The simplest tools are almost always fully automatic with the user having little control over the final results. These are the types of color, contrast, brightness and sharpness controls that are available in the Photo Browser either via option in the Edit menu, from the right click pop-up menu, or displayed in the Fix panel on the right of the Organizer workspace.
These options provide a great place to start if you are new to digital photography and want good results quickly and easily, but experienced users will find the lack of control frustrating.
Auto Smart Fix
The Auto Smart Fix feature enhances both the lighting and color in your picture automatically. The command is used to balance the picture hues and improve the overall shadow and highlight detail. Most images are changed drastically using this tool. In some cases the changes can be too extreme. If this occurs, the effect should be reversed using the Edit Undo command and the more controllable version of the tool – Adjust Smart Fix – used instead. Adjust Smart Fix is located in the Editor workspace.
Auto Color concentrates on correcting the color in the midtones of the picture and adjusting the contrast by reassigning the brightest and darkest pixels to white and black. The feature works in a similar way to tools like Auto Levels and Auto Contrast, providing a one-click fix for most color problems.
The Auto Levels command is similar to Auto Contrast in that it maps the brightest and darkest parts of the image to white and black. It differs from the previous technique because each individual color channel is treated separately. Auto ContrastIn the process of mapping the tones (adjusting the contrast) in the Red, Green and Blue channels, dominant color casts can be neutralized. This is not always the case; it depends entirely on the make-up of the image. In some cases the reverse is true; when Auto Levels is put to work on a neutral image a strong cast results. If this occurs, undo (Edit > Undo) the command and apply the Auto Contrast feature instead.
Auto Contrast is designed to correct images that are either too contrasty (black and white) or too flat (dull and lifeless). Unlike the Auto Levels feature, Auto Contrast ensures that the brightest and darkest pixels in the picture (irrespective of their colors) are converted to pure white and black. In doing so all the tones in between are expanded or contracted to fit. Apply Auto Contrast to grayscale photos like the example above or pictures whose contrast needs improving but have a strong color tint that you wish to retain. This feature is a good correction option if Auto Levels creates more color cast problems than it corrects.
Auto Sharpen applies a set amount of sharpening to the photo. Most photographers prefer to be able to adjust the degree of sharpening that is applied to their images and so would avoid using this auto feature in favour of a more manual approach involving the Editor: Enhance > Adjust Sharpness filter.
Auto Red Eye Fix
One of the possible side effects of using the in-built fl ash on your compact digital camera is the appearance of red eyes in the subject. Elements has always had great options for correcting this problem and the current release is no different containing a specific Red Eye Removal tool.
As well as the Red Eye Removal Tool in the Editor workspace, Elements also contains the ability to automatically detect the presence of red eye in a photo and then correct the problem. The feature cleverly checks out the metadata attached to the photo to see if a flash was used to record the image before searching for the problem eyes and automatically correcting the red hue. This feature can also be applied when transferring images from camera to computer by selecting the Automatically Fix Red Eyes option in the Photo Downloader.