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Using the Lighting sliders

From: Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training

Video: Using the Lighting sliders

Now, let's take a look at how you can lighten or darken your images using the lighting sliders available in the Quick Fix Edit mode. I'm currently in the Adobe Bridge application and I'm viewing the exercise files folders here in the Content panel and what I'd like to do is double-click on the Chapter 5 Using Quick Fix Mode folder and then double-click on the lighting sliders folder and double- click on the Quick Fix 4 image. That will open up the image here in the Elements' Editing workspace and I'd like to enter a Quick Fix mode. So I will click the Quick button in the upper right and that gives us access to all of our Quick Fix controls.

Using the Lighting sliders

Now, let's take a look at how you can lighten or darken your images using the lighting sliders available in the Quick Fix Edit mode. I'm currently in the Adobe Bridge application and I'm viewing the exercise files folders here in the Content panel and what I'd like to do is double-click on the Chapter 5 Using Quick Fix Mode folder and then double-click on the lighting sliders folder and double- click on the Quick Fix 4 image. That will open up the image here in the Elements' Editing workspace and I'd like to enter a Quick Fix mode. So I will click the Quick button in the upper right and that gives us access to all of our Quick Fix controls.

The controls that I want to focus on are these three sliders right here in the Lighting section: Lighten Shadows, Darken Highlights and Midtone Contrast. Just a reminder that these sliders have nothing to do with the Auto buttons that are above. They don't affect these auto controls at all. They are a separate adjustment entirely. The Auto buttons are a one-click fix and these sliders down here are meant to be used for manual adjustments. Now let's take a look at our image over here. We've got the before and after preview which is a good thing. That allows us to see our adjustments and compare them to the original image side by side. If you look at the image, you can see that my son Enzo is actually backlit, meaning that the light source in the image is behind him. You can see that here in the photograph. You can see there's some light reflecting off his face and of course, in the background back here. But all of this area in the front is engulfed in shadow.

So we're losing some detail in here. The reason that that's happening is because there was a very large tree over here to the left that he was running towards that is casting a very large shadow over him. So it's hiding a lot of the detail. What we want to do with these lighting sliders is reveal some of that detail in the shadow areas and then in the areas back here like say, in his face and in the background where we have some detail that's getting lost because they're blown out. We want to reveal detail back there as well. We can do that using these sliders.

Let's start with the Lighten Shadows. If I drag the slider to the right, what I can do is reveal some of that detail that's getting lost in the forefront of the backlit image. See that happening there. The further I drag, the more detail I can start to reveal. Now when you're doing this, usually a good milestone is to drag to that first tick in the line. That's usually a good starting point. I think that's actually looking pretty good. We can see a lot more of the detail going on, in the ball, in the leaves and dirt down on the ground here and of course, in Enzo himself, all right. That's a very good thing.

If you start to drag this any further though, things are going to start to look unnatural. So you're going to want to use this with discretion and again, that's the great thing about having the before and after preview here. You can really see how this is just not looking right. We don't want to lose too much of the shadow because he's obviously under a tree. We can see the shadow in the background. We don't want to try and lose all of that. We want to be faithful to our composition here and make adjustments that are within reason. So I would say about the 25% mark or maybe even just before it would be the way to go for this particular image. All right, so now that we've done that, what we want to do is bring back some of the detail in these blown out areas here in the back of the image. Back over in here and of course, in his face. I could do that by dragging the Darken Highlights slider to the right and as we do, we can bring back some of the color and a lot of the detail in those areas. All right, the same principle applies here, if I drag too far, things are going to start to look unnatural.

That doesn't look balanced to me. Sure we're bringing back a lot of the imagery, but it doesn't look natural. So we want to do just enough to make the image look better, not worse. Use with discretion here. Again, refer to the before and the after. That's actually looking pretty good to me. Now the last slider here is the Midtone Contrast slider. You have to be very careful with this slider because what this slider here is wanting to adjust is the definition in the midtone areas of the photograph. That would be like the areas in his shirt, maybe his hair, some of the areas down here in the leaves and as you drag the slider to the right, it's going to Undo some of what you did with the sliders above because it's going to darken those areas. So you're going to make those areas look dark again. That's going to undo which you did in Lighten Shadows. And if you move it to the left, it's going to lighten things up and in some ways in this particular image actually can help a little bit. But again, it's going to undo some of what you did with Darken Highlights.

So you want to be careful when you're moving this around. You don't want to undo everything that you did up here. If it helps a little bit to move it either way, you can give it a shot. I think it helps to move it just a little bit to the left, but otherwise be very, very careful. Once you've made your adjustment here moving the sliders and things are starting to look better, you can apply the adjustment by clicking the green check mark over here, commit to that and we've now edited our image. We can go back in Full Edit Mode and see what it looks like. Take a look around it. We don't have to scroll too much. It is filling the whole window; we can zoom in a little bit and then inspect it. Things are looking much better, we can see a lot more of the detail and we did so using the three sliders available in Quick Fix Mode, quickly and easily.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training

84 video lessons · 5404 viewers

Ted LoCascio
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 20s
  2. 12m 1s
    1. Understanding Photoshop Elements
      2m 10s
    2. Using the Welcome screen
      2m 33s
    3. Importing photos from a digital camera
      7m 18s
  3. 1h 1m
    1. Viewing and selecting images
      2m 1s
    2. Creating and saving a custom workspace
      5m 29s
    3. Rotating images in Bridge
      3m 20s
    4. Renaming images in Bridge
      5m 34s
    5. Adding keywords to images
      7m 38s
    6. Applying ratings to images
      5m 17s
    7. Labeling images
      5m 17s
    8. Searching for images
      6m 38s
    9. Creating Collections
      2m 50s
    10. Sorting images with the Filter panel
      6m 36s
    11. Using image stacks
      7m 2s
    12. Hiding images
      4m 6s
  4. 31m 55s
    1. Opening images from Bridge
      2m 24s
    2. Working with palettes and the Palette Bin
      4m 53s
    3. Using the Project Bin
      6m 44s
    4. Zooming and scrolling
      8m 1s
    5. Fixing mistakes with Undo and Redo
      5m 3s
    6. Saving versions
      4m 50s
  5. 49m 38s
    1. Opening and viewing images in the Quick Fix mode
      6m 8s
    2. Understanding Auto Color and making tonal adjustments
      8m 50s
    3. Using the Lighting sliders
      5m 19s
    4. Using the Color sliders
      7m 1s
    5. Applying Auto Red Eye Fix
      3m 31s
    6. Applying Auto Sharpen
      4m 25s
    7. Using the Guided Edit mode
      6m 19s
    8. Processing multiple files
      8m 5s
  6. 10m 22s
    1. Understanding image resolution
      3m 23s
    2. Resizing images
      6m 59s
  7. 17m 8s
    1. Applying Auto Crop and Auto Straighten
      6m 22s
    2. Using the Straighten and Crop tools
      4m 10s
    3. Changing the canvas size
      6m 36s
  8. 30m 32s
    1. Why make selections?
      6m 3s
    2. Using the Quick Selection tool
      8m 37s
    3. Using Refine Edge
      7m 15s
    4. Saving and loading selections
      8m 37s
  9. 25m 58s
    1. Working with the Layers palette
      9m 45s
    2. Using adjustment layers and masks
      8m 37s
    3. Applying transparency and blend mode adjustments
      7m 36s
  10. 40m 56s
    1. Removing a color cast
      5m 53s
    2. Correcting skin tone
      3m 38s
    3. Enhancing color with Hue/Saturation adjustments
      6m 37s
    4. Balancing contrast and color with Levels adjustments
      7m 10s
    5. Correcting dark or light areas with Shadow/Highlight Adjustments
      5m 17s
    6. Improving images with Color Curves adjustments
      5m 55s
    7. Converting color images to black and white
      6m 26s
  11. 54m 14s
    1. Using the Red-Eye Removal tool
      8m 1s
    2. Using the healing tools
      7m 42s
    3. Whitening teeth and eyes
      6m 20s
    4. Cloning to remove contents
      8m 14s
    5. Adjusting perspective and correcting camera distortion
      6m 10s
    6. Using Photomerge Group Shot
      6m 17s
    7. Using Photomerge Faces
      6m 4s
    8. Using Photomerge Panorama
      5m 26s
  12. 16m 1s
    1. Creating a clipping mask
      7m 25s
    2. Creating collages with gradient blending
      8m 36s
  13. 22m 15s
    1. Reducing noise
      8m 7s
    2. Sharpening with Unsharp Mask
      7m 16s
    3. Sharpening with Adjust Sharpness
      6m 52s
  14. 17m 54s
    1. Understanding Camera Raw
      1m 46s
    2. Opening Camera Raw images from Bridge
      6m 37s
    3. Applying tonal and color adjustments in Camera Raw
      6m 23s
    4. Saving raw images
      3m 8s
  15. 40m 41s
    1. Painting with the Filter Gallery
      8m 7s
    2. Creating a pencil sketch
      7m 40s
    3. Customizing images
      7m 59s
    4. Adding artwork with the Content palette
      9m 39s
    5. Building and saving a multi-page photo creation
      7m 16s
  16. 37m 5s
    1. Creating a slideshow
      6m 58s
    2. Creating a photo book
      9m 1s
    3. Creating a photo collage
      6m 58s
    4. Creating a greeting card
      6m 31s
    5. Creating a web photo gallery
      7m 37s
  17. 31m 6s
    1. Choosing color settings
      7m 1s
    2. Printing to an inkjet printer
      8m 13s
    3. Using Picture Package
      4m 33s
    4. Saving for the web
      5m 55s
    5. Attaching images to emails
      3m 6s
    6. Burning to CDs and DVDs
      2m 18s
  18. 56s
    1. Goodbye
      56s

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