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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.
Filters offer lots of options for enhancing your photos. There are decorative filters that are fun to play with and there are also some filters that are useful for photographic techniques, like removing dust and scratches or sharpening. There are several different places from which you can apply filters to an image. One is from the Filter menu up here at the top of the screen, where you'll find a list of categories of filters. When I'm applying a photographic filter, say if I'm trying to reduce the level of noise, I usually just come to this Noise category and choose Reduce Noise and that will open a dialog box where I can work.
I'm actually going to cancel out of that right now. If I'm applying a decorative filter then going to this Filter menu isn't my first choice, because there's really no icon or preview here in this menu to give me a sense of what each filter is going to offer. So, in that case, I'll do one of two things. I'm going to close out of that menu for now and go over to the Effects panel to show you that. I'll click on the first icon there and that reveals these thumbnails that give me some idea of what various filters are likely to do. So, right now I'm looking at the filters in the Artistic category.
There are other categories. I can choose the Pixelate category for example and if I wanted to use one of the filters I would select it here and then click Apply and I can click OK and I have applied a halftone filter to that image. That isn't exactly what I had in mind, so I'm going to go to the Undo button at the top of the screen and undo that. My favorite way to apply decorative filters is using the Filter Gallery, because there I get the best interactive preview of all three methods of applying filters.
To access the Filter Gallery I'll go to the Filter menu and I'll choose Filter Gallery. That opens this large dialog box. Over here is a preview and this preview will show me how the image will look with various filters. Here in the middle are categories of decorative filters. I'm going to click the arrow to the left of the Artistic category to reveal thumbnails of each of the filters in that category. And these thumbnails are similar to the ones that I just showed you in the Effects panel. To preview any one of these filters on this image, say the Poster Edges filter for example, I just click it's thumbnail here in the Artistic category and then I can see this preview over on the left.
This particular image is bigger than the Preview window. So if I want to see more of the image I can come down to the Zoom menu down here, and I can choose Fit in View, and now I can see the whole image there. Over on the right are options for whichever filter effect I've chosen here in the center column, and these options will change depending on which filter I have selected. Changing any one of these controls will change the way that the filter looks on the image. I can preview more than one filter on an image in the Filter Gallery. I'm going to choose a second filter from another category.
I'm going to go down to the arrow to the left of the Texture category and click that and then I'll click-and- drag the scrollbar to scroll down to see some of the options there. I would like to see how the image looks with a Texturizer filter on top of the Poster Edges filter. So before I click the Texturizer filter, I'm going to over to this list on the right of the filters that are currently applied. I'll click the Create New Filter icon here at the bottom of that list and that makes a copy of the Poster Edges filter. Now I'm going to click on the Texturizer filter and that changes that topmost filter to the Texturizer filter.
I can adjust the way this texture looks by moving the sliders in the options for the Texturizer filter over here. I have a few more options here in this list of filters. I can change the order in which they are applied by clicking on one of the filters and dragging it beneath the other. I actually like it the other way. So, I'm going to click on that Poster Edges filter and drag it beneath the Texturizer filter in this list. I can make any of the filters I have applied temporarily invisible, so I can look at the effect of the other one, so if I click on the eye icon to the left of the Poster Edges filter, I'll see how the image looks with just the Texturizer.
And then I'll click back on that eye icon space to bring back the preview of both filters together. And finally if I don't like one of the filters, with it selected in this list I could click the trashcan down here at the bottom of the list. But I actually like this combination. So to apply this particular combination of filters, I'm going to click OK at the top of the Filter Gallery dialog box. Once the filters are applied, I can't change them and the only way that I could undo them is to step back in the Undo history panel or to use the Undo commands.
But once I have saved and closed this image, I won't have a chance to re-edit the filters. So, that's one of the reasons that I like using the Filter Gallery, because there I have a really good opportunity to preview how more than one filter will look on the image, before I apply the filters. I have shown you just a fraction of the many options that the filters offer in Elements. You can use them to make extensive changes to an image or you can use them with a light touch to give your photos just that little extra something without making them look over filtered or clich?.
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