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Sometimes you sit there staring at a photo, and you know you want to make it better, but you just don't know where exactly where to start. Well, in Guided Edit, there's an option just for you. It's called Guide for Editing a Photo, and it walks you through several steps to make your okay photo a great one. Let me show you how. I'm beginning this video in the Elements 10 Organizer. And I'm going to scroll down in my Media Browser, and I'm going to select an image that I want to apply improvements to. So, I'm going to choose this one here. It's called _MG_1371.JPG. And I'm going to come over here to the Fix tab, click on the triangle to the right, and choose Guided Photo Edit.
And that will open this image in the Elements editor, and you'll notice a couple of things about this photo. It looks pretty good, but you know, she's dead center in the photo, and I've got some spots here that reminded me that I needed to clean the censor on my camera. But I want to improve upon this, so in the Guided Edit category, over here on the right of my screen, I am going to scroll down a little bit, and you'll see that under the Advanced Edits category, there's an option guide for editing a photo.
So I'm going to click on that option. And it's going to begin walking me through the edits that I can make to improve this photo. So the first thing it wants me to do is to crop this image. So what I'll do is come down to the crop box size, and I'm going to say, you know what, let's go with maybe a standard 4 by 6. For the overlay of the crop, I'm going to use Rule of Thirds. You can see that we can choose multiple options here, including No Overlay. We can use a Grid. We can also use the Golden Ratio.
But in my example, I want to use the Rule of Thirds. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to reposition this. I'm just going to resize this to try to maximize things, but what I'm going to try to do is kind of position her at the intersection of these guides. Hopefully that's going to provide more visual impact to this image. Maybe I'll pull this down a little bit. And you can even use the arrow keys on your keyboard to nudge this if you really want to get precise and fine-tune that. And I'm going to go ahead and click the green check mark to commit the change, so now, that image has been cropped. Now, what I'm going to do is click the Next button.
And the next option it offers me, is to recompose the image. Now this is a really cool feature. I call this, basically, crop on steroids, because it's crop with many, many benefits. So, what I'm going to do here, is I'm going to change this up a little bit. What I'm going to do, is I'm going to click on the Recompose tool. If I scroll down a little bit further, I want to make sure that the Protect brush is selected. And what this allows me to do, you can change the brush size by dragging this slider. And if you move your cursor over the image, you can see how big the brush is.
We're going to make that a little bit smaller here, go with about 194. And what I'm going to do, is I'm not going to be super precise, but I'm going to paint over the girl here to basically tell the Recompose tool not to affect any of the area that I'm painting over. I'm just going to basically outline this, and then, just kind of fill in the gaps here. I'm just going to paint over this. Make sure I fill this area in.
That looks good. And then, I'm going to scroll down a little bit, and it asks me if I want to restrict the size of this image. So I'm thinking this might be a really nice photo when I'm done. So, so let's click on this, and I'm going to change this to 8 by 10. And when I do this, we can see that I don't have enough room based on the 8 by 10 proportions. So what I'm going to do here, is I'm going to drag this handle, and watch what happens when I do this.
I'm going to drag this out and I'm basically stretching the background. I'm adding image area to the background. This is a really amazing feature, and I encourage you to experiment with this on your own whenever you have subject matter that doesn't quite fill the picture area that you want give this Recompose tool a try.
It's really an amazing tool. So, that looks pretty good to me. I'm going to click the green check mark. And then I'm going to click the Next button. What's the next thing it wants me to do? And it says, well, you can lighten or darken this photo. So you can give the Auto option a shot, I'll click the Auto button. And we could see a minor change was made here, but I think I'd like something a little more dramatic. So, I'm going to start with my Midtone Contrast. I'm going to drag that to the right. And you can see that I'm increasing the contrast of the midtones in this image, and I like how the waters getting a deeper blue. And and that looks really good, but the girl is now really shadowy now in her face.
So I'm going to drag the Lighten Shadow slider to try to lighten up some of those areas. And you may need to kind of adjust these options and keep tweaking them until you're happy with how this looks. So I'm going to go with that. That looks pretty good. Maybe drag this up a little bit more, deepen those blues. Yeah, it's a pretty good compromise. So I click the Next button. And now, it's providing a method for me to fix any flaws that are in this photo. It's broken down into small flaws and large flaws. So, in my image, I really only have some smaller flaws. But if I have large flaws, it walks you through how to fix this. And it's very similar to the small flaws except for the large flaws you're going to have to option-click on a good area and then let go and drag over the flaw to dissolve it.
We'll actually use both of these methods in this example, so we'll start with the Fix small flaws section, and I'm going to click this tool to make it active. I'm going to look at how big my brush is, and my brush is at about 85, and that's pretty good in this example. The way that I'm going to use this is I'm just going to come up here, and I'm going to paint over that flaw. And when I let go, it's going to heal that area and remove that flaw. Let's try it again on another area. Looks pretty good.
And you can see how you can just continue going through here, getting rid of these minor flaws. Now, just to show you how to use the Large Flaws option, I'm going to click on that tool. Once again, look at my brush size. I'm going to drag that up to about 85 or so. That's good. But now, the difference here, is that, for the large flaws, I have to pick a good area and then drag over the flaw.
So the way this is going to work is I'm going to hold down the Option key on Mac or the Alt key on Windows. I'm going to click on a good area or clean area. Then I'll let go of that Alt or Option key. And then, paint over the area I want to fix. And you can see how it picks up from one area, and essentially clones or pastes on the other area. And you can continue doing this resampling different areas. You can see where I'm picking up from. And that looks pretty good. it looks like I got rid of all those major flaws, maybe I have one more up here that I want to get rid of.
But I think we did a pretty good job at removing all the flaws in this image. So I'm going to click the Next button. It's going to ask me if I want to sharpen the image. And whenever I sharpen an image, I like to look at the image at 100%, so I can see the true detail of the image. So, in the Zoom Field in the lower right corner here, I'm just going to highlight the current value and type 100, and press Enter. And I can click and drag to reposition this image to a different area. You want to be careful not to oversharpen this image.
And what I'm going to do is I'm going to start dragging to the right. Now, to demonstrate, I'm going to drag way over to the right and you can see what oversharpening will do to an image. It brings out every little minor piece of noise and every flaw that you have. So, you really have to find a balance here. So I'm going to go, see, go down to about maybe 40 or 45. And that provides a little bit of sharpening without drastically enhancing, you can see I have some grain in the background.
But some of that I'm going to have to live with. So I'm going to go ahead and click the Done button. And then, I'll go ahead and click on the drop-down menu, and just drag this to the left, so that it fits back on my screen. And we can see how the image is significantly improved. If you want to compare, we can click on the View drop-down menu. I'm going to use Before & After. Let's try Vertical here, and we can see what the image looks like before and after. And they look a bit different, because they're different sizes now.
But that definitely looks like an improvement. Let's try Before & After > Horizontal. And now, we can see the difference for sure. Definitely looks better. So I'll set the View back to After only. I'm going to close this file and I certainly want to save it. So go ahead and save this. And I'm going to keep all these options chosen so that I put it back in the Organizer and I save in the version set with the original. So go ahead and click the Save button. And now, once again, we can see that we have both the original image and the edited version within this version set. And as you can see, Guide for Editing a Photo takes a lot of the guess work out of improving your photos.
Just follow the directions, and voila, you've got a better photo immediately.
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