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Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements to organize and edit photos, build photos into projects like slideshows and photo books, and share photos with family and friends. Jan explains how to train Photoshop Elements 8 to recognize and tag faces, use the Smart Brush for targeted adjustments, and share photos using Adobe's online service, photoshop.com. She also dives deep into the application's editing tools, which rival those of the full product, Photoshop, in their ability to take snapshots and turn them into great photos. Exercise files accompany the course.
The most common photo problems fall into two categories. Problems with lighting and problems with color. I covered corrections to lighting in preceding movies in this chapter. Now let's talk about color. If you find that your photographs like this one need a little more pop, try applying a Hue/Saturation adjustment and doing that as an adjustment layer rather than a direct adjustment. To apply a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to this image, I'm going to go over to the panels, and first I'm going to close the Effects panel here by going its panel menu icon and choosing Close so there's more room for the Layers panel and the Adjustments panel that I'm about to open.
I am going to go to the bottom of the Layers panel and click the New Fill and Adjustment Layer icon, this black and white circle, and from the pop-up menu I'll choose Hue/Saturation. That adds a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer with the built-in layer mask and it opens the Adjustments panel to the controls for the Hue/Saturation adjustment. Here are three sliders. The first, the Hue slider, will change the overall color. I don't often use this because it gives pretty unrealistic results, but just to show you, if I drag this in this direction, I can get magentas or this direction, some greens and blues.
I'm going to put that back to 0 by typing 0 in the Hue field. There is also a Lightness slider that I don't use very often, because if I do want to adjust lightness, I'll go into the Shadow/Highlight adjustment or the Curves adjustment. But if I'm adjusting saturation sometimes I do want to tweak the lightness just a bit and I can make the image brighter by moving to the right or darker by moving to the left. I'm going to put that back to 0 by typing zero in the Lightness box as well. The real star of the Hue/Saturation adjustment is the Saturation slider here.
In an image like this which needs a little boost to color, dragging the Saturation slider to the right will make the colors more intense. To compare a before and after view, I'll go down to the eye icon at the bottom of the Adjustments panel and click. So that's where I started and that's where I'm by increasing the Saturation. If I go the other way with the Saturation slider dragging it to the left, I can actually pull of the color out of the image, but I don't recommend this as the best way to make a black and white image. I'll talk about converting to black and white in a later movie, but I did want you see what saturation is all about.
It's about the intensity of the color in the image. I am going to put Saturation back to zero to show you that you don't have to change the saturation of all the colors in an image. Let's say for example that I just wanted to pop the red colors in this image without touching the rest of the colors. So perhaps I want to leave the green as it is. I'm going to the Master menu here at the top of the Hue/Saturation adjustments, click there and I'll choose Reds and now when I drag the Saturation slider to the right, I do get a change in saturation in the red colors in the image, but it's not affecting the other hues.
If I want to get even more specific about the particular reds that I'm adjusting, I'll select this Eyedropper tool here in the Hue/Saturation panel, and then I'll go into the image and click with that Eyedropper on just the red that I want to affect. And as you notice that when I did that, the reds in the Church became more intense. The nice thing about adjusting Saturation from a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer is that, as with every adjustment layer, I can go back into this adjustment, reopen the Hue/Saturation controls into the Adjustments panel and make changes at any time, even after saving and closing the image as long as I've saved in a format that retains layers, like Photoshop document, .PSD, and as with all adjustment layers I have the option to limit my adjustment to just part of the image using the layer mask that comes with this adjustment layer.
So do give the Hue/Saturation adjustments layer a try, when you want to make the colors in your photos more intense.
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