For those not wanting to get deep into image editing or don’t have a need for the full Photoshop, theres Photoshop Elements. Sharing a lot of its bigger sisters power, Elements compacts features into more easily handled or automated parts.
One of these is a great feature called Auto Smart Tone.
Accessing Auto Smart Tone
Photoshop Elements has a three editing modes and Auto Smart Tone will work in two of them, Quick and Expert.
When in one of these modes Auto Smart can be accessed from the Enhance menu.
Window and Joystick
This opens a new window;
Elements analyses the image and suggests four adjustments. Each corner represents that adjustment. Using the joystick you can set how much of each adjustment will be applied by moving it closer, or away from each corner.
At the bottom of the window theres a menu of two items. You’ll see that one controls the corner thumbnails while the other determines if Photoshop Elements should learn from the adjustment.
Used often, this adjustment will learn your preferences and adjust itself to suite.
It Doesnt Have to be Destructive
Although applied directly to a layer the adjustment doesn’t have to be destructive. Enter into Expert mode
Duplicate the layer by pressing Ctrl+J (PC) or Cmd+J (Mac) and run the Auto Smart Tone again.
Blend it In
Its worth noting that as a separate layer the adjusted one (or ones) can have a different Blending Mode. This can make for some great edits very quickly.