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Guided Photo Edit, one of the three editing workspaces in Elements' Editor, is a good place for those of you who are new to photo editing to get your feet wet, because it offers step-by-step instructions and tools for performing common editing tasks, like retouching a portrait. Those of you who aren't novices will have fun exploring some of the unique creative techniques in Guided Photo Edit, like adding a DreamLight Orton Filter effect to a photo. Before we dive into those and other particular Guided Edits in this chapter, you can start either here in the Organizer or in the Editor.
I'm starting in the Organizer, selecting a photo to which I want to apply a Guided Edit. And then I'll go to the Fix tab, in the Task pane on the right side of the Organizer, and click the arrow just to the right of the Fix tab. In the menu that appears, I'll choose Guided Photo Edit, and that will launch the Editor and put me into the Guided Photo Edit workspace in the Editor, with the photo I selected open and ready for editing. If you're starting to work in the Editor rather than the Organizer, go up to the File menu, choose Open, and navigate to the photo that you want to work on in Guided Edit.
Then, in the Task pane on the right, click the Guided tab. In the Guided Photo Edit workspace you can do any of the tasks that you see in this list, from basic edits, to corrections to color and lighting, to creative photography effects. To apply a Guided Edit, just scroll to the section that contains that edit. I am going to go to the Color and Lighting section and click on it. I am going to click on the Lighten or Darken Guided Edit. That brings up this step-by-step list of instructions, along with a few sliders and buttons, that I can use to improve the lighting in this photo.
The photo I want to be working on is open here in the document window and down in the project bin I'll see thumbnails of all of the files that I've opened into the Guided Photo Edit workspace. There is only one at this time. If I want more room for the photo I'm working on, I can collapse the project bin by double-clicking its tab. And if I want to bring the project bin back, I would double-click its tab again. I'll leave it collapsed. And then I'm going to zoom in on this photo by going to the abbreviated toolbar over here on the left, selecting the Zoom tool, and then going up to the Options bar, that changes when I select different tools.
Here in the Options bar for the Zoom tool, I am going to click on One to One view. If a photo is too big for the whole thing to show at 1:1 view, then I'll choose Fit Screen instead. The heart of Guided Edit are the instructions and tools over on the right. All you have to do is start at the top of any Guided Edit and just read through and start doing what it says. So here it says that I can automatically fix the photo's exposure by clicking Auto. I'll give that a try. And that does an overall job of brightening this particular photo.
If I come down here, I see that there are sliders that I can use to individually affect only the dark areas, the light areas, and the midtone areas in the photo. So I'll give that a try. I'll drag the Lighten Shadows slider to the right. And keep your eye on the photo; you'll see that the dark areas of the photos get lighter, but the rest of the photo isn't really affected. If I drag the Darken Highlights slider to the right, then the highlights get a little darker in the clouds, making the sky more dramatic. And keep your eye on the sea in this photo as I drag the Midtone Contrast over to the right, to increase contrast in those middle tones.
Now I'd like to compare the results of this Guided Edit to my original photo, so I'll go down to the Biew menu here and I'll choose Before & After. I'm going to use Before & After - Horizontal, so that I can see the adjusted vertical photo on the right and the original on the left. And I see quite a bit of improvement that didn't cause me too much pain. All I had to do is read through these instructions and use the buttons and sliders that are over here in the Task pane. As you go through a Guided Edit, if you perform a step that you don't like, you can sometimes back up a step, by going up to the Edit menu and choosing Undo.
I am not going to do that in this case. But I wanted to show you that and also that most Guided Edits have a Reset button, like the one down here. If I were to click Reset, that would remove all the adjustments that I applied with this Guided Edit, and my after photo would look just like the before photo, and I could start a Guided Edit again with different settings. When I am finished with the Guided Edit, if I don't like it at all, I can cancel. If I do like it, I'll click Done. And that closes the instructions in the Task pane on the right.
I also need to save the photo. Guided Edit doesn't save for you automatically, as we saw in the last chapter that Photo Fix does. So when I click the X or the button to close this photo with its changes and Elements asks if I want to save the edited version, I'll almost always choose Yes. That opens the Save As dialog box, where I can choose the destination in which I want to save the edited photo. I can rename it if I want to. I can choose the format in which I want to save. And then down here, I can choose to include the edited version of the photo in my Organizer.
I think that's a good idea because then I don't have to import it into the Organizer myself. And if I want to, I can also save it in a group called a version set, along with the original of the photo. When I click Save Version Set with Original, Elements automatically adds the word edited-1 to the end of the photo, and that's a good thing because it will stop me from inadvertently saving over the original with the same name. And then I'll click Save. This message explains about a version set. I am going to close that by clicking OK. Because I'm saving in the JPEG format, I'll see the JPEG Options box. I usually save a JPEG with a Quality somewhere between 10 and 12, and I leave these other options at their defaults. I'll click OK, and that takes me back to the Organizer.
This is my version set, and if I click the arrow on the right side of the version set, I'll see the original photo on the right and the edited version, with all the adjustments that I applied in Guided Edit, over here on the left. The step-by-step instructions in Guided Edit can really help you if you're not sure how to correct a photo or how to perform a particular creative technique. I think Guided Edit is also a great learning tool. In the next movie, I am going to show you another practical use for Guided Edit, which is using it to retouch a portrait. Then I'll show you some of the new Guided Edits that Adobe has added to the program in Elements 10.
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