I think I learned something new about how the Organizer in Photoshop Elements works in various versions, regarding its handling of Version Sets. Right now at the Griffith Center in Torrance, we are still using PSE 4. At the South Bay Adult School PSE 6 is used. At SBAS we were going over editing a photo without including it in a Version Set. As I was about to explain, how edited copies of photos retained whatever Tags were assigned to the original, I suddenly noticed that our edited copy had no tags assigned to it. That took me totally by surprise.
I have been using Version Sets almost exclusively since they were introduced in PSE 3 and only occasionally do not use them. However, I was sure that whenever I did chose not to put the edited copy in a Version Set, it still inherited the Tags that the original was assigned.
Later, I checked my recollection. Sure enough PSE 5 and earlier versions retain the Tags of the original even if they are not part of a Version Set. However, in PSE 6 if you do not save the edited copy in a Version Set, there are no Tags assigned to it. To the best of my knowledge, there are no Preferences that control this behavior and I have not seen it mentioned in the Help file or other documentation. Have any of you seen this?
For those of you new to PSE and its use of Version Sets, the diagram below shows where you select the option when you are saving the edited copy. The option is on the bottom line of this figure. When the Version Set option is selected the images are stacked on top of each other in the Photo Browser with the edited copy on top. And the filename of the edited copy is automatically generated by PSE.
Increasing Mid Tone Contrast Safely
Here is something you may find useful. We know that using the Levels command you can increase the contrast of an image by dragging the two outer sliders inward. However, you can only drag them to where the histogram just lifts off of the bottom horizontal line. If you drag them any further, you will be clipping the data. This means that depending upon which slider is moved too far inward, you are blocking up the shadows and losing detail there, or blowing out the highlights. What we really want to do is increase the contrast of the mid tones.
There are many ways to do this. In PSE 5/6, you can use the Color Curves command (Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Color Curves). If you are using an older version of PSE or just don’t want to use the Color Curves, try this.
Click on Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Shadows/Highlights. Assuming that you do not want to lighten the shadows of your image, Move the Lighten Shadows slider all the way to the left. Now you can adjust the contrast of the image by using the bottom slider, Mid Tone Contrast without fear of blowing out the highlights or losing shadow detail in your image.
Until next time….
Question For The Day: Are you using Version Sets when saving your edited pictures? Let me know by using the Comments button below. I would to hear from you.