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Go beyond the automatic editing features in Adobe Photoshop Elements and find out how to make sophisticated edits using the program's 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.
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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