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Exploring auto adjustments

From: Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos

Video: Exploring auto adjustments

The biggest difference between the Expert Edit Mode and the other editing modes in Elements is that in Expert Edit Mode you get to control the corrections that you make to an image. But sometimes even when you're in Expert Edit Mode you may be in a hurry or you may be working with a snapshot that doesn't have to be just perfect, and in that case you may prefer to use some of the auto correction controls. To show you those I've made six copies of the same photo and put each copy on a separate layer here in this image. I'll start with the top layer selected, and I'm going to apply Auto Levels to this layer.

Exploring auto adjustments

The biggest difference between the Expert Edit Mode and the other editing modes in Elements is that in Expert Edit Mode you get to control the corrections that you make to an image. But sometimes even when you're in Expert Edit Mode you may be in a hurry or you may be working with a snapshot that doesn't have to be just perfect, and in that case you may prefer to use some of the auto correction controls. To show you those I've made six copies of the same photo and put each copy on a separate layer here in this image. I'll start with the top layer selected, and I'm going to apply Auto Levels to this layer.

Auto Levels is a command that's located under the Enhance menu right here. I'll apply this command by clicking on it in this menu, and that's all there is to it. Now what is it that Auto Levels does? You remember from an earlier movie about Levels Adjustment layers that one of the things that a Levels Adjustment will do is adjust the contrast in an image and that's what's happened here. Auto Levels has taken the darkest pixels in the image and pushed those to black, those are probably down here, and the brightest pixels and pushed those to white, increasing the range of grays in between. And that gives the photo a little more contrast.

So if I were to turn the Auto Levels layer off to compare it to the original, there's where I started and there's where I'm now, but at the same time Auto Levels sometimes changes the color of an image a bit. If you don't like the resulting color after applying Auto Levels then you can try another Auto command Auto Contrast. That works the same way as Auto Levels except that it has a more minimal effect on color. So I'm going to turn Auto Levels off here and select the Auto Contrast layer, which is just another copy of the image that we started with.

I'll go up to the Enhance menu and down to Auto Contrast, and release my mouse. Now this time there is hardly a change to the image, there certainly is no change to color. To compare this to the original I'll turn Auto Contrast off. There is the original, there it is with Auto Contrast. So in this case Auto Contrast doesn't do much but it also doesn't add that color cast that we got with Auto Levels. I'm going to make the Auto Contrast layer invisible and select the Auto Color Correction layer, just another copy of the original, and this time I'm going to apply a third Auto command, Auto Color Correction.

I'll go to the Enhance menu and I'll choose Auto Color Correction. And you can see that the color really did change there. If I go and turn off the Auto Color Correction layer, that's where we started, and that's where we ended up. In this case Auto Color Correction made the entire image more cool, or toward the blue end of the spectrum, rather than as warm as it was to start with like this. And finally, let's see what Auto Smart Fix does. Auto Smart Fix attempts to adjust both color and lighting. I'll select my Auto Smart Fix layer, just another copy of the original now, and go up to the Enhance menu, and down to the first option there, Auto Smart Fix.

In this case that's brightened the image and changed the color a bit. So here is where the image started and here's how it looks with Auto Smart Fix. If you like Auto Smart Fix but you want more control over what it does then there's one more option for you to try and that is Adjust Smart Fix. So I'll turn that Auto Smart Fix layer off, I'll go down to my last duplicate of my original image, selecting the Adjust Smart Fix layer, and I'll go up to the Enhance menu one more time and choose Adjust Smart Fix.

I'll move that dialog out of the way, and here I can either just click Auto or I can drag the Fix Amount Slider, which applies a Smart Fix adjustment to color and lighting that lets me control how much of that adjustment I want in the image. I can turn the Preview checkbox on and off to see where I started and where I am now with this adjustment. And when I'm satisfied I'll click OK. So there are five Auto options for you to try, the next time you're in a hurry and want a quick fix for color and/or lighting in a photograph.

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This video is part of

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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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