Applying 6 One-Step Auto-Fixes in Photoshop Elements
Auto Smart Tone
This auto-fix is designed to adjust the tonal values (the range of tones or shades from black to white) in your image.
In either Expert or Quick mode, with your image open, select Enhance→Auto Smart Tone. Elements automatically applies a default correction.
Moving the controller joystick, the small double circle icon, fine-tune your correction. The thumbnail previews in each corner give you an idea of how the image will look when you move the joystick in that particular direction.
Select the Learn from This Correction option (the arrow with lines icon) in the lower left of the dialog box to have Elements learn from this editing session. If you select this option, Elements remembers what corrections you made on this image and positions the joystick on the basis of that correction on the next image you open and correct.
The more images that are corrected, the smarter the Auto Smart Tone corrections become. This intelligent algorithm is able to distinguish between various types (based on the tonal characteristics) of images and remembers the adjustment for that particular type of image.
Auto Smart Fix
This all-in-one command attempts to adjust it all. Auto Smart Fix is designed to improve lighting, improve the details in shadow and highlight areas, and correct the color balance. The overexposed image on the left was improved with the Auto Smart Fix command.
The Auto Smart Fix command, as well as the Auto Color, Auto Levels, Auto Contrast, Auto Sharpen, and Auto Red Eye Fix commands, are available in the Organizer in the panel on the right, where you can apply the commands to several selected images simultaneously.
If Auto Smart Fix didn’t quite cut it, you can ramp it up and try Adjust Smart Fix. This command is similar to Auto Smart Fix, but it gives you a slider that allows you to control the amount of correction applied to the image.
The Auto Levels command adjusts the overall contrast of an image. This command works best on images that have pretty good contrast (detail in the shadow, highlight, and midtone areas) to begin with and just need a little adjustment, but it can also work wonders for seemingly unsalvageable images.
Auto Levels works by mapping, or converting, the lightest and darkest pixels in your image to white and black, which makes highlights appear lighter and shadows appear darker.
Although Auto Levels can improve your contrast, it may also produce an unwanted color cast (a slight trace of color). If a color cast happens, undo the command and try the Auto Contrast command instead. If that still doesn’t improve the contrast, try the Levels command.
The Auto Contrast command is designed to adjust the overall contrast in an image without adjusting its color. This command may not do as good a job of improving contrast as the Auto Levels command, but it does a better job of retaining the color balance of an image.
Auto Contrast usually doesn’t cause the strange color casts that can occur when you’re using Auto Levels. This command works really well on images with a haze.
Auto Color Correction
The Auto Color Correction command adjusts both the color and contrast of an image, based on the shadows, midtones, and highlights it finds in the image and a default set of values. These values adjust the number of black and white pixels that Elements removes from the darkest and lightest areas of the image.
You usually use this command to remove a color cast or to balance the color in your image. Sometimes this command can be useful in correcting oversaturated or undersaturated colors.
Sometimes photos taken with a digital camera or scanned on a flatbed scanner can appear soft, meaning slightly out of focus. Sharpening gives the illusion of increased focus by increasing the contrast between pixels.
Auto Sharpen attempts to improve the focus, without going too far. What happens when you oversharpen? Your images go from soft to grainy and noisy.