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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.
It's sometimes difficult to reproduce skin tones accurately in a photograph. For example, although it's a good idea to shoot a portrait in the shade so that you get a full range of tones, you might end up with bluish skin tones as in this photo. When you are working in Elements Full Edit workspace, the most direct way to correct a problem like this is with the Adjust Color for Skin Tone command. This command is not an adjustment layer, so before I apply it I'm going to make a duplicate of the background layer that contains the photo by right-clicking on the Background layer in the Layers panel and choosing Duplicate Layer.
I'll click OK and I'll make sure the Background copy layer is highlighted. Now I'm going to go up to the Enhance menu at the top of the screen and down to Adjust Color, and I'm going to choose Adjust Color for Skin Tone. I'm going to move the Adjust Color for Skin Tone dialog box over to get a better view of the image in the document window. This dialog box is an example of why I love working in Elements because it tells me exactly what I need to do. It says that to adjust color for skin tones, click on any person's skin.
Well that's easy enough. I'll move into the image and I'll try clicking on the boy's skin and right away the over all skin tone color has shifted from too blue to a warmer golden color. Notice the sliders here at the bottom of the dialog box. They let me tweak this result. So if I think that there is a little too much yellow in the skin tones now, I can take that Tan slider and move it off to the left a bit. And if I'd like to get a little bit of a rosier glow in the skin, I can take the Blush slider and move it over to the right.
These changes are subtle, but they help me to get just the skin tone that I want. Then there's the Ambient Light slider. This is used to change the overall color temperature of the photo from cool, if I drag far over to the left, to warm if I drag far over to the right. So I can set this slider just where I wanted to change the overall look of the photo. If I want to compare the result I have now to where I started, I'll go to the Preview checkbox and uncheck that. So there is it with the original bluish skin tones and here it is adjusted for more gold skin tones.
There are couple other buttons here to take note of. If I click Cancel, that will set the image back to the original with the blue tones. If I want to reset all these sliders to their defaults I can click Reset, but I'm happy with these results, so I'm just going to click OK to adjust the skin tones in the Background copy layer. If you shoot lots of portraits, give this command a try to fix the skin tones in your own photos.
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