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When you are photographing a group of people, it seems inevitable that at least one of the subjects will be looking the wrong way or making a face or closing his eyes. Even if you take multiple shots, it difficult to get one photo in which everyone in the group looks his best. Photoshop Elements offers the solution; its Group Shot feature can blend together multiple photos of a group to display the best parts of each. Here's how it works; I'm starting here in the 05_04-groupshots subfolder in the Chapter 05 exercise files. I'm going to use these two photos of three fellows at lynda.com, this is Kirk and Nick and Jacob. I'll click on the first photo and I'll hold down the Ctrl key and click on the second to select it. And then I'm going up to the Editor button at the top right of the screen, clicking and choosing Guided Edit. Here in the Editor, I'm going down to the Project Bin at the bottom of the screen and if yours isn't open, click the button that will say Show Project Bin and in this Project Bin, I'm going to click on the first photo to select it and then I'm going to hold the Ctrl key again and click on the second photo.
With those two selected, I'm going over to the list of tasks that you perform in Guided Edit and I'm going to choose Group Shot. That opens the Photomerge Group Shot interface; with instructions here in Guided Edit as to how to use this feature and you can read through these on your own time. But basically it says to do this, first you want to make sure you have the Pencil tool selected here and then you want to choose which of the two photos in the Project Bin you are going to use as your final photo and which as the Source photo, which the feature will merge into the final photo. So choose the best of the two photos as the final.
To see the two you can click on the first one, which we are currently looking at, and then you can click on the second one down in the Project Bin. I think I like first one the best so I'm going to take that one from the Project Bin, click hold and drag it up into the Final box here. I don't want to have the same photo as the Source and the Final, so I'm going to go down to the Project Bin again and this time I'm going to click on the other photo, not drag but click this time and that now appears as the Source photo.
In this Final photo I want Kirk to stay as he is, I want Nick to stay as he is, but I want to replace Jacob who is looking off to the side here. With this photo of Jacob that's in the Source image, so all I'm going to do is with the Pencil tool selected, go to the Source image and click and drag down the length of Jacob and then I'll wait while the program automatically takes the Source photo of Jacob and replaces it in the final. It almost seems like magic.
Now I have to admit that this doesn't always work as perfectly as it does in this particular example. So if you try it on your own photos and you are having trouble, you can go over to Guided Edit where it says Advanced Options, click the arrow and read in this section how to use the Alignment tool markers to try to align the two photos better, so that the feature can blend Elements of one photo into the other. But I like the result that I have here, so I'm just going to click Done and you can see the Final photo here in the After window.
Everybody is looking straight at the camera. Now I'm going to go up to the File menu and I'll close this image and I'll save it. The clever Group Shots feature can come in really handy whenever you have to take a shot of a group. Just remember to take more than one photo, so you have the opportunity to take the best out of each photo when you are processing your photos in Elements Group Shot feature.
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