“Enhancing” Your Images

Quick Fix is a nice way of adjusting your image. However, there may be times where you just want to make one small adjustment or use other features available through the Enhance Menu.
The Enhance Menu contains the following options. Further detail on each option follows.
The first four options in the Enhance Menu do just what they imply. They apply an auto fix for that feature.

  • Quick Fix (Discussed in another section)
  • Auto Levels
  • Auto Contrast
  • Auto Color Correction

The following menu choices allow your control adjustments.

Adjust Lighting
  • This feature can be used for over exposed images. Especially light skies or over exposed backgrounds. Dragging the slider to the right will make the image darker.
  • Tip: If you have one area that is too light use one of the selection tools to select the area. Then use this command. Only  the selected area will be darkened.
Fill Flash
  • Fill Flash is for underexposed pictures.
  • Tip: Use the selection tool to select a dark area to be filled with light.
  • Below is a picture of the Michigan Supreme Court Bench before and after using Fill Flash.
Adjust Color
Color Cast
  • Use the eyedropper at the bottom of the dialogue window to select areas that should be black, gray or white. This feature works well on images that have a false tint to them or in some cases underexposed.
  • This is a very  powerful adjustment tool. You may wish to create a new adjustment layer to work on so you don’t ruin your original.
  • At the top you can adjust all the color by leaving the default setting at “Master” or by clicking on Master you can choose which color you wish to adjust.
  • You then can adjust the Hue (color), Saturation, or Lightness.
  • Use the selection tool to select an area if you do not wish to make an adjustment to the entire image.
Remove Color – Changes a color image to black and white.
Replace Color
  • Want to change the color of a car, a piece of clothing, etc. This is the command.
  • In the Replace Color window, you have three eyedroppers. The first selects the main color you wish to replace. The middle eyedropper adds variations of the color to the selection. The third eyedropper subtracts from the selection.
  • The area you have selected shows as white in the black and white preview window.
  • Remember if you want to limit the area in which you are changing the color select it with one of the selection tools before choosing this adjustment.
Color Variations
  • This menu item allow you to adjust Midtones, Shadows, Highlights and Saturation. The menu items are self explanatory.
  • Hint: You can click the same item several times to increase the selection. For example, if you click darken twice, the second click will be darker than the first.
Adjust Brightness
Brightness and Contrast – this area is self-explanatory. You have two sliders and a preview area to see your changes.
  • A good photograph contains for both a true black and a true white.
  • Using Levels you can use the left eyedropper to set the black area and the right eyedropper to set the white. The middle eyedropper is midtones.
  • In addition, you can use the three small slider triangles at the bottom of the graph to change the black, midtones and white in the image.

If you don't have Photoshop Elements, the next best thing is Picassa. Picassa is a great free program from Google.

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These materials were created by Jim Wenzloff. You are welcome to reproduce them for educational purposes providing you include my name and the web address of the page. If you have any questions please contact jim@classroomhelp.com.