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In this course, photographer and author Jan Kabili explores what you need to know to start using Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 to edit, organize, and share your photos.
The course begins with a look at how to import your photos into Elements, and then dives right into editing photos with the Photo Fix, Quick Edit, and Guided Edit workspaces. Jan also introduces the Expert Edit workspace, which provides tools for making selections, retouching, compositing, adding text, and more. Finally, the course reviews the Elements 11 sharing features, including crafting photo creations like greeting cards, emailing photos, and sharing photos on Facebook.
The Organizer's Photo Fix options are the simplest way to make basic corrections to a photo in Elements. To access the Photo Fix Options panel, go to the Task pane at the bottom of the Organizer, which is down here, and then click the Instant Fix icon, and that opens this column of Photo Fix Options on the right. From here, you can apply some basic photo fixes without having to leave the Organizer. I do suggest you do most of your photo editing in the Editor, but these streamlined options in the Organizer can be handy when you're reviewing photos in the Organizer and you see something that needs a little tweak right away.
For example, as I was looking through photos in the Organizer, I noticed that in this photo, there is a fellow standing on the right side of the photo. I think I can crop him away without having to do much recomposing, so I will give the Crop tool in the Photo Fix Options a try. First, I will select this photo, and then I will go over to the Photo Fix Options, and I'll click the Crop icon. That opens this crop window, with a crop boundary here in the middle. Down at the bottom of this window is a Ratio menu. If I leave that set to No Restriction, then I can move my cursor over any of the edges of this crop boundary and drag each edge independently.
That grid that you see when you click and drag represents the rule of thirds, and it's intended to help you compose a photo that you're cropping. But I don't really need that in this case. Now, let's say that I want the cropped photo to be a particular aspect ratio, either the same aspect ratio as the original photo or a particular ratio to fit a frame that I have, or a space on a website. Then I'll go to the Ratio menu, and I'll choose one of these options. Now, these are not inches; these are ratios. For example, a 4 x 6 ratio could get me a 4 x 6 photo, or an 8 x 12 photo, a 12 x 18, and so on.
If I select square, then I'll get a square photo, no matter how big or small I make the crop bounding box. When I have a set ratio like this, I can't move any of the edges independently, but I can hover over one of the corner points and drag. And in this case, I'm going to get a square if I drag it this big or this big. I am going to go back to the Ratio menu, and I'm going to choose to use the Photo Ratio, the same ratio as the height and width of the original photo. I'll drag the corners out independently, and then I am going to take one of those corners and drag it in toward the center, cropping away that fellow on the right.
In fact, while I'm at it, I am also going to crop away this distracting stoplight. So, I'll come down like this. Now, it's true that I'm losing more of the photo than just the fellow on the right. But that's the price that I pay for keeping this aspect ratio. Next, I'll click inside the crop bounding box and I am going to drag it so that at this shape, it's including just the part of the photo that I want to keep. I think that will make a nice composition. I am ready to click the Preview button. I haven't yet cropped the photo. This is just showing me how the photo will look when I do crop it.
In this particular case, some of the items in the photo look kind of jaggy, and I think that's because the photo is now zoomed in to more than 100%. It's zoomed in to the largest it can be to fit onscreen. So I am going to change the view from Fit on Screen to 100%. Now the photo looks better. If I want to redo the crop, I can choose Reset and maybe tweak it a little. I will pull that that down a bit. And then I will click Preview again. I like that result better, so I'll click Done. That closes the crop window and takes me back to the Organizer.
Here I can see the cropped photo. If I change my mind at this point, I still have a chance to reset the crop, by going down to this Undo button and clicking. But I am going to stick with what I have. I am also going to click this little arrow to the right of the cropped photo, and that expands what's called a version set, or a group of photos. In this group, I have the edited version on the left, as you can see by the name, and the original version on the right. When you use the Photo Fix Options, the Organizer keeps the original, and automatically makes a copy with your changes, and it also appends "edited" to the end of the photo which is useful as well, and it puts the two together in a version set.
If I want to collapse the version set to save room in the Organizer, I can click that arrow again. But I tend to like to leave mine open so that I don't forget what I have in my Organizer. The Photo Fix Options aren't the only place that you can go to crop a photo in Elements. There are crop features in all three of the Editor workspaces: Quick Edit, Guided Edit, and Expert Edit. But the Photo Fix Crop tool is easy to access when you're working in the Organizer and it just makes sense to use it when you're here anyway, particularly if you're going to apply some of these other Photo Fix auto correction options, which we'll look at in the next movie.
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