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Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos
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Cropping and straightening


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Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos

with Jan Kabili

Video: Cropping and straightening

Up in the toolbar in the Camera Raw workspace, there is a Crop Tool and a Straighten Tool. The advantage of cropping and straightening here in the Camera Raw workspace as opposed to out in the Expert edit workspace is that here cropping and straightening is nondestructive. Whatever pixels are outside a crop boundary are not deleted from the raw file. You can always get them back, even after you've closed and then reopened the Camera Raw workspace. Let's take a look at the Crop Tool first. If I click and hold on the Crop Tool in the Toolbar, I get this dropdown menu. If I choose Normal from this menu, I'll click outside the menu to dismiss it, and then move in to the image and drag out a crop boundary, I can adjust the shape of the crop boundary however I wish, by moving my mouse over any of the edges and dragging.
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  1. 6m 14s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    3. Overview of the editing workspaces
      3m 34s
  2. 43m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 21s
    2. Making the most of the tools in Elements
      4m 6s
    3. Arranging the panels
      4m 32s
    4. Zooming and panning
      4m 3s
    5. Viewing multiple photos
      3m 51s
    6. Undoing
      5m 15s
    7. Cropping
      3m 46s
    8. Resizing
      7m 18s
    9. Saving images and examining formats
      6m 2s
  3. 19m 23s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 59s
    2. Managing layers in the Layers panel
      4m 33s
    3. Creating new layers
      6m 51s
  4. 38m 28s
    1. Why use selections?
      4m 20s
    2. Selecting with the marquee tools
      3m 56s
    3. Selecting with the lasso tools
      6m 40s
    4. Selecting by color and tone
      6m 22s
    5. Refining a selection
      4m 51s
    6. Selecting hair
      5m 42s
    7. Hiding content with a layer mask
      6m 37s
  5. 46m 54s
    1. Why use adjustment layers?
      5m 15s
    2. Adjusting color with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      4m 32s
    3. Correcting lighting with a Levels adjustment layer
      3m 32s
    4. Adjusting part of an image with an adjustment layer
      5m 19s
    5. Exploring auto adjustments
      3m 55s
    6. Improving shadows and highlights
      2m 14s
    7. Removing a color cast
      1m 47s
    8. Fine-tuning with Color Curves
      3m 16s
    9. Converting to black and white
      2m 26s
    10. Correcting camera distortion
      5m 32s
    11. Reducing noise
      2m 56s
    12. Sharpening
      6m 10s
  6. 20m 51s
    1. Creating a panorama
      5m 6s
    2. Merging bracketed exposures
      6m 0s
    3. Removing people from a scene
      5m 25s
    4. Combining group shots
      4m 20s
  7. 29m 24s
    1. Removing blemishes
      3m 42s
    2. Reducing wrinkles and circles
      4m 16s
    3. Enhancing eyes
      5m 19s
    4. Removing red-eye
      3m 15s
    5. Adjusting skin tone
      2m 21s
    6. Removing dust spots
      4m 7s
    7. Removing content
      6m 24s
  8. 52m 36s
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      5m 18s
    2. Using the latest Camera Raw controls
      3m 16s
    3. Camera Raw basics
      6m 22s
    4. Making use of the histogram
      3m 45s
    5. Setting white balance
      3m 44s
    6. Adjusting lighting
      4m 28s
    7. Adjusting color saturation
      2m 9s
    8. Cropping and straightening
      3m 58s
    9. Reducing noise
      3m 33s
    10. Sharpening
      3m 38s
    11. Synchronizing edits to multiple photos
      3m 36s
    12. Outputting from Camera Raw
      6m 14s
    13. Using Camera Raw with JPEGs
      2m 35s
  9. 48s
    1. Next steps
      48s

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Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos
4h 17m Beginner Nov 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Go beyond the automatic editing features in Adobe Photoshop Elements and find out how to make sophisticated edits using the Expert Edit mode. In this course, author, teacher, and photographer Jan Kabili explores the core features of the Expert Edit mode, from making exposure adjustments, retouching, and compositing images, to adding text. The course also takes a close look at adjusting photos with Adobe Camera Raw, included with Elements 11.

Topics include:
  • Arranging the panels and interface
  • Cropping and resizing photos
  • Creating new layers
  • Refining selections
  • Hiding content with a layer mask
  • Using adjustment layers
  • Correcting color, lighting, and contrast
  • Converting a color photo to black and white
  • Creating a panorama from multiple photos
  • Retouching blemishes and wrinkles
  • Making adjustments in Camera Raw
Subjects:
Photography Retouching
Software:
Photoshop Elements Elements
Author:
Jan Kabili

Cropping and straightening

Up in the toolbar in the Camera Raw workspace, there is a Crop Tool and a Straighten Tool. The advantage of cropping and straightening here in the Camera Raw workspace as opposed to out in the Expert edit workspace is that here cropping and straightening is nondestructive. Whatever pixels are outside a crop boundary are not deleted from the raw file. You can always get them back, even after you've closed and then reopened the Camera Raw workspace. Let's take a look at the Crop Tool first. If I click and hold on the Crop Tool in the Toolbar, I get this dropdown menu. If I choose Normal from this menu, I'll click outside the menu to dismiss it, and then move in to the image and drag out a crop boundary, I can adjust the shape of the crop boundary however I wish, by moving my mouse over any of the edges and dragging.

I can reposition the boundary by clicking inside of it, and moving it elsewhere. And I can rotate it by moving my cursor outside one of its corner anchor points and dragging. When I am ready to accept the crop, I can do that by either clicking the Hand Tool or the Zoom Tool, or just pressing Enter or Return on my keyboard. Now, as I said, when you crop in Camera Raw, you're never deleting pixels, and that means, I can always go back and see the entire image, by going up to the Crop Tool and clicking on it again. And now, I can tweak my crop.

If I don't want to crop at all, I can stop midway here by pressing the Esc key on my keyboard, or by going back to that menu, and choosing Clear Crop. That takes me back to the original image without a crop bounding box. I am going to go back to the Crop menu one more time to show you what these preset Aspect Ratios do. These are not inches or pixels, they're just proportions. So, if I choose the 4:5 Aspect Ratio for example, and I click and drag a bounding box in the image, I get a horizontal bounding box whose height is proportional to its width in the ratio of 4:5.

If I want a vertical bounding box, I'll just move my cursor over the corner anchor point, and rotate that bounding box. But, no matter how much I rotate the box or how big or small I make it, it will always be in a 4:5 Aspect Ratio. I can't change that shape by moving my cursor over any of the edges as I could when I had the Menu set to Normal. I can move my cursor over any of the anchor points and drag to make the bounding box larger or smaller. Now, let's say that I want to straighten this image as well as crop it. Let me actually make the Crop bounding box a little bigger, and say that I want this line to be a straight line in the image.

I could either use the Straighten Tool, which I'll show you in a moment, or I can just move my cursor outside of one of the corner anchor points again, and rotate the image, trying to get that line in the grass perpendicular to the bottom of the crop bounding box. If I need some help with that, I can go back up to the Crop Menu, and choose Show Overlay. That will give me this rule of thirds overlay with a couple of horizontal lines, and some vertical lines. These can come in handy when you're trying to straighten. They give you another reference line that can also be used for compositional purposes, the idea being that if you put the focal point of the image at the intersection of these vertical and horizontal lines, you'll get a more balanced composition.

So to do that here, I would have to make the crop box smaller, and then I can just drag it into place over the duck's head. I'll press Enter or Return on my keyboard to commit that crop. So, that's the Crop Tool. Now, let's take a look at its relative, the Straighten Tool. I'm going to undo this crop by going up to the Crop Menu, and choosing Clear Crop. Rather than starting out cropping the image, I could just get the Straighten Tool from next to the Crop Tool in the Toolbar. Then, move into the image, find something I think should be straight, like this line in the grass, and using the left side of this icon, I'll click hold-and-drag this dotted line, and then release my mouse.

That tells Elements what I think should be straight in the image, and automatically creates a crop bounding box that straightens the image with reference to that line. I'll press Enter or Return on my keyboard, and there's my straightened image.

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