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Cropping and straightening

From: Getting Started with Photoshop Elements 10

Video: Cropping and straightening

Guided Photo Edit walks you through the editing process for a specific task, by instructing you step by step on how to perform a certain edit. Guided Photo Edits are great when you're not quite sure how to make a certain adjustment to your photo. In this video we'll use Guided Edit to both crop and straighten a photo. I'm beginning this video with the Elements 10 organizer already open on my computer. And I'm going to scroll down in my media browser, to select a photo that I want to apply this edit to. So I'm going to choose the image called IMG_4010.jpg and I'm going to click on it in the media browser to make it the active photo.

Cropping and straightening

Guided Photo Edit walks you through the editing process for a specific task, by instructing you step by step on how to perform a certain edit. Guided Photo Edits are great when you're not quite sure how to make a certain adjustment to your photo. In this video we'll use Guided Edit to both crop and straighten a photo. I'm beginning this video with the Elements 10 organizer already open on my computer. And I'm going to scroll down in my media browser, to select a photo that I want to apply this edit to. So I'm going to choose the image called IMG_4010.jpg and I'm going to click on it in the media browser to make it the active photo.

Now, to initiate the Guided Edit, I'm going to come over here to my panel dock and I'm going to click on the arrow to the right of the Fix tab. And we can see that there's four different options to choose from here. I'm going to choose the Guided Photo Edit and that will open the image that I had selected in the organizer inside of the Photoshop Elements editor. Now when this file opens in the editor, you'll see that over here on the right-hand side of my screen, we are currently within the Edit tab, and there are three different modes within here, Full, Quick, and Guided edit.

And because I initiated this edit from within the organizer, Guided edit is already active. Now Guided Edit is divided into different categories. We can see we have basic and advanced edits, color and lighting, lens effects, but there's even more if you scroll down even further, we can see we have photography effects, photo play, photo merge, automated actions. There's a ton of things to choose from in here. So, I'm going to keep it simple. I'm going to come up to the top under the basic edits category, and I'm going to click Rotate and/or Straighten photo.

Now, when I choose that option we can see that my panel dock fills in with the options available, and as its name implies, Guided Edit literally walks me through the process. So, first and foremost if I just want to do a basic rotate, I can click on the left button to rotate counter clockwise or the right button to rotate clockwise. But the good stuff is down here, where it says to straighten a photo and it tells you what you need to do. So, we should click the Straighten tool below, that's this guy right here.

I'll click on that and then draw a line on your photo indicating what should be straight. Now, there's another option before you start using this tool and that is when rotating or straightening, do you want to maintain the image size or do you want to maintain the canvas size. So, I'm going to make sure that the maintain canvas size radio button is selected. I'm going to come over here into my image and I'm going to click and drag from the left side of the horizon to the right side. And we can see that right now it's crooked, but when I let go of the mouse, the Elements Editor is going to straighten that photo and now my horizon is straight on this image. So, that looks pretty good to me.

I'm going to go ahead and click the done button, and that takes me back to the Guided Edit options. The next thing I need to do, is crop this image because we can see that we have some white area poking through. Because I chose to maintain that canvas size, now I've got the background showing through in this image. So I'm going to click on the Crop Photo option, and, once again, this is going to guide me through the process. So the Crop tool here, is already active, and, one of the things that's new in Elements 10, is the fact that we have an overlay and we have several options here.

So I'm going to click on this dropdown here and, the first thing I'm going to choose is No Overlay and this is what we've always had in the Elements 10 editor. Whenever we're cropping, we've been able to just make adjustments and change the size as we need to. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to change the Crop Box size, to maintain a 4 by 6 aspect ratio. And now when I make this adjustment it keeps the aspect ratio consistent. Now, the overlays can be changed to help you to compose your image in a more accurate fashion. So, I'm going to click on the drop down menu where it says Overlay and I'm going to choose Rule of Thirds.

And the rule of thirds says that, when this grid is being displayed, you should position subject matter that's important, where these grid lines intersect. And that's going to help you to improve your composition. So, I could make this a little bit bigger, and I could say, well, let's line up this rock on the right here, where these intersect, and we can try to get this rock over here on the left to intersect with this one.

So, that's an example of how you might try to use your rule of thirds. What you also have, is the Grid option, which simply displays a grid of squares to help you to recompose your image and crop it in a different way. And then finally, another new feature in Elements 10 is the Golden Ratio option. What the golden ratio says is that, when you're positioning subject matter in the cropping area, you want important elements to intersect, here these lines intersect, okay? So, the important subject matter should be positioned where these lines are intersecting here.

You can also click the Flip button down here, in case you have subject matter on one side or another that you want to change. But I think I'm going to leave mine on the left, and I'm going to position that small rock where these lines are intersecting and I can make this a little bit bigger. And maybe I want to reveal a little bit more of the ground here to give it a little bit more depth and perspective, and that looks pretty good. And you can see that this small rock, everything's intersecting here, and then this perspective line, this angled line, is being drawn up to the bigger subject matter.

So, I think that's going to work pretty well. And I'm going to click the green check mark to apply that, and we can see that the composition has definitely been improved, we have a, straight horizon and that really looks better. Now the nice thing about the elements editor, is that down here in the lower left corner, currently I'm viewing after only. I can also choose before only to see what it did look like. And I can also choose Before and After Horizontal. I can see what it was and what it looks like now side by side.

You can even do a Before and After Vertical, although in this particular case it's been cropped a bit. We could always come down to our project bin tab and double-click on it, to free up a little bit more space as we're working. So I think I'll set mine back to, after only, double-click on my project bin so I can see any photos that I have opened, and I'm going to click the done button. Now to save the file I can come up here to the File menu and choose Save or, when I click this Close button it's going to ask me to save this image.

So I'm going to go ahead and click the Save button. And we can see that it's automatically going to put it in my project files folder, which I can change if I want to, but down here at the bottom notice that it's automatically going to put it back in the organizer. And this option which is quite powerful, Save in Version Set with Original. This is going to save this as a copy and maintain the original image, so I can always go back to that if I choose to. So, in this example I'm going to leave the format set to JPEG, and I'm going to go ahead and click the Save button.

And I'm going to make sure that I set the quality to the maximum, and then I'll go ahead and click OK. Now when I return to the organizer, you can see that this image now is grouped into a version set, and if I click this button, we can see that here's my original image untouched and unaltered. And here is my edited version as indicted by the name and the new appearance. So I'm going to go ahead and close that version set. And as you can see, when it comes to cropping and straightening a photo, it doesn't get any easier than this when using Guided Edit in Photoshop Elements 10.

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Getting Started with Photoshop Elements 10

39 video lessons · 768 viewers

Chad Chelius
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