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In Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training, Ted LoCascio teaches casual photographers how to organize, edit, and share their digital image libraries using this powerful software package from Adobe. He tours the included Adobe Bridge application, used for importing and organizing photographs, and explores every feature of Elements itself. He demonstrates how to navigate the Elements workspace, which is used to correct and improve images, combine them into projects, and produce slideshows, photo books, web galleries, and more. Ted also explains how to get the most out of each editing mode, and shares tips for correcting, retouching, and sharpening photographs. Example files accompany the course.
Images that are backlit usually results in a forefront object being engulf in shadow, while images shot with the flash or exposure setting too high can have the opposite effect making the subject to appear washed out. With this movie I will like to show you how to repair these types of images using the Shadow Highlight feature available in Elements. Well I'm currently in the Bridge application and I'm viewing the exercise files here in our Content panel. I'm going to scroll down a bit to our Chapter 10 folder and double-click that. What we're going to do is choose the Shadow Highlight folder, double-click that and we're going to open up this image, Enzo beach day 2.JPG. Double-click that. And we now have it open here in the Element's Editing workspace.
So we have a problem here with this image. This image is slightly backlit and it's also slightly washed out. This was a very, very sunny day and when I took this image I didn't use a flash or anything but because of it so sunny and I had a beach umbrella behind me when my son Enzo decided to crouch down, he wound up being covered somewhat by the umbrella and so the whole front of his body here is engulfed in shadow and we're losing some detail in his skin. So I would like to reveal that detail now by applying a Shadow Highlight adjustment. By the same token because the summer is so bright in the background here, we're not seeing a lot of the detail in the sand. And I think we could see that, a little bit better as well. So let's go ahead and make this adjustment.
I think I'm going to zoom in just a little bit, Command+Plus and maybe just move this over a little bit, so at we're at 25%, that's a much better preview here in our document window. So what I would like to do is go under the Enhance menu and I'm going to go under Adjust Lighting and choose Shadows Highlights, that's going to bring up this dialog box. So right away we're already seeing a change in the background that's because by default the preview option is already checked force and also by default field Lighten Shadow setting is set to 25%. So generally what I do when I first open this up is I just turn this over to the left because I like to start from zero.
I don't necessarily like to start it 25%. Sometimes this 25% is too much. So before I make any judgment calls on the way things are looking as soon as I bring up this dialog box I start fresh, I bring that slider all the way to the left. So now we're looking at our original image. These sliders here work exactly the same as the lighting sliders in the quick fix note. We have a Lighting Shadow slider, a Darken Highlight slider, and a Midtone Contrast slider. So let's start with Lighten Shadows. We know that there is much shadow area here over Enzo's little body and we need to reveal the detail inside it there so let's go ahead and just gradually drag this to the right and referring to our preview here in the background to see if it's making the adjustment that we like.
Remember if you start to drag too far, things are going to start to look unnatural. Yes, you're revealing more information but if you go too far it's just not going to look right, it's going to start to look very, very strange. In case you're going to use this with discretion. I'm going to go ahead and just keep this right around this area, around 17/18 somewhere around in there, that's looking better. I don't mind that he had some shadow area in front of him. I just don't want his whole front body to be engulfed in shadow, now it's looking much better to me.
But the same token I'm going to look back here at the sand area and I'm going to increase the Darken Highlights amount. As we do we can see more detail being revealed in the sand. Again if I drag this too far things are going to get too dark and that's not we want. We don't this to look unnatural. So again use with discretion, bring it down to about 9/8 somewhere around there, that's certainly look pretty good. We also have the Midtone Contrast slider. If I drag this to the left, it's going to decrease contrast in the midtone areas. If I drag it to the right, it's going to increase contrast, make things darker. So I'm going to drag to the left that actually going to help out, the Lighten Shadows adjustment, if I drag this way. It's actually going to do us a favor here. If I drag it to the right it's going to undo what we just did Lighten Shadow slider and make things dark again, you can see how it's getting darker and darker, front of his body. We don't want that.
So let's go ahead and drag this to the left just a little bit in order to help out the Lighten Shadow slider. That's starting look good. So the next thing we can do is use our Preview option here to view the before and the after, we will turn it off, there is the before and turn it on and there is the after. And that's quite an adjustment. We can see a lot more detail on the sand, all around him, all back here and we can see that the front of his body is no longer completely engulfed in shadow, which is nice.
This looks natural to me, it looks like an improvement; there is the before, there is the after. So I'm going to go ahead and click OK. We can zoom out to see the whole picture and that's looking pretty good to me. So that's how you can use the Shadow Highlight feature in order to reveal detail in both your shadow areas and your highlight areas.
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