The Digital Darkroom
Developed and Instructed by James Gordley ©2004
There are many reasons for adjusting or correcting the colors and
brightness levels of our photographs. There is a chance that our original
image arrived to us in less than perfect condition, or they have become
faded with age, or the film that was used was old. The reasons are many, the
solutions are at hand. Photoshop Elements puts at our finger tips all of the
tools that we need. A virtual "Digital Darkroom" if you will.
Click the "Edit" link on the Welcome screen.
Click the Quick Fix Tab just above the Palette Bin.
You can also choose the Quick Fix editor from the Photo
Browser window, more about that when we talk about the Organizer.
Notice that the number of tools in your tool box is down to only four. The
magnify tool, hand tool, crop tool and last but not least the red eye
removal tool. All other adjustments are now located in the palette bin.
Those palettes are limited to, General, Lighting, Color, and sharpen.
Use the General Fixes options to rotate your photograph, and to
automatically fix the image. You can also adjust the level of the Auto Fix
Use the Lighting options to adjust the levels in your photo's
shadows, highlights and contrast. If your image is overexposed or
underexposed this adjustment can fix those errors.
Use the Color Correction category to adjust the saturation
(amount of color) and color (hue) in your photo, you can also repair or add
a color cast to your image with this adjustment.
All of the "Enhance" menu options are available in both the
Standard Edit editor and the Quick Fix editor
|Adjust Smart Fix... will cause a
dialog box to appear. You can then select the amount of adjustment that
is done to your photographs.
Auto Levels will automatically adjust the brightness levels in your
photograph. This includes shadows, mid-tones and highlights.
Auto Contrast will automatically adjust the contrast of your
Auto Color Correction will automatically adjust the color balance
of your photograph.
forget to use your selection tools when you need to adjust only a
portion of your image.
Adjust Brightness/Contrast (see
Brightness/Contrast is used to adjust the over all
brightness and or contrast of your image.
Levels are used to make fine tuned adjustments in
three areas of your image. The shadows, mid-tones, and highlights. Use
the Levels option to achieve a more balanced image.
Remove Color Cast is used to change the overall
color cast of your image. This adjustment is good for those of you that
used an incorrect white balance setting on your camera.
Adjust Hue/Saturation is used to adjust the
saturation of color or amount of color in your image.
Remove Color is used when you want to change your
image or selection to gray scale.
Replace Color is used when you want to replace
only one color in your image, this is a great tool for making
adjustments to larger areas, like the sky for example.
Color Variations adjusts several color settings
at one time, showing you a preview and allowing you to select the effect
that you have in mind. Use this on images that don't require all that
Color Variations Dialog Box
the image below and open it using New>Image From Clipboard
The photograph above is underexposed and washed out.
Using the Enhance menu options and some careful masking
we can fix these common photographic mistakes. As you can see below the
resulting image is much nicer and more closely reflects the actual scene
as it was photographed.
Once we have enhanced the image to our liking, we can
take it to the next level by adding the little details changing our once
washed out under exposed snap shot into a show piece that we would be
happy to share with anyone.