having recently finished digitizing more than 1000family photos from 1880s on, I Purchased photoshop elements 2021 with the hope of enhancing and restoring images during What I predict to be a long, cold Covid winter 2020- 2021. I've read as much information as I could, watched older versions of Photoshop elements in Linked-In classes. I understand there are three modes, quick, guided, and expert.
I want to tackle expert for this project. my first question is regarding the tab "enhance".
1. I've read that I do not want destructive editing, but how is this a problem if I enhance on a copy of the image?
2. I'm also confused regarding whether I would use filters or layers to edit an image?
Without anyone to help me face-to-face, this has been a frustrating albeit excellent challenge for me.
Hi , I've moved your post from the Photoshop forum to the Photoshop Elements forum where you are more likely to get help with your issue.
Copy link to clipboard
Non desructive editing:
To be clear, Non destructive editing is different from editing a copy. In that case, the original is not destroyed, but the copy is modified (not destroyed). The purpose of any editing software is to enhance = modify. So why do people speak about ' non destructive workflows' and distinguish pixel editors from 'non destructive' (better called 'parametric') editors?
The Photoshop and Photoshop Elements editors change the pixels of your image file. Lightroom and ACR in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements are 'parametric'. They store the editing 'recipe', the sliders settings in a small text file. Original + recipe do create a virtual output result which you can export or print in a new pixel file.
About filters: they are complex pixel transformations.
About layers: two main types: standard layers to which you can apply filters or any transformation in the enhance menu or any editing with the local tools, such as painting. You can play with the opacity or blend modes, you can use masks...
Or 'adjustment' layers, which define a given transformation that will be applied to a regular layer. They are working parametrically, the 'recipe' is kept in the adjustment layer, and the resulting transformation is not stored in the layered file, it is calculated and taken into account to show you the effect.
If you have to use layers, you'll use file formats like psd or tiff. The good practice is to keep the original file as the bottom layer to be able to recover the initial unmodified state. That layer may be hidden. If an effect you want to be applied can be achieved with an adjustment layer, you'll use that instead of a new regular layer. If you can't, you may keep the original standard layer, duplicate it and apply the effect, then hide the original. Nothing destroyed.
I appreciate your thoughtful reply.
1. It is indeed a good idea to work on a duplicate picture file, esp. when first starting out with this program. The enhace menu drop-down provides several options, e.g. brightness/contrast, levels. If you invoke these modalities via this route, the corrections can be made. However, there are also brightness/contrast & levels adjustment layers which can be utilized for this purpose. The adjustment layers are non-destructive - - the adjustment layers can be deleted, leaving the underlying image layer in its native state.
2.It is critical that you become comfortable using layers. Adobe does have a user guide which you may find helpful. There also several inexpensive print manuals available - check on Amazon or at your local library
3. The filters have limited application in my work-flow. Work your way through them on a dummy file to check them out. I do use the blur filter and photofilter from time to time.
4. Feel free to post one of your digitized files here on the forum, and we can make suggestions towards improving it.
I tried to post a photo, without success. Do I post it in this thread? In a "reply"? I should write a book, "Photoshop Elements Egads! Every Error Encyclopedia"
In the reply box here on the forum page, click on the "Insert Photos" icon at top right.
You can not do it via an e-mail reply, however.
I have very large bmp photos from 1880s - 1930s. What/How should I convert those images? Is there a reliable converter to download? Thanks
Elements supports the bmp format. You can batch convert to jpeg or psd for instance either in the editor or in the organizer.
In the editor, use the menu File > Process multiple files
In the Organizer, select a batch of bmps and menu File >> Export as new files.
The more important question is why do you think you need to convert the files? Elements will work with bmp files and when you have finished editing them, you can save them in whatever format you want.
I appreciate your replies, but I'm going to throw in the towel. Yes, I have gone to the Adobe forum help site, and yes I have read adobe Photoshop elements 2021 for dummies (A stupid title, but in my case may be appropriate!) I cannot find a useful tutorial on how to use "enhance" in the expert mode. Not in adobe learning, not in the book, not in the linked in classes. I tried playing around with enhance and then got error messages regarding layers.
there is a presumption that the user has a familiarity with these types of interfaces.
Just to give you a little broader perspective and hopefully answer your specific questions:
I hope we have not overwhelmed you. There is a lot to learn. But Elements has a lot of tutorials that you can start to use by clicking on the guides that appear on the Welcome Screen. It is also useful to play around with the Guided Edits since they will help you understand how the program works. Also, the search tool that appears on the Welcome Screen will often answer your How-to questions.
Enjoy the challenge and feel free to come back to this forum when you get stumped.
Sorry, I cross-posted with you. Don't throw in the towel yet. If you post an example of a photo you wish to enhance, we can give you some practical guidance of what you want to do. As I mentioned in my prior post, you should not eschew the Guided Edit mode and go straight to Expert if you are finding that too intimidating. You can't run before you walk.
My error in believing that the guided edits were limited to what is displayed on the welcome page. I dug further and found in guided mode special edits, a gem: "restore old photo guided edit". Nine locked in order steps (you cannot go backwards). Looks like I will be learning how to use the tools. YEAH!
actually, your explanation makes a lot of sense. thank you.
I have two winter-long photography related projects.
one is looking through a couple of thousand family photographs, And determining which ones should be restored via Photoshop elements.. It took 6 months to digitize B/W and color negatives as well as 14 albums of hardcopy prints. I paid to have 600 slides digitized commercially. I organized the digitized images in Adobe Bridge using keywords to identify family, and then organize in folders by family surname and year. Definitely a labor of love.
my second project is using Photoshop elements to enhance my macro photographs. I only picked up a DSLR two years ago, never really having used a Camera before then. I fell in love with macro photography Not realizing how challenging it would be to learn. those photographs I shoot in JPEG+ RAW, figuring I will learn the latter at some point.
Yes, I was on my frustration level earlier today, but I found a YouTube that simplified my understanding of layers. I tried using 2 adjustment layers on a copied background photo, so I am honing into the process
I will take you up on your suggestion to submit a photograph for a "show and tell" explanation.
You're welcome. We look forward to your progress.
Copy link to clipboard
While I don't want to add too much to your plate, I would highly recommend using the Organizer rather than Bridge for your sifting through photos project. While some of your tag work in Bridge may seem wasted, it should not take too long to replicate it using the Organizer's artificial intelligence, particularly with respect to face recognition.
As for your macro photography editing, are you thinking about focus stacking? If so, that is not really a strength of Elements.
Both the Bridge keywords and folders translated well into the organizer. I think I'll go through the photos, a decade at a time and add 5 star ratings for those I want to restore and enhance.
i'm not thinking about focus stacking but more about effects and styles. My macro photography is limited to indoors, And so I've been busy learning how to press flowers and leaves in anticipation for the winter.
Copy link to clipboard
I dug further and found in guided mode special edits, a gem: "restore old photo guided edit". Nine locked in order steps (you cannot go backwards).
You can go backwards in a Guided Edit. Use the Ctrl+Z (undo) keyboard shortcut. You can also redo an undone step using Ctrl+Y.
Thank you everyone for your advice, suggestions, and knowledge sharing. I now understand the big picture of Photoshop Elements, the differences among the three editing modes, the benefits of layers, and the purpose of filters.
Decades ago, when I was a neophyte bread baker, I worked with different types of flour, kneading techniques, hydration rates, baking pans, and oven temperatures to learn how to craft wild yeast artisan bread. Now I will hone new skills by learning commands and trying out the tools, one by one, so I understand how each one works, to restore generations of family photographs and creatively enhance macro images.
Wishing everyone a HEALTHY Thanksgiving,
from 1910 .
The photo you have posted will be a challenge to fix. There is a lot of damage which contains very little photographic information and it is a very low resolution image which adds to the difficulty. I don't claim to be an expert but here is what I was able to do with some basic use of the clone tool and a little copy and paste. Essentially, I cloned over the damaged areas in the sky, hills and trees using neighboring areas of the image as a source for the clone. To fill in some of the tented area, I made some selections of tents and copied and moved them. Since the areas with detail were more in the foreground, I resized the layers with copies of the tents so that the perspective was more accurate. I did not spend a lot of time on this and you will get better results if you are more patient. I hope this gives you an idea of what is possible.