... continued from the previous page .
Editing your photos
The tools in the Quick Fix window are pretty simple to use. You can try one or all of them -- it's up to you. And whenever you're happy with how your photo looks, you can leave Quick Fix and go back to the Standard Editor or the Organizer. If you want to rotate your photo, you can do so here by clicking the appropriate Rotate button, below the image preview area.
NOTE If you click the Quick Fix Reset button, just above your image, you'll return your photo to the way it looked before you started working in Quick Fix. This button undoes all Quick Fix edits, so don't use it if you want to undo a single action only. For that, just use the regular undo command: Edit > Undo or Ctrl+Z.
The secret weapon in the Quick Fix window is the Smart Fix command, which automatically adjusts a picture's lighting, color, and contrast, all with one click. You don't have to figure anything out. Elements does it all for you. You'll find the Smart Fix in the General Fixes palette, and it's about as easy to use as hitting the speed dial button on your phone: click the Auto Smart Fix button, and if the stars are aligned, your picture will immediately look better.
TIP You'll find Auto buttons scattered throughout Elements. Elements uses them to make a best-guess attempt to implement whatever change the Auto button is next to (Smart Fix, Levels, Contrast, etc.). It never hurts to at least try clicking these Auto buttons, since if you don't like what you see, you can always perform the magical undo: Edit > Undo, or Ctrl+Z.
If you're happy with the Auto Smart Fix button's changes, you can move onto a new photo, or try sharpening your photo a little (see page 98) if the focus appears a little fuzzy. You don't need to do anything to accept the Smart Fix changes. But if you're not ecstatic with your results, take a good look at your photo. If you like what Auto Smart Fix has done, but the effect is too strong or too weak, press Ctrl+Z to undo it, and try playing with the Smart Fix Amount slider instead. The Amount slider does the same thing the Auto Smart Fix does, only you control the degree of change. Watch the image as you move the slider to the right. If your computer is slow, there's a certain amount of lag time, so go slowly to give it a chance to catch up.
Left: This photo is so dark you may think it's beyond help.
Right: The Auto Smart Fix button did all this with just one click. (A click of the Auto Sharpening button, covered later, was added to make it look really spiffy.)
TIP Usually you get better results with a lot of little nudges to the Smart Fix slider than by moving it way over to the right and back again. If you happen to overdo it, sometimes it's easier to press the Reset button above your image and start again.
When you move a slider in any of the Quick Fix palettes, the Cancel and Accept buttons appear in the palette you're using. Clicking the cancel symbol undoes the last change you made, while clicking the accept symbol applies the change to your image. If you make multiple slider adjustments, the cancel symbol undoes everything you've done since you clicked Accept. So, for example, if you lightened shadows and adjusted the midtone contrast, clicking cancel removes both changes. But if you adjusted the shadows, clicked Accept, and then made the contrast adjustment, clicking Cancel would cancel just the contrast adjustment without affecting the shadows change.
CONTINUES WITH : ADJUSTING LIGHTING AND CONTRAST
Photoshop Elements 4: The Missing Manual
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100 tools for Elements
This book includes a CD that has the 100 tools from the Hidden Power set that can save you 100 steps at a click. The book organization has been overhauled to reflect the elements workflow so you can follow along to take an image from RAW to finished. The book is longer, contains more tools, and the price has dropped more than $10. Get it for only $19.99 on Amazon
If you'd like to know how to do something in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, just ask
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