Image Processing Reference
Understanding the Adjustment Sliders and Auto Controls
Photoshop Elements 3 and Photoshop CS2 added a new feature to Camera Raw that
promises to save you time with image adjustments. The Exposure, Shadows, High-
lights, and Contrast sliders all have an Auto checkbox, as shown in Figure 2.20. Auto
for these controls works similarly to the Auto Levels, Contrast, and Color settings you
may be used to from the Image > Adjustments menu in Photoshop CS and the Enhance
menu in Photoshop Elements. The Auto checkbox is a nifty little tool; however, it isn't
a cure all.
Adobe Camera Raw now includes
Auto checkboxes for common
image corrections. Like the Auto
Levels, Contrast, and Color settings
from Photoshop and Photoshop
Elements, they aren't the perfect
choices for every image. However,
they can serve as good starting
points for your corrections.
As with any Auto feature, it's important to understand how the settings work
and when they should or shouldn't be used. Chapter 3 goes into detail on using each of
these controls to fine-tune your image. The examples here show how the Auto settings
can work for you or against you.
The Auto settings can be useful starting points for your image corrections,
though. Figure 2.21 is an admittedly extreme example of what the Auto checkboxes
can do for you. This shot of the New York area, which was taken from an airliner, goes
from almost black to a well-exposed image by using only the Auto settings.
Figure 2.21 (left) Here you see New York from the air. With Auto settings disabled, the image is primarily black with a few dots of
light. (right) With Auto checked for each of the controls, the same image shows the detail and scene as I remember it.