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Go beyond the automatic editing features in Adobe Photoshop Elements and find out how to make sophisticated edits using the program's Expert Edit mode. In this course, author, teacher, and photographer Jan Kabili explores the core features of the Expert Edit mode, from making exposure adjustments, retouching, and compositing images, to adding text. The course also takes a close look at adjusting photos with Adobe Camera Raw, included with Elements 11.
Whether you're shooting in a controlled lighting environment in a studio, or in more casual environment, it can be difficult to get the skin tones in your subjects just right in your photographs. That's okay, because you can tweak skin tone in post processing, and the Expert edit workspace has a feature that will help you with that, the Adjust Color for Skin Tone feature. This feature works directly on the photo. So I'm going to duplicate this photo before I get started. I'll go over to the Layers panel, I'll right-click on the Background layer that contains the photo, and I'll choose Duplicate Layer.
I'll click OK and then I'm going to work on the Background copy layer. I'll go up to the Enhance menu at the top of the screen and down to Adjust Color > Adjust Color for Skin Tone. That opens the Adjust Color for Skin Tone dialog with some simple instructions about how to use the feature. Basically it says to come into the image and click on the subject's skin, and the place where you click determines the initial adjustment to the skin tone. If you like the result, you can just click OK and you're done, or you can tweak the result. For example, I might come in here and drag the Tan slider over to the left and add a little Blush color to her skin by moving that slider over to the right.
There is also an Ambient Light Temperature slider, which affects the whole image. So if I drag that to the right, everything turns very gold. If I drag to the left, everything turns very blue. I'll go somewhere just about there. My goal is to get a natural looking tone to her skin. To compare a before and after view, I'll go to the Preview field and uncheck Preview. So that's where I started, and now you can see that her skin started very warm, and that's where I ended up. I'm satisfied with that result, so I'll click OK. Now because I made those changes on a new layer, I can make that change less strong overall by going up to the Opacity field at the top of the Layers panel and dragging to the left.
I could also add a layer mask to the layer that I tweaked by going up to the top of the Layers panel and clicking the Create Layer Mask icon, and then I'll get the Brush Tool, I'll go down to the options bar, and I'm going to lower the opacity of the brush, and I'll move into the image and I might paint back some of the original photo. So, I might paint over her eyebrows, I might paint her lips to bring back some of that original color, and I could even add a streak or two in her hair. So that's how quick and easy it is to just skin tones, here in the Expert edit workspace.
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