Adjust Tone and Color Using Levels in Photoshop Elements 15


The Levels command has been a part of Elements since day one. How it works and what it does has changed little over the years. Generally most people use it to optimize the tone of a photograph, using the RGB channel only to do so.

However, working with the red, green, and blue channels, you can correct the color of the image as well.

This tutorial covers the covers using the RGB as well as the individual color channels by adjusting the triangle sliders of the histogram. It also addresses how to use the eyedroppers, and makes use of an Adjustment Layer to maintain a non-destructive editing workflow.

Click on the link below to access the tutorial.

Using the PSE 15 Levels Command

Below is a before and after comparison demoinstrating the results when the Levels command to correct both tone and color.

before-after-levelsAfter                                                                                Before

Well, that’s it for this time. If you found this tutorial helpfull, please leave a comment, rate it accordingly, or Like it. Thank you.

Until next time…

Revisiting Processing Video using Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) in Photoshop


Just about two years ago I posted this article on processing a video file using the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) editor in Photoshop CC and how the results compared to the same video processed in Premiere Elements.

My remarks in that post are still valid today. This post is just another example of the comparison. However the videos clips are shown back to back and in slow motion to better focus on the results.

I am not suggesting that the ACR inherently is better at editing video. But for me, it is much easier to get to the final result I am after (video with punch) than is PRE 15 in this latest example. I did not try to duplicate the two results. I was happy with the PRE 15 version until I further processed it in the ACR.

I am sure that not everyone will like the ACR result, but I do. And, since I am far more familiar working with the ACR than PRE 15 in this regards, I find I can get to what I am after much quicker.

Here is the link comparing the two video clips.

pre-15-vs-acr

If you have a video and use Photoshop, try it out. My previous article outlines the steps. It is extremely easy to do if you work already with the ACR.

Let me know what you think. If you liked this post, please Like it, rate it accordingly, and share with your friends. Thanks for dropping by.

Until next time, Happy Holidays!

Using Photoshop Elements 15 Albums


As you know, there are only a limited number of sort orders that you can view your images in the Grid view, Newest, Oldest, Import Batch, and Name. What if you want to view your images by some custom order to for a slide show you are preparing? Or, maybe you want to load the media into another program, such as Premiere Elements 15 in a certain order? That is where using Albums comes in.

In this tutorial, we introduce using Albums to do the above, and other uses as well, such as making a smart search. Albums can be used for organizing your entire photo collection if you want. However, I prefer to use them for managing specific photo projects.

Click on the link below to view the PDF tutorial.

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If you found the tutorial helpful, please Like and rate it accordingly – Thanks

Until next time…

 

Using the View Workspace in Photoshop Elements 15


In this installment of the ongoing series of using Photoshop Elements 15, we are going to cover the basics of using the View workspace. I primarily start a photo project using this view. For example, if I go on a trip, one of the first things I do to organize my photos and videos is to create a new Event containing them.

To view the PDF file for the tutorial, click on the image below.

pse-15-events-view

If you find this tutorial helpful, please rate it accordingly at the top of this page, and also share it with your friends who may find it helpful as well. Thank you.

Until next time…

Photoshop Elements 15 Organizer: Uploading photos from your Camera


This exercise covers uploading images from your digital camera or card reader to your computer using the Organizer of Photoshop Elements. Click here to see how to import pictures already on your computer.

What follows assumes that you have previously set the desired PSE preferences. To download a PDF file of this tutorial, please click here.

1.     Open the Organizer of Photoshop Elements.

2.     Connect your camera or a card reader to one of your computer’s USB connectors before turning on your camera or inserting your card into the reader.

3.     For a camera, put it in the normal Playback mode and turn it on if required. If you are using a card reader, insert the memory card into the appropriate slot.

4.     The Windows Auto Play dialog box similar to the one below may appear. If/when it does, click on the red X in the upper right hand corner to close it.

 

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Auto Play Dialog With Camera/Card Reader Connected

 

5.     On the Menu bar, click on Import > From Camera or Card Reader as shown below.

 

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6.     The simplified Photo Downloader dialog may open as shown in the figure below. If it does, click on the Advanced Dialog button as shown in the figure.

 

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The Advanced Dialog is shown in the next figure.

 

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7.     You should then see a bright blue bar at the top of the dialog that says Select Your Device. Click on the down arrow and select your camera/card reader in the drop down list. PSE 15 immediately reads your card reader/camera and displays thumbnails of each of the images it finds as shown in the figure below. Note, in the figure below, I have connected my iPhone to the computer. PSE 15 treats it as a camera. Also note that for an iPhone/iPad, it displays all of the photos and videos in your Camera Roll.

 

Also, since you will probably have far more photos on your iPhone than you want to upload, you will probably want to click on Uncheck All in the lower left of the dialog, and then click on the small square by each photo you want to upload.

 

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Note, no images have been copied to the computer yet.

 

8.     Each of the thumbnails has a small white box just outside of its lower right corner which has a green check indicating that image will be copied to the computer. To skip any images, click on its white box to remove the green check.

9.     On the right side of the dialog are the options (storage location, red eye removal etc.) that will be used during the upload process. For our purposes, we will assume that you have already set these using the desired Edit > Preferences and are satisfied with the choices shown. See the figure below.

 

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10.   Click on the Get Media button in the lower right corner of the dialog to begin copying the photos to your computer.

 

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11.   After a short time, a small brief message appears for a second or so indicating how many images were imported. The imported images are then displayed in the grid and are ready for tagging etc.

12.   You can now disconnect the camera or card reader in the appropriate manner. For an iPhone/iPad, out can simply remove the device.

If you found this tutorial helpful, please rate it accordingly, and share it with others.

Until next time.

 

 

My Basic Photo Workflow Revisited


Your post production workflow – the steps you take after uploading your photos to your computer – is always a topic that is worth reviewing from time to time. As the technology, software, and your knowledge change, you will probably find that your workflow also changes.

About a year and a half ago, I posted an article that summarized my workflow. Looking back it, there are a few things that I have changed. In this post, I will describe the current steps I generally do. To see that article, CLICK HERE.

In this post, I describe what the basic steps are after I have uploaded my images to Photoshop Elements 14.

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Here is my current workflow that uses both the PSE 14 Organizer and its Photo Editor, with Photoshop CC added to the mix when needed. The description begins as soon as I have imported photos and videos into the PSE 14 Organizer.

  1. The first thing I do is tag my photos. If the subject matter is pretty fixed, this step takes only seconds.
    1. For example, on a typical weekend of watching my granddaughters’ softball and soccer games, I may find that come Sunday evening I have 500 images and several videos on my memory card. I already have the tag structure and tags defined. It’s just a matter of selecting the right images and dragging them over to the appropriate tags.
    2. If the input batch is from a trip or similar event or photo shoot, I will at least tag the images at the Category level, and then come back later to sub-divide them into Sub-Categories, and Keyword Tags.
  2. I use Events, Places, and to a much lesser extent People views – the tabs at the top of the screen.

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3. I next screen the images using the Full Screen View option (F11) in the Organizer.

I skip over any videos I have imported at this point.To cull out the best photos I use the Organizer’s Star Rating feature using:

1 = Delete

2 = Needs work, or is member of a burst, HDR, or panorama sequence.

3 = These will most likely be included into an Album for a slide show, or DVD I plan to make at some point. They may not always be the best photos in the world from a technical standpoint, but are needed to better tell the story. I will also give the best photo of a sequence 3 stars.

4 = These are pretty good for me, and probably are the ones that I will most likely end up printing.

5 = Rarely awarded at this stage

After Step 3, I still have many images that have not been rated. They will remain in my Catalog.

4. I now screen the video clips that were uploaded in the grid view. I double-click on the video file and play the video in the enlarged window that appears, rather than in the full screen mode.

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5. If I am interested in the location where the photos were taken, I will then use Places view to pin point on the map the photos and videos were taken.

My current camera can embed the GPS data into the image files, so while taking the photos I turn this feature on for at least a couple of shots. I do not leave it on all of the time, because it drains the battery significantly.

If I forget to do it, I will take a couple of shots with my iPhone, and use these photos to identify the location using Places.

If need be, like when I have shot only video, I will manually add the location of the photos using the Places view.

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6. At this point, I have finished the vast majority of my keyword tagging of my images. I then write the Keyword Tags and other metadata to the image files – File > Save Metadata to Files. If you do not do this, only those images that have been at least opened in the Editor will have the tagging and other metadata written to the file itself.

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7. I then delete all of the 1 star images/videos from the Catalog, as well as the hard drive.

8. Next comes editing those photos and videos that are either in a sequence (2 Stars) and those that have 3 or 4 Stars.

Since I shoot RAW, I will naturally do my initial editing using the ACR.

Normally, that is all the editing I need to do. I fact, that is my goal, for individual photos.

If I can do that, I do not need to save an edited version. My changes are recorded in a small .xmp file.

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9. To print the photo or make editing changes requiring, for example selections or layers, I will open the image in Elements’ Photo Editor.

Occasionally, I will send the RAW image directly to Photoshop CC’s ACR to take advantage of its added tools and/or Photoshop CC itself. However, this will require that a dupe (actually a Version Set) of the RAW file to be generated, which will take up additional disk drive space.

10. The final step of my basic workflow is to periodically do either a Full Backup or Incremental Backup of my Catalog and all of the media it contains (File > Backup Catalog).

This pretty much summarizes my basic workflow. Generally, after Step 9, I put together my photo projects, whatever they may be.

I would love to hear your thoughts and workflow steps that you use or in PSE or other programs.

How to Change an Edited RAW Image Back to Its Original Settings


One of the great advantages of shooting RAW images is that you can always return an edited image to how it was captured by your camera after you have edited it. In this quick video tip, we’ll demonstrate how to do that using the Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) editor in Photoshop Elements 14.

However, the steps are the same in earlier versions of Elements, as well as in Photoshop CC.

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