Image correction with the Guided Edit assistant in Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0

This tutorial will show you how to correct your images with the Guided Edit feature in Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0. You will learn how to make color corrections, crop and even retouch your photos.


For this tutorial, you need the following software:

Prerequisite knowledge:

Image correction in the Photoshop Elements Organizer

  1. Click on the Organize button on the Photoshop Elements Welcome Screen.
  2. This opens the Photoshop Elements Organizer workspace.

  3. Click on the FIX tab in the Task Pane to start editing your images.
  4. This brings up a list of tool buttons to correct common image problems (see figure 1). To correct color and exposure in the image of the white dog.

  5. Double click on the image in the Photo Browser to maximize it.
  6. Click on the Auto SmartFix button on the Fix tab.
  7. Photoshop Elements analyses the image and automatically corrects the color and exposure. Please note that Photoshop Elements doesn't overwrite the original image, it creates a copy with the adjustments you made. The original image is always saved in a separate file.

    Image 1

    Figure 1: Different ways to correct your images in the Organizer.

    There are additional image correction options with the tool buttons on the Fix tab. For example, you can correct the levels and tonal range of your image.

  8. Select an image from your collection in the Photo Browser where you want to automatically adjust the levels.
  9. Click on the AutoLevels button.
  10. Photoshop Elements automatically adjusts the levels.

Image correction in the Photoshop Elements Editor

The last three tool buttons on the Fix tab offer you correction options in the Editor workspace.

  1. Select a few images in the Photo Browser by holding down the Control key and clicking on them.
  2. Click on the Guided Edit button.
  3. This launches the Photoshop Elements Editor workspace and opens the selected images in the Project Bin located at the bottom of the screen. You can bring up images in the Active Image Area by double clicking on them. On the Guided Edit pane you can see the available image editing options.

  4. Double click on the image of the white dog.
  5. Click the Crop Photo button under Basic Photo Edits.
  6. Now the Guided Edit Assistant prompts you to proceed with cropping the image (see figure 2).

    Image 2

    Figure 2: The Guided Edit Assistant explains how to crop the image.

  7. Adjust the size of the crop box by dragging the handles with the mouse.
  8. You can also select a pre-determined size from the Crop Box Size drop-down list box. This is useful when you want to print the image with a photo printer which has a specific paper size.

  9. Click Done to crop the image.
  10. Double click on the image of the statue. Notice that the foreground of this image needs to be lightened.

  11. Click on the Lighten or Darken button on the Guided Edit pane.
  12. With the Auto button Photoshop Elements can automatically adjust the exposure. You also have the option to make manual exposure adjustments with the sliders below.

  13. Drag the Lighten Shadows slider to the right until you are satisfied with the result.
  14. Use the additional sliders to darken the highlights and adjust the midtone contrast.

  15. Click Done to apply the corrections.
  16. Next, we want to make color corrections to the skin tones in an image. Double click on the photo of the lady to bring it up in the Active Image Area. Zoom in with the Zoom Tool on the upper left.

  17. Click on the Correct Skin Tone button on the Guided Edit Pane.
  18. Select the Skin Tone Eyedropper Tool and click on an area of the skin in the image.
  19. Now use the sliders to adjust Tan, Blush and Ambient Light on the photo.
  20. Click Done when you are satisfied with the results.

Retouching scratches and blemishes in photos

The Guided Edit feature also assists you with more complex tasks such as retouching blemishes or scratches in a photo.

  1. Double click on the photo of the young lady to bring it up in the Active Image area. Zoom in on her face with the zoom tool on the upper left.
  2. Under Guided Activities click on Touch up Scratches, Blemishes or Tear Marks.
  3. Again the Guided Edit Assistant shows you how to touch up your photo.

  4. First, click on the Spot Healing Brush Tool to fix small flaws.
  5. Click on the small blemishes and spots that you want to touch up, and Photoshop Elements will remove the blemishes automatically.
  6. Use the Hand tool to navigate to the areas you want to correct. On the forehead, we now want to touch up a larger area.

  7. As a second step, click on the Healing Brush Tool on the right to fix large flaws.
  8. Alt+Click on an image area around the flaw (reference area) to use as a patch for the selected area. (see figure 3).
  9. Paint over the areas of the image you want to correct.
  10. Image 3

    Figure 3: Use the Alt key to choose a flawless reference area to use as a patch.

    You can choose a new reference area by pressing the Alt key again and clicking on another area.

  11. Select the Zoom tool and click on the Fit Screen button above the image to view the entire image.
  12. Click on Done when you are satisfied with the touch-up.

Using the Guide for Editing a Photo

If you don't know where to begin with the editing process, Photoshop Elements provides a feature called Guide for Editing a Photo.

  1. Open an image which you want to edit.
  2. Click on the Guide for Editing a Photo button under Guided Activities.
  3. Now Photoshop Elements will guide you through the entire process of editing your image.

  4. The first step is to crop your image. Adjust the crop box that is drawn around the center of the image.
  5. Click on Next when you are finished.
  6. In the next step you are prompted to lighten or darken your image.

  7. Use the sliders Lighten Shadows, Darken Highlights and Midtone Contrast to adjust the exposure of your image.
  8. Click on Next to proceed to the following step.
  9. If your image has scratches or blemishes you can use the above mentioned tools to correct these flaws.

  10. Use the Spot Healing Brush or the Healing Brush to fix small and large flaws.
  11. When you are done with retouching, click on Next.
  12. In the next step you can sharpen your image. Sharpening an image can bring out more details.

  13. Choose the Hand tool and click on the Actual Pixels button above the image. Now the image is shown at 100%, allowing you to better evaluate the sharpening process.
  14. Use the slider to manually adjust the sharpness of the image.
  15. Click Done to complete the editing process.
  16. That's how easy it is to correct your images with the new Guided Edit Assistant in Photoshop Elements 6.0.

Where to go from here

For more information and additional tutorials, visit the Adobe Design Center.