Photoshop Elements 3 Solutions, Pt. 1 | WebReference

Photoshop Elements 3 Solutions, Pt. 1

Photoshop Elements 3 Solutions, Pt. 1.

This book excerpt is from Mikkel Aaland's Photoshop Elements 3 Solutions ISBN 0-7821-4363-6. All rights reserved. Chapter 2: Your Images, is posted with permission from Sybex.

Your Images: Global Solutions

It doesn't matter whether an image is taken with a low-resolution camera phone or a high-end digital camera. Truth is, most digital images benefit from software tweaking. This chapter focuses on using Photoshop Elements' Quick Fix and Standard Edit to make improvements that affect your entire image, including cropping; optimizing color and tonal range; removing unwanted dust, scratches, and camera noise; sharpening; and resizing (Other, subsequent chapters concentrate on more localized problems that require you to work on a specific area or part of an image).

Chapter Contents

Choosing an Editing Workspace
Deciding What Comes When
Setting Proper Orientation
Making Dull Images Shine
Correcting Color
Tinting Images
Eliminating or Diminishing Dust, Scratches, and Electronic Noise
Converting Color Images to Black-and-White
Cropping to the Essential Parts

Choosing an Editing Workspace

Photoshop Elements 3 offers two primary modes, or workspaces, in which to fix your image: Quick Fix and Standard Edit. You can do some photo enhancing in the Organizer (Windows only), but the editing is inherently limited. Standard Edit is the default workspace that appears when you first open the Editor. (Mac users have only the application; there is no separate Editor or Organizer as there is in Windows).

You can tell you are in Standard Edit when you see the extensive toolbar on the left of the screen and the palette bin on the right. You can access Quick Fix by clicking the Quick Fix icon found to the far right of the shortcuts bar, in the grayed out area that looks like a folder tab. The icon is located next to the Standard Edit icon, which takes you back to that mode from Quick Fix. (In Windows, you can also access the two choices directly from the Organizer. The Edit icon is located in the middle of the shortcuts bar, and the pop-up menu gives you a choice of edit workspaces).

Figure 2.1 shows the Quick Fix workspace. Figure 2.2 shows the Standard Edit

Figure 2.1: The Quick Fix workspace. The Windows version will look slightly different.

Figure 2.2: The Standard Edit workspace. The Mac version will look slightly different.

As you can see, Quick Fix is a streamlined version of the Standard Edit, with an abbreviated toolbar and a Control Center on the right instead of the palette bin. Once you are in Quick Fix, many of the menu commands such as Image Size, Rotate, Adjust Lighting, and most of the filters are still available. Shortcuts are also available. I really like Quick Fix, and especially like the ability to view before and after versions of your work side by side. What you don't see—and what you don't have access to—are many of the toolbar tools, including the selection tools, brush tools, shape tools, and eraser tools.

Quick Fix is ideal for many of the image enhancement tasks outlined in this chapter. However, just about anything you can do in Quick Fix can also be done in Standard Edit—albeit without the side-by-side reference. As I go through the steps of improving an image, I'll be sure to note both the Quick Fix and Standard Edit equivalents and let you know when a particular task is best done in one or the other.

I'll also note when a particular editing task can be done in the Organizer (Window users only); however, keep in mind that when you edit in that workspace you won't have nearly as many options or the flexibility offered in the Editor. The Organizer editing tools are for those wanting to make some quick changes or adjustments without leaving that workspace. (The Organizer was originally Photoshop Album, a stand-alone program, and many of the image-editing capabilities were left in when it was combined with Photoshop Elements).

Created: March 27, 2003
Revised: November 30, 2004