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The most automatic way to improve photos in Elements is with the Photo Fix Options right here in the Organizer, which you can get to by clicking in the Fix tab in the Task pane on the right side of the Organizer. These are one-click fixes that attempt to correct common photo problems. Because these options are automatic, you don't get a lot of control over the results, but if you're looking for some quick and easy fixes for casual snapshots, you might give these a try. The first step is to select one or more photos that you want to fix in your Media Browser.
I'll click on this photo to select it, and then I want to see it in Single Photo view filling my Media Browser, so I'll double-click on the photo. I think that this photo is a little dark and it could use some improvement to contrast and to color too, so it's a good candidate for the first of the Photo Fix options, Auto Smart Fix. To apply Auto Smart Fix, I'll just click on it here in the Photo Fix Options. And in just a moment, my photo looks better. It has bright whites, it has dark darks, and it has a full range of tones in between.
And the color better reflects what I saw when I took the photograph. So Auto Smart Fix did a great job on this photo, but you should know that the results of Auto Smart Fix aren't always as good on every photo. While Auto Smart Fix tries to fix a lot of things at once, there are some other options over here in Photo Fix that zero in on particular problems. Those options are Auto Color, Auto Levels, and Auto Contrast. To show you Auto Color, I am going to move to the next photo in my Media Browser, by pressing the right arrow key on my keyboard.
This photo has an overall colorcast that I don't want. I think it's too warm or orange, and the color is more saturated than I would like it. To get a more natural look to the photo, I'm going to click Auto Color in the Photo Fix Options, and that's reduced the color cast and reduced the saturation of color, giving the photo a more natural appearance. The next two options--Auto Levels and Auto Contrast--are sometimes handy with a photo like the next one, which I'll access by pressing the right arrow key on my keyboard.
If you have a photo that looks a little dull, like this one, it's usually because the photo doesn't have a full range of tonal values: bright highlights, rich dark shadow areas, and a full range of tones in between. I'll try to fix that by clicking Auto Levels in the Photo Fix Options. That has increased the contrast in this photo, but at the same time, as Auto Levels sometimes does, it has shifted the colors in the photo, so they don't look the way that I remembered them. So I'm going to try Auto Contrast on another copy of the same photo, which I happen to have in my Media Browser.
To get to that second copy, I'll press the right arrow key on my keyboard again. So here's the uncorrected original. Let's try Auto Contrast by clicking it here in the Fix tab. I like this result a lot better. It increased the contrast without shifting the color like Auto Levels did. I'll press the left arrow key on my keyboard to go back and see the Auto Levels result again. There is Auto Levels, and then if I press the right arrow key, there's Auto Contrast. There are a few other options here in Photo Fix, which I'm going to cover in the next movie, but first, I want to remind you of a few things about the Photo Fix Options.
First, Photo Fix automatically saves a copy of the adjusted photo for you, so there's no need to explicitly save after you apply any of these Photo Fix Options. Also, Photo Fix Options can't be undone. And third, Photo Fix Options are cumulative. So if you don't like an option that you've applied, clicking another option isn't going to fix the problem; it's just going to pile another correction on top of the first. That's okay, because I'm going to show you a workaround for changing Photo Fix Options later in this chapter.
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