Figure 3.33 The top photo is a little under-
exposed in the foreground, so detail in the
young woman's face is hidden in shadow.
In the bottom photo, making adjustments
with the Lighten Shadows and the Midtone
Contrast sliders selectively brightens and
enhances detail in both her face and blouse.
Figure 3.32 The Shadows/Highlights dialog box.
Lighting Your Image
Overexposed background images and under-
exposed foreground subjects are a common
problem for most amateur photographers.
Photoshop Elements provides an elegant tool
to help salvage your otherwise perfect com-
positions. Much like levels, it operates on
pixels in specific tonal ranges (either high-
lights or shadows) while leaving the other
tonal ranges alone. A Lighten Shadows slider
helps to add detail to areas in shadow, while
a Darken Highlights slider can add detail to
washed-out areas in the background.
To improve foreground detail:
1.
From the Enhance menu, choose Adjust
Lighting > Shadows/Highlights.
The Shadows/Highlights dialog box
appears (Figure 3.32).
2.
In the Shadows/Highlights dialog box,
drag the Lighten Shadows slider to the
right to lessen the effect of the shadows,
or to the left to introduce shadow back
into the image.
3.
Drag the Midtone Contrast slider to the
right to increase the contrast, or to the
left to decrease the contrast.
4.
Click OK to close the Shadows/Highlights
dialog box and apply the changes
(Figure 3.33).
Tips
I’ve found that in many (if not most)
images imported from a digital camera,
the Shadows/Highlights dialog box defaults
work surprisingly well on their own,
requiring just minor slider adjustments.
In any case, use the Midtone Contrast
slider sparingly. A little goes a long way,
and adjustments of more than plus or
minus 10% can quickly wash out or flat-
ten an images details.
85
Changing and Adjusting Colors
Lighting Your Image
Image Correction One-Stop Shopping
With the Quick Fix window, Adobe has grouped a cross-section of some of the more commonly
used commands and functions into one convenient, interactive workspace (Figure 3.35). You
open the Quick Fix window by simply clicking the Quick Fix button in the shortcuts bar. You’ll
see that the Quick Fix window is really its own, self-contained editing environment, with a
main image window, a palette well, photo bin, and a small toolset for cropping, zooming, and
red-eye correction. From the View pop-up
menu, you can choose from a number of
before and after image viewing options.
From the palette well, you make image
adjustments with a group of simple, spe-
cialized palettes. Palette sliders help you
to correct common problems like lighting,
color, and sharpness. In addition, the
palettes feature Auto buttons that work
just like the Auto commands in the
Enhance menu. Each time you make an
adjustment or correction, a button on
each palette allows you to either accept or
cancel the operation. And a handy Reset
button above the After image allows you
to cancel all the changes you’ve made, and
start over from scratch.
To improve background detail:
1.
From the Enhance menu, choose Adjust
Lighting > Shadows/Highlights.
2.
In the Shadows/Highlights dialog box,
drag the Darken Highlights slider to the
right until you’re satisfied with the con-
trast and detail in the background or in
other brightly lit areas.
3. Click OK to apply the change (Figure 3.34).
Figure 3.34 The left photo suffers from an
overexposed background. In the right photo, making
adjustments with the Darken and Highlights slider
restores the lost detail in the sky.
86
Chapter 3
Lighting Your Image
Figure 3.35 The Quick Fix dialog box offers a space to
perform many common image correction functions. The
Tip area in the center of the window provides helpful
explanations of each adjustment you select and apply.

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