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In Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos, professional photo restorer Janine Smith shows how to bring new life to old photos. The course begins with a look at the types of photos that may require restoration, including slides, negatives, prints, and newspaper photos, and options for scanning them. She discusses the types of scanners that are available, from flatbed to film, and the best settings to use for originals. The course then delves into Photoshop Elements tools and techniques to help restore clarity to faded photos and fix problems such as dust, scratches, and tears. Exercise files are included with the course.
I'm not usually an auto button kind of girl; I like to move the settings and sliders around myself. In other words I like to be in control of my settings and adjustments. But there are a few auto buttons in the Quick menu that especially when used together can work really well and are worth taking a look at. Begin by duplicating your layer by right-clicking on it and selecting Duplicate layer, name your layer, I will name this layer Quick Color and click OK to select.
With the Quick Color layer active go to the upper right-hand corner and select Quick in the Edit menu, if your PROJECT BIN is showing double-click on the tab to hide it, you can choose your view during Before or After, After Only, Before Only and you're Before and After you can choose to have Horizontal or Vertical, I find horizontal better because you can check them side by side. At the top is Smart Fix and next to that is an Auto button, go ahead and click that you can see it did a good job of lessening the red cast but by combining this step with another auto selection it could look even better.
Let's go down to the Color Selection and hit that Auto button, now that got the red out. But let's see if we can make it even better, lets go back up to the Lighting menu and hit Auto Levels and you can see that really didn't do much but you can always go down to the sliders and see if it makes it any better. Let's move the Shadows over and see if that works any or keep it down here and I think that's looks a little better down at the bottom. Now let's move Midtones now, its what we would really like to do and I think the Midtones can do the best is take care of this hazy gray around the photo, we're going to try to get rid of that and if we bring the midtones over, that works.
Now let's try the Highlights, oh! And that works even better. Keep it right around 40. Notice after you move the sliders there's a Check and an X that appear, select the check mark if you want to keep the adjustment or the X if you would rather not. Keep in mind though that this option is only available while you're in that particular adjustment, if you don't choose to check or the X and move on to another slide or adjustment, the changes are kept and this option to get out of this goes away.
If we go down to Color and move the Saturation slider the Checkmark and the X is gone away and it now appears next to Color. So be sure to keep that in mind while you're in that dialog, if you want to go back to your original photo and start again, click the reset button at the bottom. So you can see that even if you're not an auto button kind of person, you should still give them a chance to show you what they can do. Play around experiment and combine auto buttons it's always worth a try and may very well surprise you.
Sometimes various techniques and settings may not work perfectly on their own, but can be just the thing when used in combination.
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