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Stacking photos

From: Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training

Video: Stacking photos

When you are shooting photos, you'll often take more than one shot of a scene to make sure that you have gotten a keeper. Rather than clutter your Organizer's photo browser with multiple similar photos, why not stack them one on top of the other in the Photo Browser? That will help you to make space in the photo browser and it will still allow you easy access to all the similar photos anytime. Let's take a look at the stacking features in the Organizer. I working any 02_08 subfolder and I want to make sure that I can see the file names of all my files.

Stacking photos

When you are shooting photos, you'll often take more than one shot of a scene to make sure that you have gotten a keeper. Rather than clutter your Organizer's photo browser with multiple similar photos, why not stack them one on top of the other in the Photo Browser? That will help you to make space in the photo browser and it will still allow you easy access to all the similar photos anytime. Let's take a look at the stacking features in the Organizer. I working any 02_08 subfolder and I want to make sure that I can see the file names of all my files.

So I've gone up to the menu bar and I made sure that Details is checked and I also went to the View menu and made sure that Show File Names is checked. Notice that in this section of the photo browser, I have some photos that I took at an outdoor market, including these four photos of guitars here, and then here, here, and here. The guitar photos are so similar, there's really no reason to have them all showing, but I don't want to delete them from my Organizer because I still might want to work with some of them. So I'm going to stack them together.

To do that, I'll click on the first of the four guitar photos, and then I'm going to hold down the Shift key and click on the last of the four guitar photos, and that selects all four of them. Then I'm going to go up to the Edit menu at the top of the Organizer and I'm going to go down to the Stack menu. There I'm going to choose Stack Selected Photos. Now, instead of all four guitar photos, I see only one in this section of the Photo Browser. Notice that there's now a gray rectangle around his photo and there's a symbol here on the photo that indicates that it's been stacked with other photos.

There's also a little arrow to the right of the guitar on the gray rectangle, and I can use that arrow to expand this stack if I want to see all the photos that are in the stack. So, I'm going to click on that arrow, and I have temporally expanded the stack. The gray rectangle that surround all four photos,defines which photos are in the stack. Once I have expanded the stack, I can choose to have a different photo on the top of the stack and that will be the photo that shows up in the Photo Browser, when the stack is collapsed. To do that, I'll select a different photo from these four.

I'll select this vertical photo of the guitars, and then I'm going to go back to the Edit menu and down to Stack, and I'll choose Set as Top Photo. Now, I'm going to collapse the stack and the way that I'll do that is to go and find the arrow on the right side of the gray rectangle, which is right here now, and I'll click that arrow and the stack collapses as again. And you can see that the photo on top of the stack is now the vertical guitar photo. So you might think of stacking your photos just like stacking a deck of cards. All the photos are there.

It's just that you can only see the one that's on top. This is actually a good way to keep track of similar photos and just to have the best photo in the series showing in the Photo Browser. Now, what if you want to remove a photo from a stack, but you don't want to delete that photo from your Organizer catalog? To do that, I'm going to expand the stack again by clicking the arrow on the gray rectangle. Let's say that I don't want this last guitar photo, the one called guitar7.jpg, to be in the stack. I'll click on that photo to select it and then I'll go back to the Edit menu and down to Stack again.

And this time I'm going to choose Remove Photo from Stack. Now, you can see that the gray rectangle that's around the stacked photos doesn't include guitar7.jpg. It's been removed from the stack and now if I collapse the stack by clicking the arrow on the gray rectangle, here's the stack of photos and here is guitar7, not in the stack but still in the Photo Browser. Now, let's say that I want to add a photo into an existing stack. So, say I want to put this guitar7 photo back into the stack.

To do that I'll select that photo by clicking on it and then I'll hold down the Ctrl key as I click on the stack itself. So, now I have got the stack selected and guitar7.jpg. Now, I'll go up to the Edit menu again and I'll go down to Stack and I'll choose Stack Selected Photos. I'll click OK at the prompt and now all four of the guitar photos are back in the stack. To prove that I'll expand the stack by clicking the arrow on the gray rectangle, and you can see that the rectangle includes the guitar7 photo as well as the other three guitar photos.

Now, expanding a stack is only temporary, but what if you really want unstack the photos, so that there's no longer any stack here? In order to do that I'm going to collapse the stack again by clicking the arrow in the gray rectangle, then I'll select the stack by clicking on it and then I'll go back to the Edit menu, down to Stack, and this time I want to be sure not to choose Flatten Stack, but rather Unstack Photos. If I were to choose Flatten Stack, that would delete from the Organizer all of the photos in the stack, except for the one on top.

So, that's not something I use very often. Instead I'll choose Unstack Photos from this menu. Now, I have all four of my guitar photos back in the Organizer, but there are no stacks. There's also an Auto Stacking feature in the Organizer and you can try using that to automatically create stacks based on the visual similarity of photos and based on the time they were taken. The Auto Stacking feature appears in the Organizer and also in the Adobe Photo Downloader, that I showed you how to use to bring in photos from a camera or card reader.

Let's take a look at the Auto Stacking feature in the Organizer, although I want to tell you that I don't use this feature very often, because it doesn't always get things just right. So I prefer stacking manually as I just showed you how to do. But let's give Auto Stacking a try, so you can see how it works. I'm going to select all of the photos in this section of my Photo Browser. One way to do that is to click on the first and Shift-click on the last of the photos. Another way is to click on the section label right here and that selects all the photos in the section.

Then I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and down to Stack and I'll choose Automatically Suggest Photo Stacks. So, what Elements is now done is suggested groups of photos that it thinks go together from among those I had selected. If I scroll down in this window of suggested stacks you can see the way that Elements suggest grouping these photos, and it really hasn't done a very good job. In fact it hasn't grouped any of them together into a stack. Instead it's identified each one as an ungrouped photo.

So Elements wasn't able to understand that the four guitar photos were similar, and that I would want to have those in one stack. So that's why I don't really love this feature. I find it doesn't always work as intuitively as I would like. So, instead I suggest you use the manual stacking features that I just showed you. I'm going to cancel out of this window by clicking the Cancel button here and that will take me back to the Photo Browser. Earlier in this movie I showed you how to use the Stack features that you could access from the Edit menu at the top of the screen. But there's actually another way to access these Stack features.

As you get more used to using Elements you may like to use shortcuts, like contextual menus. All the Stack commands are available from the contextual menu. So let's say that you have multiple photos selected, as I already do. I can go to any one of those selected photos and right click on it to bring up a contextual menu of commands. I'll choose Stack from that menu and then over on the right, I have the same Stack commands that I could access from the Edit menu from at top of the screen. This is just a little more convenient. So, for example, I might choose to stack the selected photos and that creates this photo stacks here, which I'll expand by clicking the gray arrow.

The stacking features are really powerful and they are features that I hope you'll use often. Stacking means that you can take advantage of your digital camera to take lots and lots of shots of the same subject, maybe changing exposures, or maybe shooting from a different angle to make sure that you get the best shot, and then you can stack the similar photos in the Organizer with your best shot on the top. That will give you room to work in the Photo Browser and you'll get a good view of just the best shot among your similars.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training

106 video lessons · 8480 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 10m 20s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 35s
    3. Launching the Welcome screen
      3m 12s
    4. Touring Elements
      4m 20s
  2. 29m 45s
    1. Working with catalogs
      3m 16s
    2. Getting photos from your hard drive
      2m 49s
    3. Changing thumbnail display options
      4m 35s
    4. Getting photos from a camera or card
      9m 43s
    5. Getting photos from a CD/DVD or an external drive
      4m 46s
    6. Getting photos from a scanner
      4m 36s
  3. 43m 15s
    1. Touring the Organizer interface
      5m 44s
    2. Viewing photos
      5m 11s
    3. Selecting photos
      2m 58s
    4. Rotating photos
      2m 39s
    5. Renaming photos
      2m 7s
    6. Fixing photo dates
      2m 0s
    7. Hiding and deleting photos
      5m 24s
    8. Stacking photos
      8m 9s
    9. Moving files
      4m 43s
    10. Backing up catalogs
      4m 20s
  4. 52m 4s
    1. Applying keyword tags
      8m 33s
    2. Finding photos by keyword tags
      3m 41s
    3. Finding photos with the Keyword Tag Cloud
      1m 56s
    4. Applying Smart Tags
      4m 29s
    5. Automatically tagging people in photos
      7m 54s
    6. Applying star ratings
      2m 48s
    7. Organizing photos in albums
      4m 10s
    8. Organizing photos in Smart Albums
      6m 44s
    9. Finding photos with Text Search
      4m 31s
    10. Finding photos from the Find menu
      5m 10s
    11. Finding photos in the Timeline
      2m 8s
  5. 29m 18s
    1. Working with photos in Full Screen view
      11m 12s
    2. Viewing slideshows in Full Screen view
      4m 10s
    3. Comparing photos
      5m 22s
    4. Using Date View
      3m 41s
    5. Mapping photos
      4m 53s
  6. 56m 46s
    1. Applying Photo Fix options in the Organizer
      8m 22s
    2. Touring the Quick Fix workspace in the Editor
      6m 12s
    3. Applying Quick Fix controls
      11m 10s
    4. Using Quick Fix tools
      11m 2s
    5. Working in Guided Edit in the Editor
      4m 45s
    6. Fixing group shots in Guided Edit
      5m 57s
    7. Applying the Scene Cleaner in Guided Edit
      9m 18s
  7. 1h 12m
    1. Touring the Full Edit interface
      5m 5s
    2. Opening files in Full Edit
      2m 13s
    3. Working with tabbed documents
      6m 57s
    4. Using tools
      6m 11s
    5. Setting editing preferences
      4m 22s
    6. Adjusting color settings
      4m 18s
    7. Using Undo History
      5m 56s
    8. Zooming and navigating
      6m 30s
    9. Creating a blank file
      5m 58s
    10. Photo resizing and resolution
      9m 59s
    11. Using the Recompose tool
      3m 8s
    12. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 49s
    13. Saving files
      7m 47s
  8. 17m 36s
    1. Understanding layers
      3m 28s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      4m 51s
    3. Combining images with layer masks
      9m 17s
  9. 19m 54s
    1. Understanding selections
      2m 27s
    2. Manual selection tools
      7m 6s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      6m 27s
    4. Modifying and saving selections
      3m 54s
  10. 1h 0m
    1. Cropping and straightening
      3m 49s
    2. Applying a Shadows/Highlights adjustment
      2m 54s
    3. Applying adjustment layers
      7m 53s
    4. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      4m 12s
    5. Merging multiple exposures
      6m 33s
    6. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      3m 54s
    7. Adjusting with Color Curves
      3m 39s
    8. Removing a color cast
      3m 21s
    9. Correcting skin tone
      2m 34s
    10. Reducing digital noise
      4m 4s
    11. Sharpening photos
      7m 42s
    12. Working with raw photos
      9m 52s
  11. 24m 50s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tool
      7m 52s
    2. Using the Detail Smart Brush tool
      4m 26s
    3. Dodging and burning
      2m 18s
    4. Healing wrinkles and blemishes
      5m 17s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      3m 41s
    6. Removing red-eye
      1m 16s
  12. 31m 3s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 8s
    2. Adding effects
      3m 16s
    3. Running automated actions
      1m 51s
    4. Using layer styles
      6m 6s
    5. Using shapes
      8m 12s
    6. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      3m 13s
    7. Converting color to black and white
      3m 17s
  13. 9m 29s
    1. Creating text
      5m 8s
    2. Editing text
      2m 59s
    3. Warping text
      1m 22s
  14. 38m 50s
    1. Making a photo book
      8m 26s
    2. Making a photo collage
      9m 0s
    3. Creating a slideshow
      11m 25s
    4. Stitching a photo panorama
      4m 3s
    5. Preparing images for the web
      5m 56s
  15. 33m 54s
    1. Printing photos
      2m 58s
    2. Printing contact sheets and picture packages
      4m 58s
    3. Sending photos by email and Photo Mail
      5m 57s
    4. Burning photos to CD/DVD
      1m 17s
    5. Ordering prints and books
      1m 59s
    6. Signing up for Photoshop.com
      3m 15s
    7. Sharing photos online at Photoshop.com
      7m 40s
    8. Backing up and synchronizing online
      3m 40s
    9. Getting inspiration from Adobe.com
      2m 10s
  16. 26s
    1. Goodbye
      26s

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