Chapter 7. Basic Image Retouching

You may be perfectly happy using Elements only in Quick Fix mode. And that’s fine, as long as you understand that you’ve hardly scratched the surface of what the program can do for you. Sooner or later, though, you’re probably going to run across a photo where your best Quick Fix efforts just aren’t good enough. Or you may just be curious to see what else Elements has under its hood. That’s when you finally get to put all your image-selecting and layering skills to good use.

Elements gives you loads of ways to fix your photos beyond the limited options in Quick Fix. This chapter guides you through fixing basic exposure problems, shows you new ways of sharpening your photos, and most important, helps you understand how to improve the colors in your photos.

If you want to get the most out of Elements, you need to understand a little about how your camera, computer, and printer think about color. Along with resolution, color is the most important concept in Elements. After all, almost all the adjustments that image-editing programs make consist of changing the color of pixels. So quite a bit of this chapter is about understanding how Elements—and by extension, you—can manipulate your image’s color.


Most of Elements’ advanced-fixes dialog boxes have a “preview” checkbox, which lets you watch what’s happening as you adjust the settings. It’s a good idea to keep these checkboxes turned on so you can decide if you’re improving things. And for a handy “before” ...

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