Photoshop SIG Notes for April, 2016

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April SIG notes

April will be a hands on session (BYOC). So please bring along your laptop (or desktop if you want to). We will be looking at using the  PE Guided edit mode for retouching snapshots.

Adobe provides a whole series of videos about getting started with PE. You can see it here:

First Step – what needs to be done to the snapshot?
The first few things to consider are composition, cropping, brightness, contrast, exposure and colours. What can you do to enhance the photo?

Second Step – what does it look like in the Organiser with Smart Fix?
You know what to do by now:
(1) Make a copy of your image.
(2) Rename it something like my little pony WIP. jpg (CR2, tiff, etc.). This is so that you do not do anything destructive to the original file.
(3) Open the WIP in the Organiser.
(4) Click on the Smart Fix so that you can see what changes the Smart Fix has to suggest to you. This will give you a few ideas of where to start in the guided edit mode.
(5) Now open the original image in the Edit mode.
(6) A bit confused here? The Smart Fix in the Organiser is a destructive edit. You only have one chance to use the Undo command. Otherwise your original file is changed forever. That is why you made a copy of it to see how it looks in the Smart Fix  edit mode.

But when you open the original file in the Editor mode module, any changes that you make are kept in a separate file. So what ever changes that you make, they are non destructive and can still be undone.


Part 1 – The Guided edit mode from PE
Here is a screenshot of the steps that you might follow to enhance a snapshot. You pick the ones that you feel may be needed for retouching your photos. You do not have to do all of them.

Guided Edit image

Workflow suggested by PE Guided edit mode.

Before and after – or practice makes you better (if not perfect!)
Have a look at the before and after images below. What do you think has been done to the photo to enhance it?  Click on the image to see it in full size.

These images and the changes that were made are from the website at:

Image 2 Before

Image 1 – Before

Image 1 - Before


Image 3 - Before

Image 3 – Before


Your turn! Try these on your laptop.
Use PE to go through the steps in the Guided edit mode and see what you can do to enhance the photo. Write down the changes that you have made for each photo and why you believe that it looks better than before. This will be the basis for a bit of a discussion. Email me your final image so that we can put it up on the website.

Let’s compare notes. Here are the after images with the changes made. Does your image look anything like theirs?

If you cannot see any difference, then the problem could be with the projector that e are using today or with a monitor used at home. This is a great excuse to go out to Officeworks and pick up a new IPS FD 24 to 27 inch monitor.

Image 1 - After

Image 1 – After

The Photoshop edits for the Image 1 above were as follows:
– Cleaned up the paint on the outside of the building, to make it more uniform.
– Made the plants along the hill greener.
– Added ivy to the hill.
– Made the sky bluer.
– Enhanced the overall contrast of the image.

Image 2 - After

Image 2 – After

The Photoshop edits for the Image 2 above were as follows:
– Reduced the shadow under the eaves.
– Made the plants greener.
– Added plants to the flower bed.
– Brightened up and enhanced the color of the sky, ocean and palm tree.

Image 3 - After

Image 3 – After

The Photoshop edits for the Image 3 above were as follows:
– Brightened up the inside of the balcony.
– Brightened up and color-corrected the sky, ocean and palm trees.
– Took out the cars in the parking lot in front of the balcony.
– Source:

Here are the Before and Afters in a slide show to make it easier to compare the changes. So much for that idea. They all look  the same on my screen. Try here instead. It is a little better. Comes up a treat on a large 27″ screen.

Part 2 – What are the Photo Effects and how can I use them?
This is where the fun begins.
(7) Click on the V to the right of the Touchups. this will cause the list to shrink.
(8) Click on the V to the right of the Photo effects. This will cause the list to expand as shown in the image below.

Drop down list for Photo effects

The red circle shows the Photo Effects drop down list.

This gives you a variety of effects to try. Let’s look at two of them – the Zoom burst effect and the Vignette Effect.
(9) Click on the Zoom effect and follow the guided suggestions with your own image. Remember that you can revert back to your original photo by using Control + Shift + A or by clicking on Edit/Revert. Here is what I have at the start.


Start of Zoom effect

At the start of the Zoom burst effect. Click on the image to see it in full size

(10) Follow the steps in the guided edit. This may take a few goes. When you find one that you like, Do a Save  As command and it will be saved with the label Edited version 1, 2, etc. It looks like this in the organiser when you go back to have a look.

Organiser with version 1 edited

When you see an arrow head to the side of an image in the Organiser, it means that there are more versions of that image that have been saved. When you click on the arrow head, the other versions appear.

Part Three – the Photo Play part of Guided edit in PE
There are several interesting things to do with your image in the section called Photo Play. For this discussion, try the Picture Stack effect on your laptop.
(11) Click on the Picture Stack icon.
(12) Follow the steps in the Guided edit.

Part Four – The Challenge for May Photoshop/Photoshop Elements SIG
(1) Take one of your photos and use the guided edit in PE to enhance it. How far you go is up to you – Touchups, Photo Effects and/or PhotoPlay.
(2) Please send the Before and After photos to me ( so that I can put them up on the website.

Handy websites:

That’s all, folks!



About woldham

Concise! Retired and loving it!
This entry was posted in Before/After, Enhancing an image, PE Organiser, Photoshop Elements, Post Processing, Retouching an image. Bookmark the permalink.

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