Elements Top Tips Page 2

You can add the same caption to multiple photos quickly and easily by multi-selecting the thumbnails in the Photo browser first and then selecting the Add Captions to Selected Items option from the right-click menu.

Who says that all the ‘face matching’ security software that’s employed in our major airports has no creative spin-offs? In what some might say is a strange application of the technology, Photoshop Elements can now locate and display the faces in not just one but a whole bunch of photos via the Find Faces for Tagging option. For those photographers who regularly create images of people, or groups of people, this feature alone will save loads of time. Just multi-select a variety of images, then choose the Find > Find Faces for Tagging option, and Elements will search through the photos, displaying the found faces in a special Tagging dialogue. Next, drag the tags to the faces (or faces to the tags) to add the label to the associated photo.    

Media Center computers are starting to pop-up everywhere. These are the machines that let you watch, record and time shift live television, play music and show movies all from your humble PC. With the release of version 4.0 of Elements, Adobe has started to forge strong links with the software (Windows Media Center) that drives these home theatre computers. Now from inside the media center you can access Elements’ catalogues and slide shows, directly providing options to display your photos or show your presentations on your TV. Similarly the output options from inside the new revamped Elements slide show editor now include specialist settings for Media Center display.   

Though I am a big stickler for ensuring that I maintain  quality enhancement practices at all times, there are still occasions when editing speed is more desirable than ultimate editing control. If haste is the order of the day then there is no quicker way to enhance a bunch of photos than to multi-select the pictures in the Organizer first and then choose Auto Smart Fix Selected Photos from the right-click menu. And there is no need to panic if you don’t like the auto correction results, because Elements saves the original file along with the newly edited photo in a Version Set, which means that you can reverse the enhancement at any time. 

Animated Stills
Is the over use of the ‘spiral’, ‘horizontal blind’ or ‘coarse dissolve’ transitions of home made slide presentations driving you crazy but you still want to add some movement to your otherwise still show? Take a look at the zoom and pan options in the new slide show editor. This feature provides the option to gradually zoom into, or pan across, the surface of a still photo as part of the presentation. The effect can be used to produce very dynamic results and is similar to the techniques that professional documentary film makers use in order to animate historical documents. 


Die-hard Photoshop users often pooh-pooh Photoshop Elements for its lack of automation features, pointing to the batch-processing abilities of the program’s bigger brother as proof that no serious photographer would use anything else. But hidden away under the File menu in the Elements Standard Editor workspace is the Process Multiple Files option which gives Elements users a level of automated processing that even Photoshop users would have to admit is impressive. With the controls contained in this single dialogue, you can rename, resize, change file formats, adjust contrast, colour, levels, sharpness and even add a watermark (labels) to files contained in a folder or already open in the workspace. For quick, efficient processing of multiple photos this is certainly the place to start. 


One of the hardest steps in the process of changing the background of a photo is the erasing of the original background. If the results of this action is convincing then you are well on your way to a successful montage. One option not often used is the Background Eraser tool. Nestled with the other Eraser tools, the pointer for this feature contains two parts – a circle (the size of the selected brush) and a crosshair in the centre. To erase, simply move the crosshair over the areas that you wish to remove.


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