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Stacking photos

From: Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training

Video: Stacking photos

When you are shooting photos, you will 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 helps you make space in the Photo Browser and it still allows you easy access to all similar photos at one time. Let's take a look at the Stacking feature in the Organizer. I'm working in the 02_08_stacking subfolder of the Chapter_02 exercise files and to give myself some room to work I have just double- clicked on this border between the Task pane and the Photo Browser to collapse the Task pane.

Stacking photos

When you are shooting photos, you will 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 helps you make space in the Photo Browser and it still allows you easy access to all similar photos at one time. Let's take a look at the Stacking feature in the Organizer. I'm working in the 02_08_stacking subfolder of the Chapter_02 exercise files and to give myself some room to work I have just double- clicked on this border between the Task pane and the Photo Browser to collapse the Task pane.

I have also made sure that I can see the file names of all my files by going up to the menu bar and making sure that Details is checked and also going to the View menu and enabling Show File Names. You will notice that in this section of the Photo Browser I have a number of files that I took at a market in Los Angeles including four photos of guitars. The guitar photos are so similar, there is really no reason to have them all showing but I don't want to delete them from my Organizer because I might still want to work with them. So I'm going to stack them together. To do that I'll select the first of the four guitar photos by clicking on it and then I'm going to hold down the Shift key and click on the last of those and that selects all in between.

Then I'm going up to the Edit menu, and down to Stack and over to Stack Selected Photos. Now instead of four guitar photos I only see one in this section. Notice that there is now a gray rectangle around that photo and a symbol on the photo that indicates that it has been stacked with other photos. There is also a little arrow to the right of this guitar photo. If I wanted to see all of the stacked photos, I could expand this stack by clicking that arrow. So, all the photos are still there. It's just like stacking a deck of cards. Once I have expanded the stack I can choose to have a different photo on the top of the stack, the photo that's showing in the Photo Browser when the stack is collapsed.

To do that, I'm going select the different photo, I'll take this vertical photo guitar6, select it go back to the Edit menu and down to Stack again and now I'm going to choose Set As Top Photo. Now I'm going to collapse the stack, and the way that you do that is from the arrow on the right side of the stack. I'll click that and the collapsed stack now shows the vertical photo on top. So this is actually a great way to edit similar photos and have just the best photo in the series showing in the Photo Browser.

It's possible to remove a photo from a stack without deleting it from your Organizer catalog. To do that, expand the stack either by clicking this arrow as I just showed you or by selecting the photo at the top of the stack. Going up to the Edit menu, down to Stack and over to Expand Photos in Stack, that's an alternative way to do the same thing, as clicking the arrow. Let's say that I didn't want to have this last photo guitar7 in the stack, I would just select it and then go back to the Edit menu, down to Stack and over to Remove Photo from Stack. Now you can see that gray rectangle around the stack doesn't include that last photo guitar7 which is still in the Organizer but not in the stack. So now if I collapse the stack from this arrow, we have our stack of three photos here and that single guitar photo on its own, still in the Photo Browser.

You can also add a photo into an existing stack. So let's say I wanted to put guitar7 back into the stack. To do that I'll select guitar7 by clicking on it and then I'll hold the Ctrl key as I click the top photo in the stack. Once again up to the Edit menu, where all the stack functions are, down to Stack and choose Stack Selected Photos. At the prompt click OK. Now all four photos are back in this stack and to prove it I'm going to expand the stack by clicking the arrow and there are the four photos back in this particular stack.

Expanding a stack like this is only temporary. If you want to unstack or stack permanently, in other words get rid of it, you do it this way. I'm going to collapse the stack. Then I'm going to click on its top photo to select Stack and from the Edit > Stack menu, this time I'm going to choose Unstack Photos. Now be careful that you don't choose Flatten Stack. That's different. If you choose to Flatten Stack, which I don't do very often, it will delete from your Organizer all of the photos in the stack except for the one on top. That's not what I want to do. I just want to get all four photos out of this stack. So I'll choose Unstack Photos.

Now I have all four of my guitar photos in the Organizer but there are no stacks. There is also an auto-stacking feature in the Organizer and you can use that to try to automatically create stacks based on the visual similarity of your photos and the time when they were taken. The auto-stacking feature appears here in the Organizer and also in the Adobe Photo Downloader that appears when you are bringing in photos from a camera or card reader. There is also an auto- stacking feature in the File > Get Photos command that you use to get photos from files, folders, or even from cameras manually as I taught you how to do in earlier lessons.

To be honest, I don't really use auto- stacking feature very often because it doesn't always get things right so I prefer stacking manually as I juts showed you how to do but let's give it a try and see how it works. I'm going to select all the photos in this particular folder by going up to the Path at the top of the Photo Browser and clicking there. Then I'm going to the Edit menu and choosing Stack > Automatically Suggest Photo Stacks and let's see how it does. Elements just come in and try to put to together all the photos in that folder into groups and if I scroll down I can see the various groups. The first group has just one photo of the blouses. The second group, again, one photo of the awnings. The third group has just one photo of the guitars. So as you can see Elements was unable to understand that the four guitar photos were similar and then I would want to have those in one stack. If I go down further you can see that the other guitar photos are all ungrouped.

So this is why I don't really like this feature I find that it doesn't 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 and I want to mention one more thing about stacking. I showed you how to use the Edit > Stack menu at the top of the screen for the various stacking functions but there actually is another way to do it. As you get more use to using Elements you may like to use shortcuts like contextual menus. All the Stack commands are also available from a contextual menu, to access that menu with multiple photos selected as they currently are all you have to do is right-click on anyone of the photos and you get a long list of possible commands. Among those Stack and the various Stacking features that we learn how to do from the Edit menu.

You might try using contextual menus throughout this course by right-clicking on photos and seeing what the menu choices are there. The Stacking feature is one that I think you are going to use often. It means you can take advantage of your digital camera to take lots and lots of shots of the same subject, maybe changing exposures or shooting from a different angle to make sure that you get the best shot. Then you can stack the similar photos in the Organizer with your best shot on top to make room in the Photo Browser and to get a good view of just the best shots in each stack.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training

94 video lessons · 9055 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 9m 23s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. What is Photoshop Elements?
      6m 59s
    3. Using the example files
      1m 30s
  2. 22m 34s
    1. Understanding the Organizer's catalog system
      3m 17s
    2. Getting photos from files and folders
      5m 41s
    3. Getting photos from a digital camera
      7m 27s
    4. Getting photos from offline media
      3m 7s
    5. Getting photos from a scanner
      3m 2s
  3. 35m 0s
    1. Touring the Organizer interface
      5m 30s
    2. Viewing photos
      2m 19s
    3. Selecting photos
      1m 52s
    4. Rotating photos
      2m 7s
    5. Renaming photos
      1m 57s
    6. Fixing photo dates
      1m 56s
    7. Hiding and deleting photos
      4m 50s
    8. Stacking photos
      7m 33s
    9. Moving files
      4m 1s
    10. Backing up
      2m 55s
  4. 31m 50s
    1. Tagging photos
      8m 38s
    2. Finding photos by tags
      3m 57s
    3. Tagging face photos
      3m 1s
    4. Using albums and Smart Albums
      7m 43s
    5. Finding photos with Text Search
      3m 34s
    6. Finding photos from the Find menu
      2m 57s
    7. Finding photos in the Timeline
      2m 0s
  5. 16m 27s
    1. Reviewing photos in Full Screen view
      5m 28s
    2. Comparing photos
      4m 9s
    3. Using Date view
      2m 54s
    4. Using Map view
      3m 56s
  6. 33m 3s
    1. Automatically fixing photos in the Organizer
      7m 58s
    2. Semi-automatically fixing photos with Quick Fix
      10m 39s
    3. Using the Guided Edit mode
      4m 33s
    4. Fixing group shots automatically
      3m 44s
    5. Removing stray content with the Scene Cleaner
      6m 9s
  7. 57m 41s
    1. Touring the Full Edit interface
      4m 46s
    2. Opening a file
      2m 6s
    3. Creating a blank file
      4m 36s
    4. Using tools
      8m 5s
    5. Setting Edit preferences
      4m 31s
    6. Adjusting Color settings
      5m 18s
    7. Using the Undo History command
      3m 48s
    8. Zooming and navigating
      6m 7s
    9. Resizing photos and adjusting resolution
      8m 23s
    10. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 24s
    11. Saving files
      6m 37s
  8. 13m 36s
    1. Understanding layers
      4m 38s
    2. Working in the Layers palette
      4m 4s
    3. Using layer masks
      4m 54s
  9. 17m 50s
    1. Understanding selections
      1m 15s
    2. Manual selection tools
      6m 20s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      6m 25s
    4. Modifying and saving selections
      3m 50s
  10. 40m 53s
    1. Straightening and cropping
      2m 46s
    2. Using the Shadow/Highlight adjustment
      2m 41s
    3. Adjusting with Levels
      5m 0s
    4. Adjusting with Hue/Saturation
      3m 14s
    5. Using Color Curves
      4m 44s
    6. Removing a color cast
      4m 9s
    7. Correcting skin tone
      2m 20s
    8. Reducing digital noise
      2m 47s
    9. Sharpening photos
      6m 27s
    10. Editing raw photos
      6m 45s
  11. 25m 21s
    1. Using the new Smart Brush tool
      5m 50s
    2. Using the Smart Brush Detail tool
      3m 13s
    3. Dodging and burning
      1m 58s
    4. Healing wrinkles and blemishes
      3m 51s
    5. Removing content
      2m 9s
    6. Using the Red Eye tool
      1m 11s
    7. Using the Whiten Teeth tool
      1m 48s
    8. Using the Blue Skies Tool
      1m 28s
    9. Using the Black/White tool
      1m 13s
    10. Converting color to black and white
      2m 40s
  12. 22m 10s
    1. Applying filters
      6m 21s
    2. Applying effects
      3m 53s
    3. Using layer styles
      5m 13s
    4. Using shapes
      4m 49s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      1m 54s
  13. 7m 34s
    1. Creating text
      4m 6s
    2. Editing text
      1m 58s
    3. Warping text
      1m 30s
  14. 38m 38s
    1. Making a photo book
      10m 0s
    2. Making a photo collage
      8m 10s
    3. Creating a slideshow
      10m 11s
    4. Making a panorama
      3m 50s
    5. Preparing images for the web
      4m 6s
    6. Using automated actions
      2m 21s
  15. 9m 50s
    1. Using email and Photo Mail
      4m 42s
    2. Printing your photos
      2m 55s
    3. Using Quick Share
      2m 13s
  16. 19m 17s
    1. Signing up for Photoshop.com
      3m 33s
    2. Viewing and sharing your photos online
      6m 0s
    3. Backing up and synchronizing albums online
      6m 28s
    4. Accessing ongoing inspiration from Adobe.com
      3m 16s
  17. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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