Adobe Photoshop Elements, Quick Learn
Excerpts from David Scott and Marcus Krause's Digital Camera lectures
Text by Jack Yeazel


These tips are based on Elements Ver. 2 and while precise steps may differ in other versions,
the concepts are generally the same.

Main Menu Functions:
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COLOR BALANCE:
  Auto method:
1. Select: Enhance.
2. Select: Auto Color Correction -works well most of the time.

  Manual method:
1. Select: Enhance.
2. Select Brightness/Contrast, Levels.
3. Click on the right-most eye dropper (white reference).
4. Click on an area that should be white, but isn't.
5. If the result is not suitable:
6. Click on the lower-right box at the bottom of the Tool Bar to cancel.
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BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST:
1. Select: Enhance.
2. Select: Brightness/Contrast.
3. Select Levels, (start with Auto).
4. There are five sliders to move to change the levels.

The middle slider gets the job done quickly, but the right and left sliders should also be tested.
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SHARPEN:
1. Select Filter.
2. Select Sharpen, Unsharp Mask.
3. Select a Radius of 10 pixels, Threshold 0 levels.

Experiment with 20% to 50% to achieve the best results.
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RESIZE PICTURE TO FIT A SCREEN:
(Also good for sending smaller files on the Internet)
Forget Pixels/Inch! (Fuji uses 72, Canon 180, and Nikon 300).
1. Under Image, select: Image Size, Resize.
2. CHECK the Resample Image box.
3. For 800x600 monitors, Resample Image to 750 pixel Width.
4. For 1024x768 monitors, Resample Image to 1000 pixel Width.

These values should show the complete picture on the monitor and prevent having to scroll left and right.
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Tool-Bar Functions (shown here on the left):  When you select each item on the tool bar, a different Main Menu appears.  (Note that the icon is repeated in the upper left corner)

 Selecting the Zoom Tool (Z), you get:

 ZOOMING:
 1. The buttons here are fairly self-explanatory.

 Selecting the Horizontal Type (text) Tool (T) you get:

ADDING TEXT TO THE PICTURE:
1. Select the Type tool (T) from the Tool Bar.
2. Click on the upper left box at the bottom of the Tool Bar.
3. Select a color for your text.
4. From the Main Menu, select a font and text size.
5. Click on the picture where you want the text to start.
6. Type the text.
7. If not correct, from the Main Menu select Edit, Undo Typing.
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 Selecting the Clone Stamp Tool (S) you get:

CLONE TOOL: Used to take out scratches, red eye, general repairs, etc.
 1. Select the clone tool (S) -it looks like a rubber Stamp.  The cursor on the picture should be a circle.  If it's a cross, you need to increase the circle size.
 2. The size of the circle is controlled by the "Size" slide bar.  (You can also adjust the opaqueness.)  Circle size determines how large an area will be "fixed".
 3. Use the Zoom Tool to make the picture large enough to accurately make your corrections.
 4. Do an Alt-Left Click on a color near the scratch.
 5. Left click on the scratch and click or slide the cursor along the scratch.

 Note that the distance between where you selected the Reference Color and the cursor remains constant, thus sliding or clicking the cursor along the scratch changes the color of the scratch to match the color under the reference color.
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Selecting the Lasso Tool (L) you get:

BACKGROUND BLUR:
1. Select the Lasso tool (L) from the Tool Bar.
(Used to outline an area to be worked on)
2. Draw around an area to be blurred.
3. Select: Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur.
4. Use the slider to apply the wanted blur.

NOTE: You can also correct color, sharpen, change brightness, etc. in the 'lassoed' area.
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 Selecting the Crop Tool you get:

ASPECT RATIO:
(To keep the same ratio as your original picture when cropping pictures.)
1. Select the crop tool (M) from the Tool Bar.
2. Select Style from the Crop Menu.
3. Select: Fixed Aspect Ratio.
4.) Select: Width 1.3333, Height 1 -for (most) digital cameras.
4.) Select: Width 1.5, Height 1 -for film cameras -and (some) digital cameras.
5. Left click and drag to draw a rectangle to be cropped.
6. Select: Image (Main Menu), Crop.
(To crop in ANY rectangle ratio)
1. Select Style from the Crop Menu.
2. Select: Normal (as above)
3. Left click and drag to draw a rectangle to be cropped.
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PRINTING:
Always use the full-resolution original picture out of the camera.  Work on any needed corrections (described above), and save the picture to a new filename with a 'code' as to what you did to it.  A good policy is to never change an original, and save them to your HD or a CD.
1. Under Image (Main Menu), select Resize, Image Size.
2. UNCHECK the Resample Image box.

Printing on "Letter" size paper:
1. Change Width to 10 inches.
This will cause the Resolution to increase to the proper amount.  Since most pictures are taken wider than high, the printer setup will have to be changed to "Landscape".
2. Invoke "Print Preview" in order to make sure the picture is completely on the paper.
3. Print the picture on high quality glossy paper.

Printing on "Half-letter" size paper (8 1/2 x 5 1/2):
1. This time change Height to 5 inches.
This will cause the resolution to go even HIGHER!  Meaning it will tax a printer even more than when printing on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.  Here a good high-resolution "Photo" (not "Color") printer is essential.
2. Put the paper in the printer narrow side down.
3. Again use Landscape in the printer setup.
4. Select "Half letter" size paper in the printer setup.
5. Preview the print, and print.

Printing on 5x7 inch paper:  Will be the same as above, except:
1. The Height will have to be 4.5 inches.
2. "5x7 inch paper" must be selected in the printer setup.

NOTE: One can specify either Height or Width -whichever is more convenient and works.

So now let's go out and take some super pictures.  If they aren't so 'super', fix them with Elements!!
Jack Yeazel