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In Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training, Jan Kabili highlights the key features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. She shows how to correct and enhance photographs, and how to organize a growing collection of digital photos. The course also explains how to use photos in creative projects like photo books, calendars, and greeting cards, and how to share work online and in print. Exercise files accompany the course.
Elements 9 comes with another new Guided Edit that you can use to add realistic looking reflections to your photos. That Guided Edit is located in the Fun Edit section and it's called what else, Reflection. Before I use the Reflection Guided Edit, I'm going to crop away this area of this sidewalk in my photo. This does have some reflection in it, but I'd rather add my own, better looking reflection. So, I'm going to crop this away by going up to the top of the column on the right side of Guided Edit, and from the Basic Photo Edits category, I'll choose Crop Photo.
Now, this isn't the only place that you can crop a photo in Elements, but it's convenient to do it right here in Guided Edit when I'm going to be using the Reflections Guided Edit in just a moment. With the Crop tool selected here in the instructions, I'll leave the Crop Box Size set to No Restriction. And then I'll move into the image and I'll click inside this bounding box and I'm going to push it up to the top-left of the photo. Then I'm going to drag from the right -bottom anchor point to position the bounding box over the part of the image that I want to keep.
When I've got it the way I want it, I'll click the check mark, and that crops the image. Now, I'll click Done in the Crop Guided Edit on the right and that takes me back to the list of Guided Edits. Here, I'm going to click the scrollbar and go all the way down to the bottom to the Fun Edits category where I'll click on the Reflection Guided Edit. This is just one example of the kind of reflection that you can make. I'm going to make a more realistic looking reflection or at least a reflection that takes the sidewalk into account.
I'll scroll down to the first step, which is to click the Add Reflection button. That expands the canvas and makes a flipped copy of my photo and makes that copy translucent, so I can see down through to the checkerboard below. The next step is to replace that checkerboard with a color. I'll click on the Eyedropper tool, and then, I'll move into the image and I'm going to go over a dark color, because I'm trying to make this look like a dark sidewalk. So, I'll click here on this newspaper box, and that sets that dark gray as the foreground color.
Next, I'll go back to the instructions and I'll click the Fill Background button, and that fills the area behind this reflection with that dark gray. Now I'm going to customize that reflection to make it look more realistic. In step 4, I have a choice between making the reflection look like a shiny floor, like textured glass, or like water. I'm going to choose the Water Reflection, and that opens the Ripple Filter dialog box. You can see what this filter does; it adds some ripple to the reflection in the water.
I can click and drag here to see another part of the reflection, and if I want to increase that ripple, I can drag the Amount slider over to the right slightly. That's a bit too much, so I'll back off, and then I'll click OK. Now you can see that ripple here in the reflection, and another dialog box pops up; this one for the Motion Blur Filter. To add a little more blur to the reflection, I can drag this slider a bit to the right and I'll click OK.
Next, I'll go to step 5, where I can adjust the intensity or the strength of the reflection. If I drag this slider to the left, it reduces the intensity of the reflection. If I drag it to the right, it makes the reflection more intense. I'm going to put this slider just about there where I started. Now, in the real world, a reflection like this probably wouldn't be the same height as the objects reflected. So, in step 6, I can add some vertical distortion. I'll click the Add Distortion button, and you can see that that has squeezed the reflection vertically.
I can click that again if I want more vertical distortion like this. When I did that, I ended up with some background showing through down here. To get rid of that, I'll move down, and I'll select the Crop tool in step 7. I'll move into the image and I'll click and drag a crop boundary around the area of the photo that I want to keep. Now, I could leave it right here, but actually, I think I'm going to drag this boundary up, because in real life, you wouldn't get this much water unless it were a major rainstorm.
So, I'll click and drag here, and I'll bring it up to about that level, and then, I'm going to click the green check mark. Finally, and this is an optional step, to make the reflection look a little more realistic, I can use the Gradient tool, and drag a dark gradient from the bottom of the image up. If I click here and drag all the way to the top, that's going to be too much. As in the other Guided Edits, I can back up step-by-step by going to the Edit menu and choosing Undo. So here, I'll undo the Gradient step and then I'll come back and I'll try again.
This time I'm just going to drag a short way about that far. At this point, I have the option to reset all of the changes that I've made or if I like the work, I can click Done. And then I can go ahead and save and close the image by clicking the X here. This Guided Edit takes a lot of the time and hassle out of creating a realistic looking reflection. Either a reflection in water like this one, a reflection on a shiny surface, or even a reflection on glass, give it a try on your own images.
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