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Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements to organize and edit photos, build photos into projects like slideshows and photo books, and share photos with family and friends. Jan explains how to train Photoshop Elements 8 to recognize and tag faces, use the Smart Brush for targeted adjustments, and share photos using Adobe's online service, photoshop.com. She also dives deep into the application's editing tools, which rival those of the full product, Photoshop, in their ability to take snapshots and turn them into great photos. Exercise files accompany the course.
Of the three editing workspaces in Elements Editor, Guided Edit is the most basic. It consists of instructions that walk you through performing some basic photo correction techniques, like cropping photos, or removing a colorcast. And it also shows you how to use some of the more clever Elements features like the Group Shot feature, and the Scene Cleaner feature that I'll show you in later movies. The thing to remember about Guided Edit is that it doesn't address every single editing problem. Just a handful of them, but for those it's a great way to work.
Let's see how to use Guided Edit. I'm starting here in the Organizer, and I'm going to select the image that you see from folder 05_05, and I'm going to open that into Guided Edit by going to the Fix tab, clicking and choosing Guided Photo Edit. That launches the editor, if it's not already open, and opens the selected image in the Guided Edit workspace. This is a pretty simple workspace over on the left there is an abbreviated toolbar that contains a Zoom tool for zooming in and out on the image, and a Hand tool for moving an image around in the document window.
There's a tool Options bar for each of those two tools, and at the bottom of the screen is a Project bin that shows the thumbnail of all open files. All of that is very similar to the Quick Fix workspace that I covered earlier in this chapter. Now take a look at the Guided Edit column over here, it asks very clearly what would you like to do? And then offer some options. You can do Basic Photo Edits like cropping a photo, recomposing a photo, rotating or straightening a photo. You can make some adjustments to Lighting and Exposure, some adjustments to Color Correction, do some photo editing, and then there are some specialty items like combining group shots, and at the very bottom running automated actions, and creating special photographic effects.
Let me show you a typical Guided Edit technique. I'm going to go up to Brightness and Contrast in the Lighting and Exposure category, and select that. Here you'll see Instructions about how to work this control and this is typical of all of the Guided Edit commands. They generally include pretty clear instructions, like those you see here. So here it tells you that if you want to apply a general fix to an image that is either under or over exposed, in other words too dark or too light. You can just click the Auto button. Giving that a try.
It doesn't have too much affect on this image. And then there are a couple of sliders. Guided Edit says that this slider will make the image lighter or darker. So I'll try dragging this to the right, and sure enough it does make it lighter, and I'll just use my judgment based upon the image preview here in the document window. And then there's a Contrast slider that will either increase or decrease the difference between light and dark. Dragging this slider to the right increases the contrast, or the difference between light and dark. Dragging this slider to the left makes the image a little flatter.
I like the increased contrast, so that's what I'll choose here. Now, if I don't like the results, I could click Reset to go back to the original image without any of these changes. And finally I see that at the bottom there is an arrow labeled After Only, which controls the view that is displayed here in the document window, in this case the After view, the view with all the changes. If I click that arrow, I can cycle through some other views. Here's a Before & After-Horizontal view comparing the original, which is kind of dark and flat to the view with the changes I just applied which increase the Contrast and Brightness.
And if I click that arrow again I can go through some other choices or views. Finally, when I'm all done, I'll just click the Done button. And that's how straightforward it is to walk through the instructions that you'll find in the various Guided Edit techniques in this list. When you're done applying a Guided Edit, you do have to save your image. So if I come here to the image and I click Close I get this message reminding me that I need to save the document with these changes. So, I'll click Yes, I'll leave all of these settings at their defaults for now, and I'll click Save, and that will make a copy of the image with the changes that I have added saved in the same folder as the original.
I'm just going to and click OK, here to accept the defaults. And that takes me back to the Organizer, where I have both this edited version of the image, and if I make the thumbnail smaller, and then click on this arrow in the gray rectangle, you'll see the original image as well. Guided Edit is simple to use particularly when you're new to Elements and it can really be a good learning tool, because it sets out instructions for all of the techniques that you see in the Guided Edit list.
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