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In Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training, Jan Kabili highlights the key features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. She shows how to correct and enhance photographs, and how to organize a growing collection of digital photos. The course also explains how to use photos in creative projects like photo books, calendars, and greeting cards, and how to share work online and in print. Exercise files accompany the course.
Guided Edit is one of the three editing workspaces in Elements Editor. It offers explicit instructions and tools for performing individual tasks from basic editing to specialty effects. Now Guided Edit applies only to particular techniques, so you can't use it across the board, but if you're working on one of those tasks, particularly if you're new to the technique or to Elements in general, you'll appreciate this step-by-step guide that you get in Guided Edit. In this movie, I'll introduce you to the Guided Edit interface and in the rest of the chapter, I'll cover the new Guided Edit techniques that have been added in Elements 9.
When I want to apply a Guided Edit to a photo, I can start either in the Organizer or in the Editor. In the Organizer, I'll select the image by clicking on it and then I'll go up to the arrow to the right of the Fix tab and I'll choose Guided Photo Edit. That will launch the Editor if it's not already open. And it will open the file into the Guided Edit workspace. Now if you don't use the Organizer to manage your photos, you can still use Guided Edit. Just open a file using the File> Open menu in any of the Editor workspaces and then go over to the column on the right and click the Guided tab.
Let's take a look at the Guided Edit workspace. It looks similar to the Quick Fix workspace that I covered earlier, but it has fewer tools and controls. There is a Project Bin down at the bottom of the Guided Edit workspace that shows the open files by default. If I want to collapse the Project Bin, I'll double-click its tab and then I have a larger view of the document that I am working on. I can reopen the Project Bin by clicking once on its tab. Over on the left is an abbreviated toolbox with a foreground and background color wall and with just a Hand tool and a Zoom tool.
When I select one of these two tools, the options change up here to give me options specific to that tool. Among the most useful options are those that fit the image to the screen like this and that zoom in to 100% like this. And then there's a Hand tool that I can use to move an image around in the window if I'm zoomed in so far that the image is bigger than the window. I'll click Fit Screen, so that I can see the entire image in this window. The heart of Guided Edit is in this column over on the right.
This column lists all of the techniques that you can perform here in Guided Edit and they are divided into categories. There are some basic photo edits like cropping a photo or sharpening a photo, some corrections to lighting and exposure, some corrections to color and then some special guided activities like touching up scratches and blemishes or an entire photo workflow guide. If I scroll down, there are some specialty techniques here in Photomerge, like the Style Match technique that I'll cover later.
There is an Action Player that plays some specific actions on an image and then there are some Photographic Effects like Line Drawing or an Old Fashioned Photo Effect and down here is a brand new category of Fun Edits, although, some of these are very practical like the Perfect Portrait technique which I'll show you in a later movie along with all the others in the Fun Edit category. I'm going to scroll back up to the top of this list to show you how to apply a Guided Edit. This image has a bit of a blue colorcast to it. So I'll look at the Color Correction category and there I see that I can remove a color cast.
I'll click Remove a Color Cast and that brings up instructions for doing exactly that here in the Guided Edit column. As with many Guided Edits, there is an explanation that helps you learn about the problem and the solution. This Guided Edit, like some others, has its own tools right here in the instructions. I'm going to select this tool, a ColorCast Eyedropper and then as it tells me here, I'll move into the image and I am going to click on a grey area, a neutral area and that removes the colorcast from that area and also resets all of the other tones to remove the cast.
So now, I think the image looks a lot more like the scene that I remember photographing. You can apply more than one Guided Edit technique to the same photo. When I'm done here, I'll click the Done button and that takes me back to the list of Guided Edits. I'd like to fine-tune the lighting in this image. So I'll go up to the Lighting and Exposure category and I'll click the Lighten or Darken Guided Edit. The way that I usually approach a Guided Edit that I haven't used before is just to start reading from the top and follow the instructions. So the first instruction is pretty straightforward, Press the Auto button to automatically fix the photo's exposure.
I'll try that and right away I see a change in the photo. Now, if I don't like that result, I can always go down to the Reset button that's at the bottom of the Guided Edit column and click to go back to ground zero and then I can apply the sliders or the tools in the Guided Edit again. In some of the Guided Edits, you will find sliders like this that let you customize a technique. So as the Guided Edit tells me, this first slider affects only the dark areas and it will lighten the shadows. So as I drag this slider over to the right, the dark areas become lighter and I can see more detail in them which is what I want.
The intensity of this effect will increase as I drag further to the right. So I'll put that where I wanted, just about there. And then I'll go on to the next slider, the Darken Highlights slider. This slider will affect only the brightest areas of the photo and it will darken them down, so I get more detail in the clouds. I'll drag that to the right until I like the effect. And then there's a third slider here that will affect only the midtones, the medium-bright areas. I can decrease the contrast in those areas for a kind of a glowing effect or I can increase the contrast to bring more detail to the midtones.
Many of the Guided Edits allow you to compare an after and before view of the photo. In this case, I'll go to View menu and from there, I can choose to see the After version only, the version with the edits applied, the Before version which is the original or both, either in a Horizontal or a Vertical view. I'll choose Before & After - Horizontal and you can see what a difference, those few quick Guided Edits made to this photo. Over on the right, if I don't like the results, I can always click Reset and that will take me back to the beginning to the original photo and I can start again with this or another Guided Edit.
If I don't like the results of the Lighten or Darken Guided Edit, I can click the Reset button and that will take me back to the way the photo looked when I started this particular Guided Edit, but I do like the results, so I'll click Done. Down here in the Project Bin, I see an icon that looks like a paintbrush on the top right corner of the thumbnail that represents this image and that means that I have made changes to the image that I haven't yet saved. So it's time to save and I can do that at the same time that I close the image by going up to the X on the right side of the document window and clicking there.
Elements asks if I want to save the changes that I've made to the photo. Yes I do, so I'll click Yes. I don't have to worry about saving over the photo because I get a chance to save elsewhere or with a different name or in a different format here in the Save As dialog box. I'm going to save in a different place by clicking on my Desktop and then opening up my projects folder and I'll save it there. I can keep the name the same because I am saving in a different location and I can keep the format the same as well. This is going to save an entirely new version of the image and if I want to include that new version in the Organizer, I can leave Include in the Elements Organizer checked and I think that's generally a good idea.
I am not going to bother saving in a version set with the original and when I'm saving in the JPEG format, I don't have the opportunity to save with layers, so layers has grayed out. I'll leave the other options at their defaults and I'll click the Save button. In the JPEG Options dialog box, I'll set the Quality to a medium amount, like 10 and I'll click OK and that closes Guided Edit and brings me back to the Organizer. So the Guided Edit workspace offers step-by-step instructions for particular techniques. Its easy-to-follow explanations make it popular with users who are new to Elements and if you're more experienced user, it can be a great learning tool when you're tackling a new technique for the first time, like the new Guided Edits in Elements 9 that I'll be covering in the rest of this chapter.
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