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Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image editing application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements 8, along with its companion program, Bridge CS4, to organize and edit photos, build projects like web galleries and photo collages, and share photos with family and friends. Jan 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 in the faces, you might end up with a bluish skin tone as in this photo. When you are working in Elements Full Edit Workspace, the most direct way to correct a problem like this with skin tone is using the Adjust Color for Skin Tone command. Before I apply that command, I am going to make a copy of the photo layer, so that I am preserving my original photo. I will do that by right-clicking or Ctrl+Clicking on the Background layer and choosing Duplicate layer, and clicking OK.
With that Background Copy layer selected in the layers panel, I am going to go up to the Enhance menu, and go down to Adjust Color, and I am going to choose Adjust Color for Skin Tone. That opens this dialog box, which I will move over this way. What I love about working in Elements is that many of the dialog boxes tell you exactly what to do, and this one does just that. It tells you to Adjust Color for Skin Tones, just click on any person's skin. So I am going to click on the boy's face, and right away I see a change in the image.
If I go to the Preview area and uncheck, that's where I was a second ago, and that's where I am now. The skin tones have definitely been warmed up. I can tweak this result using these three sliders. If I think the result is too yellow, I could take the Skin slider and drag it over toward Tan. And if I think that the skin needs a little more blush, I can drag the Blush slider over to the right to add a rosy glow. Then there is the Ambient Light slider that affects the global lighting of the image.
To the left, adds more cooler blue, to the right, more warm golden tones. Over on the right there are a couple of buttons. The Cancel button will cancel out of this dialog box, leaving the image as it was originally, and the Reset button. The Reset button will put the three sliders back to their original positions so I can try again. But I am satisfied with this result, so I am going to click OK. If you tend to shoot lots of portraits, give this command a try to get your skin tones just the way you want them.
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