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Go beyond the automatic editing features in Adobe Photoshop Elements and find out how to make sophisticated edits using the program's Expert Edit mode. In this course, author, teacher, and photographer Jan Kabili explores the core features of the Expert Edit mode, from making exposure adjustments, retouching, and compositing images, to adding text. The course also takes a close look at adjusting photos with Adobe Camera Raw, included with Elements 11.
One of the great things about working in the Expert edit mode is that it's so easy to change your mind about the edits that you're applying to a photo. The most direct way to change your mind is to use the Undo and Redo features, which are located down here in the taskbar. Right now neither Undo or Redo is available, because I haven't done anything to this image. So let me go ahead and do something. I'm going to try to desaturate the intense red color in the parrot's eye. I select the Sponge Tool here in the toolbar. Down in the tool options bar you can see that by default this tool is set to Desaturate.
I'll move my cursor over the image, and I'm just going to click-and-drag over the eye to take a little bit of the intense color out of the eye. Now let's say I really don't like that; I want to undo what I've done with the Sponge tool. I'll come to the taskbar and now the Undo button is available. So I'll click Undo, and I get this little label telling me that I'm undoing the Sponge Tool, and I'm back to where I started. Well, I have the prerogative to change my mind again. I'd like to redo that action. I'd like to bring the Sponge tool back.
So I'll go down to the taskbar and I see that Redo is available. So I will click Redo, and this label tells me that I'm redoing the Sponge tool. So Undo and Redo can be very useful when you just want to step back or forward a few steps. But when you've done a lot of things to an image, I think it is helpful to be able to see a record of all of the actions that you've taken as you move backward and forward in your edits; and to do that I'm going to open the History panel. I'll go up to the Window menu at the top of the screen and I'll choose History.
That opens this floating group of panels with the History panel at the forefront. I can move the floating group wherever I want it. I'll put it up high so that I can lengthen it by clicking on the bottom of the panel and dragging down. The reason I'm lengthening the panel is that I'm going to do some more things to this image. And with each action I take, the History panel is going to record what I'm doing as a bar or a state in the History panel. By default, the History panel will record up to 50 different states; so let's go ahead and do some more things to this image.
In the options for the Sponge tool I see that there are two related tools--the Dodge tool and the Burn tool. These tools also use to lighten and darken small areas of the photo respectively. I'll start with the Dodge tool, and I'm going to come into the image and try to lighten some of the feathers here. Then I'll go to the Burn tool, and with that tool I'm going to try to darken this area at the bottom right where there is a little bit too much white. Each time I release my mouse and drag with this tool, I'm creating another state over here in the History panel.
The beauty of the History panel is that I can now come into the History panel and click on any of these bars to return the image to that previous state. So if I back up just one step, I'm removing just a little bit of the Burn tool. But I could back up all the way to this step and I'd be back where I was just after I'd applied the Sponge tool. I can go back in the other direction, redoing the actions that I've applied to this image. So you can see that the History panel can be very useful, but do keep in mind that it has two limitations.
For one thing, let's say I back up to just after I applied the Dodge tool and I do something else to the image. Maybe I'll take the Sponge tool again and try to desaturate the beak a bit. Now when I come back to the History panel, I've lost the burn states that came after the Dodge tool. And this is because the History panel can only keep track of one line of history. You can't back up and then go off in another direction and expect the History panel to keep track of both branches of your history. Another limitation of the History panel is that if I close this image, or even if I save and then close the image, the history will no longer be there if I reopen the image.
The history is only good during this particular editing session. It's not saved with the image. Now let's say that I do save the image at this point, I'll go up to the File menu, and I'll choose Save. I'm not interested in including the image in the Elements Organizer. I'll just click Save here and click OK. Then I'll click OK again. And I'm going to do some more things to the image. I'm going to get the Dodge tool and I'm going to try to brighten the eye a little bit, and maybe I'll brighten the nose here as well.
I'll brighten the beak while I'm at it. So now I've added a few more states with the Dodge tool. Let's say that I want to go back to the way that the image was originally. To do that I can go up to the top of the History panel and click on this snapshot of the image here, and that takes me all the way back to the beginning, as the image was when I opened it. And I still have the freedom to come back into the History panel and click on any one of these items to return the image to the corresponding state. Now one more thing. If I want to return the image to the way it was when I last saved it--not the way it was when I started out--then I can go to the Edit menu and choose Revert, and that takes me back to that particular state of my image editing.
So those are several different ways that you can go forward and backward, changing your mind as you edit an image in the Expert edit workspace.
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