed and recorded webinar sections should be time-stamped.

I’d expect that most people will be using the recordings rather than enrolling in webinars so question why you are starting with webinars.

The presenter should understand that most adult learners won’t retain most of what’s said. Likely 2 or 3 things at most will stick. KISS rules.

You should have available the same file for the learner to work on as they watch in the recorded webinar. For some learners the learning will only stick by applying it then or soon after.

Most learners, adult and teenage, will get to the principles from engaging with the concrete. A preference for starting with ‘theory’ is fairly uncommon in the population (but our universities are dominated by it and by telling rather than showing).

PL needs data on what beginners and intermediates are looking to achieve. Editing is always editing of something - don’t just use example landscapes and buildings. Use motorsport, street, wildlife and so on.


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I have only recently purchased photolab 3.
I would have to agree with the earlier posts.
The lack of tutorials/videos/resources to help some-one new to the software has been a real impediment for me. At the moment I have decided to put learning and using PhotoLab on the backburner due to this lack of resources to get me up to speed quickly.
I’m now turning to learn On1 Photo Raw as there are LOTS of videos aimed at a new user.
I don’t know if DxO is better or not - I just need something I can learn quickly in processing 100’s of photos per session.
I thought DxO might have been that but until there are guides etc for new users, I’m not going to invest the time diving down endless rabbit holes just to learn each simple step.
Seems such a shame to develop a product but not support new users to get used to it?

I propose ypu read the manual and then go to the DXO academy

If that’s how you learn best you’re very much in a minority, assuming you’re an adult.
People don’t buy PL to learn how to use it. They buy it to do certain things with their photos.

Probably so. Nevertheless, there are several learning types. Some learn from reading manuals, others learn from just trying things out, others learn from looking at tutorial movies etc. and often, a combination of channels is best.

I am convinced that, whatever the channel, learning should be oriented along what the user wants and not along what the tool can do. See my post above for details.

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I bought it to do both - learn and do things. If I am in a minority or not I do not care a bit. I assume that is one of the reasons why we have many questions on the forum where you just can reply - RTFM.

You assumed what works for you works for others. As the thread indicates pretty clearly, your mode isn’t others’. The post you replied to shows what an adult learner is looking for, and it isn’t retiring with a manual or other ‘rabbit hole’. PL has just lost a user and an upgrade customer for lack of accessible learning materials.

Yes, there’s a lot of psychologising about this and the data doesn’t show types, it shows preferences with flexibility between them.
PL has made a choice of sorts, to work on webinars as a supplement to a reference work. I’ve outlined the limitations with this. I’m not seeing the kind of positive responses to them that I’ve seen to Pascal’s tutorials. If that’s any indication, PL has chosen the wrong rabbit hole.

It’s not about psychology, it’s about how an individual learns best. From a knowledge provider’s point of view, this means that you could e.g. provide spoken podcast type of material and know that a bunch of listeners will not be able to take away the lessons easily. Same with a bunch of slides, they usually need some spoken word to go along etc.

However a person learns best does not say anything about all other qualities of said person.

I remember a comic drawing (by Claire Bretécher?) where a man says to a woman “I like your eyes” and the woman thinks “he does not like my nose”.

Most of the competing theories come from psychologists.
The idea is lodged in popular culture. The evidence isn’t. Eg. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/04/the-myth-of-learning-styles/557687/

20 years of teaching and the VARKs rubbish get recycled every few years with demands from quality coordinators that we adapt everything we do to this. Then after a couple of years when there is no improvement it gets dropped for the next flavour of the month, until the next time…

Thanks for the suggestions - I have been doing both.
The manual is factual but doesn’t cover setting up a good workflow (and why)

I have been to the academy - I would really love some that cover the basics for people new to PhotoLab
The webinars are usually way too long and sometimes try to cover so much. I feel they also tend to be directed towards people who have had some experience with the software.

I REALLY want to like PhotoLab but at the moment I need a series of tutorials for NEW users to get up to speed with a new workflow and why I should probably do “it” that way.

I use PS CS6 but with new camers I can no longer use Adobe Camera Raw with the new NEF files.
So I either have to convert them to DNG … or find a raw processor that can handle the NEF files which can quickly synch white balance.
I want to use PL to batch process white balance (using a greycard) and maybe some settings to get photos close … so that I can go through each and crop and make final adjustments.
I usually have 600-1000 selected photos to process quickly for each event (sports).
I’m under the impression that it is not easy to synch just white balance for a group of images?

Appreciate your insight

Hi there :wink:
If you’d like to sync just the white balance for a group of images you could select them all and change the WB (BUT if you have hundreds of images selected the process could be slow) or just correct your WB on image 1, then copy the correction settings (right-click on the thumbnail, “Copy correction settings”) and paste them on your target selection (right-click on any of the selected images and choose “paste correction settings”)…
Is that what you’re trying to achieve?

What kind of workflow you need?
Quick solutions for groups of the same images?
A certain look of all image as base setting?
Culling tagging and proccesing?

A quick way to have a certain adjustment settinggroup avaible for any image are presets and partial presets.
You can add folders in the preset editer and create presets and partial presets along the way for a project of images. Create a folder project 1 fill that with presets you need.
By naming them so that you understand/remember the outcome you can quick improve larger amounts of images who are roughly the same type.

If no longer needed, delete them or move them to an other folder.
It’s a copy paste action but then organised in a library.

The idea of different learning preferences - visual, auditory etc - resonates with many people and there must be a reason for that. Perhaps they know not they’re not learning well, or they find it a struggle or not enjoyable, and this looks like an explanation.

More a case (as the article notes) people learn a particular style that gets them by, and then become resistant to changing them, even if the new method produces better results.

More a case of a learning habit rather than a true learning style.

Essentially yes.
If the “Standard DxO preset” is applied should that be done before or after correcting the white balance?
Does it make a difference?
If I then decide to apply the "Neutral"present to the target image, should I redo by white balance correction before copying the settings to other photos?

Can you point me to any tutorials for a new user to get a handle on how to use PhotoLab?
I have tried (a few times) to watch this webinar:

Workflow with DxO PhotoLab: from the camera to the export

haven’t been able to get through it - too long and doesn’t explain what to adjust first, then, then … and why. Just seems to be a whole bunch of this is what this feature can do.

I have read these tutorials on PhotoOptics Pro (which was the software before PhotoLab)

Standardizing a series of wedding pictures with DxO OpticsPro 10

Setting white balance with DxO OpticsPro

Batch processing an image series with DxO OpticsPro 10

Not sure if PhotoLab has more/less features than they talk about.
My feeling is that there are three pages in the DxO academy on PhotoLab but they don’t seem to be organised in a logical way or groups. Some refer to additional modules that I don’t think I have etc etc
The webinars are too long, some are “what’s new in …”
From my point of view the support isn’t there for a person new to PhotoLab or if it is, it isn’t easy to find. I’d be delighted if some-one can point me to specific resources to get a grip with the software instead of zooming sliders back and forth randomly.

Again, thanks for your contributions - appreciate it. :+1: