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Applying Quick Fix lighting controls

From: Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training

Video: Applying Quick Fix lighting controls

The Quick Fix panel on the right side of the Quick Fix workspace contains controls for adjusting lighting, and color, and other common problems in photos. The Lighting area of the Quick Fix panel has several different controls that you can use to try to adjust the brightness and the contrast of an image. There's an Auto Levels button and Auto Contrast button and then a set of three sliders that allow you to adjust the Shadows, the Highlights, and the Midtones separately. And these are really three different controls, not all one control to be used together.

Applying Quick Fix lighting controls

The Quick Fix panel on the right side of the Quick Fix workspace contains controls for adjusting lighting, and color, and other common problems in photos. The Lighting area of the Quick Fix panel has several different controls that you can use to try to adjust the brightness and the contrast of an image. There's an Auto Levels button and Auto Contrast button and then a set of three sliders that allow you to adjust the Shadows, the Highlights, and the Midtones separately. And these are really three different controls, not all one control to be used together.

Let's take a look at each of those. I'm going to start with the Levels Auto button. There are no sliders to use to adjust levels. There is just this Auto button. I'm going to click that button to see the effect on this image. In this case, I really don't like the effect of the Auto Levels. What's happening here is that Elements is taking the brightest parts of the image in this area here and pushing those to appear white and the darkest parts here and down here and pushing those to appear black. And then it's expanding the Middle tones across the tonal range.

The result of that is an increase in contrast, contrast being the difference between the bright and dark areas of an image. And increased contrast often makes an image look more pleasing, but the problem with doing that using Auto Levels is that Auto Levels can also have an effect on the color in an image. As you see that it did here. It's made everything really saturated and unnatural-looking. So, I'm not going to go with Auto Levels in this case. I'm going to Undo by going up to the Undo button at the top of the screen. So, this is where I started with this really flat image that doesn't have bright whites or dark darks.

Basically, all of the tones in the image are somewhere around in the middle gray point. Now I'm going to see what Auto Contrast does to this image. I'll click the Auto button to the right of Contrast in the Lighting panel and that gives me a little bit better result. The sky doesn't look as blue as it did with Auto Levels and their certainly is more contrast in the image. But I still think that the colors are over saturated. So, I am going to try it to use the Lighten Shadows, Darken Highlights, and Midtone Contrast sliders here, which give me a little bit more control over the results than I can get with either the Auto Contrast or the Auto Levels button.

So undo by going up to the Undo button at the top of the screen. I'm going to come down and try lightening the shadows, dragging the Lighten Shadows button over to the right. And I don't have to very far, maybe I'll leave that at about 6, to dramatically improve the image. I could also try to darken the highlights by dragging that slider over to the right. And then I can adjust the Midtones by taking the Midtone Contrast slider. If I dragged it to the left, I would make the Midtones less contrasty. This is flattening the tones in the image.

I think I would do better to increase the contrast. So the contrast level started about here. I'm going to take Midtone Contrast up, to about there. If I am happy with this result, I'll go to the top of the Lighting panel and I'll click the checkmark. Now, to compare a before and after view I'll go down to the View menu. I will click there and I am going to choose Before & After - Horizontal. So this is where I started with this image and this is where I ended. If I want to compare the entire image, I will go up to the tool bar. I will make sure I have the Zoom tool selected and then I'll click the Fit Screen option in the tool options bar.

So that's how I can use these various lighting controls to improve the lighting, in another words, the contrast and the brightness of an image, using Quick Fix.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training

81 video lessons · 7156 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 2m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 17s
  2. 13m 0s
    1. Touring Elements
      7m 24s
    2. Starting from the Welcome screen
      5m 36s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Importing photos from a camera
      8m 48s
    2. Dividing scanned photos
      3m 52s
    3. Capturing frames from video
      3m 31s
  4. 23m 13s
    1. Touring Bridge CS4
      7m 44s
    2. Opening files from Bridge into Elements
      5m 1s
    3. Rotating photos
      1m 17s
    4. Moving, deleting, and hiding photos
      4m 11s
    5. Renaming photos
      5m 0s
  5. 29m 16s
    1. Tagging photos with keywords
      6m 28s
    2. Rating and labeling photos
      5m 55s
    3. Sorting photos by filter
      6m 23s
    4. Finding photos
      4m 33s
    5. Organizing photos in Collections
      5m 57s
  6. 52m 52s
    1. Touring the Quick Fix workspace in the Editor
      8m 34s
    2. Applying Quick Fix lighting controls
      3m 33s
    3. Applying Quick Fix color controls
      6m 30s
    4. Applying Quick Fix sharpening
      3m 44s
    5. Using Quick Fix touchup tools
      7m 43s
    6. Fixing group shots in Guided Edit
      6m 25s
    7. Merging multiple exposures in Guided Edit
      7m 24s
    8. Applying the Scene Cleaner in Guided Edit
      6m 31s
    9. Running Automated Actions in Guided Edit
      2m 28s
  7. 30m 57s
    1. Touring the Full Edit workspace
      6m 5s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      4m 28s
    3. Arranging panels
      4m 14s
    4. Using tools
      8m 15s
    5. Setting editing preferences
      3m 8s
    6. Adjusting color settings
      4m 47s
  8. 46m 0s
    1. Using Undo History
      6m 6s
    2. Zooming and navigating
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a blank file
      5m 43s
    4. Photo resizing and resolution
      8m 21s
    5. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 10s
    6. Cropping and straightening an image
      3m 12s
    7. Using the Recompose tool
      3m 23s
    8. Processing multiple files
      6m 16s
    9. Saving and formats
      4m 11s
  9. 23m 25s
    1. Understanding layers
      3m 30s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      8m 53s
    3. Combining images with layer masks
      11m 2s
  10. 22m 24s
    1. Understanding selections
      3m 39s
    2. Manual selection tools
      7m 36s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      3m 9s
    4. Refining a selection
      3m 59s
    5. Modifying and saving selections
      4m 1s
  11. 55m 51s
    1. Using adjustment layers
      9m 21s
    2. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      4m 49s
    3. Applying a Shadows/Highlights adjustment
      3m 24s
    4. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      5m 30s
    5. Adjusting with Color Curves
      4m 3s
    6. Removing a color cast
      3m 55s
    7. Correcting skin tone
      2m 10s
    8. Reducing digital noise
      3m 44s
    9. Sharpening photos
      9m 42s
    10. Working with raw photos
      9m 13s
  12. 18m 58s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tool
      5m 20s
    2. Using the Detail Smart Brush tool
      3m 30s
    3. Dodging and burning
      1m 49s
    4. Healing blemishes
      3m 51s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      3m 15s
    6. Removing red-eye
      1m 13s
  13. 26m 26s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 6s
    2. Adding effects
      3m 0s
    3. Using layer styles
      3m 36s
    4. Using shapes
      8m 25s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 54s
    6. Converting color to black and white
      3m 25s
  14. 7m 35s
    1. Creating text
      4m 7s
    2. Editing text
      3m 28s
  15. 27m 26s
    1. Making a photo collage
      7m 15s
    2. Stitching a photo panorama
      3m 43s
    3. Saving for the web
      6m 40s
    4. Creating web galleries in Bridge
      6m 47s
    5. Creating a PDF slideshow
      3m 1s
  16. 4m 34s
    1. Printing photos and contact sheets
      2m 49s
    2. Sending photos by mail
      1m 45s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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