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Hour 15. Making Color Repairs > Image Correction Tools

Image Correction Tools

The Elements toolbox has several image correction tools, grouped together on the toolbar. If you look at the third section of the toolbox, you’ll see a pair of focus tools: Blur and Sharpen. Blur looks like a drop of water. Sharpen looks like the tip of a pencil or some other sharp instrument. Below them are the Sponge tool, which looks like a natural sponge, and the Smudge tool, a hand with an extended index finger. (Considering the millions of smudged fingerprints I’ve wiped up over the years, this is a very appropriate icon.) The last two tools in the group, Dodge and Burn, were discussed in detail last hour.

Blur and Sharpen

If you spill a drop of water on a watercolor painting or an inkjet print, the colors will run together and blur. That’s what the Blur tool does. (Well, more or less. It actually blurs individual pixels by lowering the contrast between them and their adjacent neighbors.) Using brush shapes, sizes, and blending modes, you can design a blur to hide a background, to remove graffiti from a fence, or to make faces in a crowd less obvious. When you’re trying to pretend your subject is out in the forest, you can blur the cell phone tower and power lines showing though the trees. You can blur the gum wrappers and soda cans in an otherwise pristine landscape.


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