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Photoshop Elements 7 is packed with features to help amateur photographers with every stage of digital photo processing, from getting organized to sharing projects with family and friends. In Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training, Jan Kabili shares workflow techniques for organizing, editing, creating projects, and sharing. She also demonstrates how to enhance photos with this budget-friendly software. Jan explains the latest updates to the Organizer and Editor workspaces, and also covers new features like the Smart Brush tool and Photoshop.com integration. Elements is very well known for its project features, and Jan shows how to create books, collages, panoramas, and more. Example files accompany the course.
There are going to be sometimes when you are correcting a photo and you just want to make a few small subtle changes that effect just a portion of the image, not the entire image. A quick way to do that is to use one of a trio of tools that live at the bottom of the Toolbox right here. I'll click and hold to show you those are the Burn tool, which you can use to make small areas of a photo darker, the Dodge tool, which you can use to make small areas lighter, and the Sponge tool, which can be used to saturate and desaturate small areas. Let's take a look at the Burn tool. I'll select that and before I use the tool, I'm going to check the Options bar. I'm going to make sure that I have a hard-edged brush selected and usually, I like to use this tool with midtones selected, but once in a while, I'll need to bring in some highlights, very seldom shadows. The intensity with which I do that is controlled by the Exposure. I usually start at 50% and if I need less or more, I'll change it.
What I'm going to do is just do one quick swipe over this sign to make it just a little darker so it draws a little more attention. Now, I'm going back to the Toolbox, click and hold in the Burn tool slot and I'll choose the Dodge tool. The Dodge tool does the opposite; it lightens. Let's say I want to make these balloons pop just a bit. I'm going to come over to the balloons, my brush is just about the right size and I'm going to click and the balloon is very subtly lightened. I'll try this other white balloon, this down here and these are subtle effects but that is what this tool is for.
I can even do this on one of the orange balloons. The last tool in the trio, the Sponge tool, makes color more or less intense. When you use this tool, be sure to go to the Options bar and check the Mode menu to choose whether to saturate or desaturate. In this case, I'm going to try to saturate the flag making it a little brighter. I'll come down to the flag and I'm just going to subtly increase the saturation there. So, that is the trio of tools that you can use to make subtle changes to your images to make them look just that little bit better.
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