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Photoshop Elements 7 is packed with features to help amateur photographers with every stage of digital photo processing, from getting organized to sharing projects with family and friends. In Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training, Jan Kabili shares workflow techniques for organizing, editing, creating projects, and sharing. She also demonstrates how to enhance photos with this budget-friendly software. Jan explains the latest updates to the Organizer and Editor workspaces, and also covers new features like the Smart Brush tool and Photoshop.com integration. Elements is very well known for its project features, and Jan shows how to create books, collages, panoramas, and more. Example files accompany the course.
Quick Fix is one of three levels of editing that are available in Elements Editor workspace. Quick Fix has automatic features but it does offer you some control over the results and that's where it differs from the Fix panel in the Organizer, which we looked at in a previous movie, and from the more complex Full Edit workspace, which is in the Editor. Quick Fix has simple tools for correcting common photo problems. I think you are going to find it very useful and very user friendly for basic photo editing. Let's take a look at Quick Fix. I'm working in the 05_02-quickedit subfolder inside the Chapter 05, Exercise Files folder. In that folder I'm going to select this image, door.jpg, and then I'm going to go to the Editor button at the top of the screen, click and choose Quick Fix.
That takes you right in to the Editor workspace in the Quick Fix mode. Quick Fix is an entire interface; let's take a quick tour of what's here. In this column on the right you have some buttons and sliders to correct common photo problems like lighting, color and sharpness. Over on the left side of the screen there is an abbreviated toolbar with tools like a Zoom tool which I'm going to select and then if I go to the options at the top of the screen which change when I select that tool, I can change the zoom of the photo by clicking and dragging on this slider or by clicking on this button that fits the zoom magnification of the image to the screen or by clicking the plus and minus buttons and then clicking in the image.
If I were to zoom in to a larger size that fits on the screen, I could go the next tool, the Hand tool and click and drag in the image to see different parts of the photo, even though the whole thing doesn't fit in the screen. There is also a Quick Selection tool here, which comes in useful for selecting areas of the photo that I want to correct without affecting other areas and a Crop tool. There are some Rotate buttons at the bottom of the screen for rotating images that come in lying on their side and at the very bottom is a Project Bin.
I'm going to open the Project Bin by clicking this arrow on the bottom left and you can see there a thumbnail of all the opened images. I'll click that arrow again to hide the Project Bin so I have more room to work. Let's take a look at some of the controls in Quick Fix. I'm going to get the photo back to a 100% view by coming up to the Hand tool and in its options, I'll click Actual Pixels and then I'm going to start applying some of the controls over here on the right. The first control is Smart Fix, if you listen to the earlier movie on the Fix panel and the Organizer, you have already seen Smart Fix, this is the same control that is in that Fix panel in the Organizer.
This control has both an Auto button and a manual slider. As long as I have the manual slider, I prefer to use that because the Auto program is just a best guess of how to correct this photo. So I'm going to grab this Amount slider and drag it to the right, so that I have control over the amount of Smart Fix that's applied to this photo. I'm going to go way over to the right so you can really see a change here, if you like that change you can accept it by going to the green check mark at the top of the general fix area and clicking there. I'm actually going to cancel this so that I can show you some other controls.
By the way what Smart Fix is doing is analyzing the color and tone in this photo and then attempting to change its brightness, its contrast and its color. Let's take a look some of the controls in the Lighting area. The Levels control has only an Auto button. Let's see what happens when I click that Auto button; Elements has adjusted both the contrast of the photo, in other words the range of tones in the photo and also has affected the color of the photo. I'm going to undo that change by going to the Edit menu at the top of the screen and choosing Undo Auto Levels. Notice that there is a shortcut for that command which is Ctrl+Z on your keyboard, that's worth remembering because Undo is a command you will often use.
The Contrast command is very similar to Levels, it effects the tone of range in the image but it doesn't effect color like Levels does. Rather than try that one here I'm going to go right down to the next three sliders, Lighten Shadows, Darken Highlights and Midtone Contrast. The three of these sliders together are very similar to the Shadow/Highlight command that you are going to learn about when we study the Full Edit workspace. These are powerful sliders because they adjust the light areas of the photo, the dark areas of the photo and the middle graytones of the photo each separately.
Lets see how this works. I'm going to start with Lighten Shadows and as I adjust that slider, keep your eye in this dark area of the window and you will see it get lighter. So I'll take that slider and drag it over and what I'm doing is lightening the dark areas in the photo without having too much effect on the other tones in the photo, the highlights and the midtones. I can adjust the highlights separately. The highlights are the bright areas in the photo by dragging this second slider to the right. While the first slider lightens, the second slider darkens but it's darkening a different area of the photo, the highlight areas. So I'll drag that over to the right and you can see the highlights getting darker but the original shadow area is still light. It hasn't been affected by the Darken Highlights slider.
Finally, there are Midtones in this photo as in most photos and those are the gray tones between the dark and the light tones in the photo, I'm going to increase the contrast of the Midtone areas by dragging this slider to the right and that pops a little more. If I like these changes I can accept them by clicking this green check mark. Before I show you the color controls, let's go over and take a look at the Quick Selection tool here in the Toolbox. The Quick Selection tool allows me to select an area of the photo that is going to be affected by the color changes I'm about to make and protects the rest of the photo from those changes. Here's how it works; with that tool selected I'm coming into the photo and I'm just going to start drawing on top of this blue area and in a snap, Elements completed that selection for me by analyzing the color and tone of the pixels in the surrounding area.
The animated lines around that selection are called marching ants and they show the boundaries of the area that will be affected as I go over to the Color panel and adjust those sliders, the first slider there, the Saturation slider affects the intensity or purity of color. If I drag that all the way over to the right, you will see that blue get very intense, and if I drag that slider all the way over to the left you will see all of the blue come out of the color. I'll put it somewhere in the middle.
The Hue slider affects the actual color, so as I drag that to another place on the slider, the color changes from blue to red or to green or to yellow. So you can choose whatever color you like here, how about red? I'm going to go back over and click on the Quick Selection tool again and then I'm going to use a keyboard shortcut to deselect or remove these marching ants, I'll hold the Ctrl key down and press the D key on my keyboard.
Now let's go back to the Color panel and let me show you the Temperature and Tint sliders. These change the overall color of the photo, the Temperature slider makes color warmer or more gold as I move to the right and cooler or more blue as I move the slider to the left. I'll put that somewhere in between and the Tint slider does something similar except that it moves from magenta on the right to green on the left. I'll put that in the middle too.
This slider mostly comes in handy when you are correcting images of people's faces. The last thing I'm going to do to this photo is to sharpen it. I'll go to the Sharpen area of the Quick Fix and I'm going to click the arrow to the left of Sharpen to expand that area of controls. We can sharpen either automatically or by dragging the Sharpen slider to the right. Before I sharpen, I just want to look at the bottom to this Zoom field and make sure that I'm at 100%. It's always a good idea to be viewing a photo at a 100% when you sharpen it.
Almost every photo can benefit from at least a little bit of sharpening before it's printed or otherwise output. Sharpening will just make your photo look a little more crisp. So keep your eye on the photo as I drag this slider to the right, in fact I'll drag it all the way over so you can see what too much sharpening looks like. Its almost looks crispy and I'll come back this way until it looks just about right to me and I'll click this green check mark to accept that change. The last area down here labeled Touch Up is worth taking a look at, I'm going to click the white arrow to the left of Touch Up to see the four tools that are here.
These are new tools in Photoshop Elements 7, these tools also appear in the Full Edit workspace and that's where we are going to be learning about them because in Full Edit you have more control over each tool. It's just that so you know what they are, the first of these is an automatic red eye correction for the red eye that you sometimes get when you take a picture of a person with a flash on your camera. The next is a tool for whitening teeth in a portrait. The next is a tool for making dull blue skies look a little bluer and finally we have a tool for converting areas of the photo to black and white with high contrast.
Now that I'm done adjusting this photo I want to compare it to the original, so I'm going to the bottom left of the screen and in the View menu I'll choose Before & After and I'm going to choose the Vertical view there and you can see the original photo on top and the adjusted photo on the bottom. I still have the option to eliminate all the adjustments that I have made by going to this Reset button and clicking. But I'm not going to do that. Instead I'm going to save my changes by going up to the File menu and choosing Save.
I'll show you how to save a photo in a later movie, but I do want to make the point that when you are using Quick Fix you do have to manually save in order to save your changes. If you watch the earlier movie on the fix panel in the Organizer, that feature worked differently, it automatically saved changes that you made. So, as you have seen Quick Edit gives you the best of both worlds. It offers access to powerful interface and editing controls, but it also presents them in a simple way that's relatively easy to learn and to use.
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