One (of many) ways to improve your photos with PS/PE

Several ways have been mentioned in past posts about using a series of steps to do the post processing of your images in PS/PE.

What follows is one suggested by the folks at Practical Photoshop. They have online pdfs that cover CS6 and CC versions of Photoshop for only $35 for the Beginner/Intermediate. Includes all files and other online resources.

One way!
Here is an overview of the image correction steps that professionals typically follow:
1. Obtain a digital image by either transferring it from your camera. phone, or tablet or scanning it from film or from a printed photograph. When scanning, be sure that you digitize the image with adequate resolution to make a high-quality print at your largest desired size.
2. Open the digital image within Photoshop, and choose File > Save As to save a working copy of the image with a slightly different name. Do not alter the original, known as the ARCHIVAL VERSION, so that it is preserved in its pristine state.
3. CROP the working copy to reduce unwanted pixels from its perimeter and straighten the image if appropriate.
4. Improve image tone and color as needed.
5. Fix localized problems.
6. Make “artistic” changes as desired.
7. Sharpen the image if needed.
8. Save and print.
9. Make a Web version if desired.

Step 1 – Setting up PE for an efficient work flow.
(1) Open up PE.
(2) Click on the Photo Editor.

[Image 1 – PE Startup box]

Image 1 - PE Startup Box

Click on image to see in full size.

(3) If not already selected, click on the Expert mode for image editing.

[Image 2 – PE Editor mode]

Image 2 - PE Editor Mode

Click on image to see in full size.

(4) Click on Window and turn on Tools, Layers, Panel Bin and History.

[Image 3 – PE Windows Drop Down Menu]

Image 3 - PE Winddows Drop Down Menu

Click on image to see in full size.

(5) One of the features of PE is the Photo Bin. This lets you put the images that you want to edit in one location in the  Photo Editor. The first time that you use this you may have to wait a while for the organiser to catalog your images. Mine is still going after six hours. Hmm. Time to delete a few images?

[Image 4 – Click here to open the Photo Bin.]

Image 4 - Click here to open the Photo Bin

Click on image to see in full size.

[Image 5 – Photo Bin open with selected photos shown.]

Image 5 - Photo Bin open with selected photos shown.

Click on image to see full size.

(6) Press V to bring up the Move tool. You may want to untick the two boxes for Auto Select Layer and Show Bounding Box . So now it looks like this. When you untick the Auto Select Layer, then only the active layer in the Layers panel is affected. When you untick the Show Bounding Box, it just makes the screen easier to see with fewer distractions. Much easier to use Control + T for the Transform tool.

[Image 6 – Untick the two boxes circled in red.]

Image 6 - Untick the circled boxes

Type V for the Move tool. Then Untick the two boxes circled in red.

OK. That takes care of getting set up in PE.

Step 2 – Cropping
The starting point for cropping would be determined by what shape do you want the final printed image to be? Square, rectangular, portrait or landscape?
Next,  what do you want the composition to look like? For this part I will refer you to two previous posts that have the information that you need to start with:



Just to get us in the mood for a bit of composition before we begin cropping, let’s look at this video clip.

Now on to cropping.
First, here is a link to a tutorial on cropping basics:–photo-15607

Second, here is a short video clip to get you started on PE.

Let’s give it a try with one of the images in PE 12 that I use.

[Image 7 – Banjo Player]

Image 7 - Banjo Player

Click on image to see in full size.

Cropping in PE 12
(1) Decide what to do with the image. In this case I would like to get a close up of the banjo player for print in a 6″ x 4″ size (Yes, I know. I still use feet and inches! Very sad!)

(2) Click on the Crop Tool (Circled in red) and fill in the various fields as shown below. The crop outline can be moved around by clicking and dragging it into position. You can change the size of it by clicking and dragging on the corner of the bounding box.  PE will automatically resize your image to the dimensions and resolution that you have chosen.

[Image 8 – Banjo Player ready to be cropped.]

Image 8 - Banjo Player ready to be cropped

Click on image to see full size.

(3) Double click inside the bounding box to accept the crop. Or just press the Enter key. Here is the final image after cropping:

Image 9 - final cropped image of banjo player

Click on image to see in full size.

That’s it for this month. Join us again in October when we go through ways to improve the colours and tones in our cropped photo.

September Photoshop Challenge
The Challenge for this month is to show how you have used the crop tool to create another three images by using different crops – close up, square, rectangular, etc. Be creative!
(1) Pick a favourite photo. (September Challenge – Image 1)
(2) Apply a crop and save it as a jpg (September Challenge – Image 2).
(3) Same photo as in Step 1, but this time use the crop tool to create a different look or focus in your photo. Save it as (September Challenge – Image 3).
(4) Same photo as in Step 1, but this time use the crop tool to produce another yet different looking photo. Save it as (September  Challenge – Image 4).
(5) Send the four images to me at (

That’s all, folks!


About woldham

Concise! Retired and loving it!
This entry was posted in Composition, PE Organiser, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Post Processing, Workflow. Bookmark the permalink.

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