One website that I have come across recently is by Mike Brown at http://www.photographycourses.biz/. While I was looking for video clips to use for the March main presentation titled “Taking Better Holiday Snapshots,” I was lucky enough to come across his website. His 250 video clips will take you from a beginning photographer up to a strong intermediate level photographer. All that you have to do is watch a video (2 to 5 minutes usually), then pick up your camera and go outside and practice that particular skill that you want to learn. Then comes the dreaded moment of RTM to find out specific details for your camera.
But his sense of humour, his presentation style and his depth of knowledge make him a pleasure to watch.
This month we are having a look at the Editor Guided Mode in Photoshop Elements (PE). You need to have at least version 11 of PE.
This month is also BYOC (Bring your own Computer) for a hands on session. This is something new that we are going to try. We will all start with the same image and edit in a series of steps. Then we will get everyone to try a different effect using PE PhotoEffects/Photo Play.
This means a series of steps to follow to make it easier to edit your snapshots/images/photos.
This is a brief summary of what we did during the March PS/PE session.
The following steps assume that you are importing photos from your camera/iPhone/iPad.
(1) Open up PE Organiser.
(2) Click on File/Get Photos and Videos/From Camera or Card Reader.
Image 1 – File /Get photos/from Camera
(3) Double click on an image that you want to edit.
The Organiser has several quick fixes for Crop, Contrast, REd Eye, Colour, Sharpen, Levels, Smart Fix and Instant Fix. When you use these, it is hard to compare the new version to the old version except by using the Undo button.
(4) Want the computer to do it for you? Click on Instant Fix in the lower right hand corner.
Image 2 – Instant fix
The trouble with using Instant Fix/Quick Fix in the Organiser module is that they are destructive edits. They make permanent changes to the photo that cannot be undone. This can create problems for you such as “You did what to the only photo file of Nona? How could you do that?”
A better way with the Quick Edit mode – Exposure Module as an example
A better way is to click on the Editor button and to use one of the Editing modes such as Quick/Guided/Expert. The image below shows the Quick Edit mode selected with Adjustments and Before and After View selected. These are shown by the red rectangles. The Smart Fix adjustments (Exposure) are shown in lurid green.
Image 3 – Edit in Quick Fix in the Organiser
(5) Click on the Quick Edit tab in the editor module.
(6) Click on the Exposure Module on the right.
Let’s try to change the exposure in the Quick Edit mode. If you look in Image 4, you will notice two controls for the exposure. The first control is a simple slider that you can click and drag till you are satisfied with how it looks. The second control is a series of nine rectangles (what I call pick a box!) showing different degrees of exposure from very dark to very bright. You can simply move your mouse across the rectangles to see the new look in the After part of the view.
(7) Click and drag on the simple slider in the Exposure control.
(8) Same idea again but this time use the pick a boxes.
(9) Use the slider to fine tune between any two of the pick a boxes.
Image 4 – Using the Exposure controls in Quick Edit mode
Caption: Click on image to see in full size. The slider is one control and the pick a box is the other control.
A better way with the Quick Edit mode – Colour Module as an example
Now let’s take a look at a more complicated edit mode – the Colour Edit mode. This has the simple slider and pick a box that we have used before. But there are two additional features. The first is an Auto button. This is the same as the “Please do it all for me.” button in smart Fix. You don not have to think too hard. But I have to admit that the auto button frequently gives a much better result that what I have tried to achieve by doing it myself with manual editing.
(10) Click on the Colour Adjustment module.
(11) Click on the Saturation tab.
(12) Adjust the Saturation by using either the slider, the pick a boxes or the Auto button.
(13) Repeat for the Hue tab.
(14) Repeat for the Vibrance tab.
The other new addition is the three tabs at the top of the edit box shown in the image below. You can get some rather unexpected but quite interesting results . To see the color changes in this instance, you really need to have a look on at the website – https://2014photoshopsig.wordpress.com/.
Image 5 – Quick Colour Edit mode
The three new tabs are labeled Saturation (from black and white to different colours), Hue (different shades of a tint) and Vibrance (only boosts the muted colours of the image). Briefly, the Saturation slider will boost the all the colours in the image by the same amount. However, the Vibrance slider will increase the saturation of the less bright colours in the photo.
All this talk and research leaves my head spinning. So this is a moment when I am quite happy to click on the Auto button for each of the three tabs. I wind up with a whiter dog, a slightly blue beach and the seaweed is now just a grey mass without the browns in from the before. I am not happy with the auto results.
A better way with the Quick Edit mode – the Effects module
The next item that we looked at was the Effects button at the lower right hand portion of the screen. It is next to the Adjustments button where we began in the Quick edit mode. This gave us ten effects that we could choose from. As you click on each box one at a time, you can see the change in the After window. I wound up choosing the Lithograph box.
Image 6 – Lithograph effect
A better way with the Quick Edit mode – the Textures module
There is another button marked Textures. I clicked on all of these and did not feel that they added anything to my photo. The one that I liked was titled Cracked Paint. However, you could no longer tell that the dog was walking on the beach. Took twenty presses of the Undo button on the left lower side of the screen to get back to where I was before.
A better way with the Quick Edit mode – the Frames module
So I went on to the next button – Frames. My computer just sat there thinking, and thinking. And finally showed me what each frame box looked like. And they looked pretty awful. So I choose the one that I thought looked the worst because I could. And here it is!
Image 7 – Frame effect
Well that brings us up to date as to what happened in the March SIG.
April will be a look at the Guided edit mode in PE.
Hopefully, we can try the day as a hands on session. So it has been declared as a Bring Your Own Laptop Device (BYOL) session.
One on One is still available
I have two members meeting with me on the day of the April meeting for a one on one session. If you want to join in the fun, email me to arrange a time between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Photoshop Challenge for March
Please send me Before and After photos of a snapshot the you have edited in PE Quick Edit.