4 Photoshop Elements tools I can’t live without

  • backlit photo of girl sitting on bed by Melissa Gibson

4 Photoshop Elements tools I can’t live without

I know I’ve mentioned this before and I’m certain you all know this by now, but  I really dig Adobe Photoshop Elements.

If you are a beginner looking for editing software, this is the one for you.  On the other hand, if you are more advanced in your photography journey, this may also be the software for you.  In fact, I know loads of extremely talented photographers who use Elements.  It is an editing program that is highly underrated and definitely packs a punch.  Today, I’m going to show you my most favorite editing features that you’ll find in PSE.   All of my before images are SOOC shots.

The Clone Tool:

I use that thing like mad.  It is such a handy little feature.  You can remove electrical sockets, parts of a window frame, entire trees and even people!  Here, I have taken out the sticks on the right side of the frame.  I also cropped this one a little as well, which helped to remove part of the distraction.  Remember, when you are using the clone tool, make sure you have “sample all layers” ticked up top.  That way, material will be taken from all visible layers in the layers palette rather than just one.  You can also choose the blending mode, I choose normal, and the opacity of the stamping.   Many times I will blend in the cloning using a soft brush with a low opacity.

4 must know Adobe Photoshop Elements Tricks by Melissa Gibson

4 must know Adobe Photoshop Elements Tricks by Melissa Gibson

The Color Boost Tool:

Many times in my images I want a subtle boost of color.  There are a couple of ways to do this in PSE.  In this case, I boosted the color by adjusting the color curves.  I created a new layer and named it “color boost”.   I then went to Enhance >  Adjust Color > Adjust Color Curves.  There are default choices in the pop up box that you can choose from and those usually work fairly well.  For this image, I moved the sliders around a bit to create that classic ‘S’ curve.  Once I clicked “okay”, I went over to the layers panel to adjust the opacity and brush the changes off of her skin.

4 must know Adobe Photoshop Elements Tricks by Melissa Gibson

4 must know Adobe Photoshop Elements Tricks by Melissa Gibson

Adding tones with levels adjustments:

Now this is my favorite and most common edit in Photoshop Elements.  By going to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels I can change the tones of the image.  I am able to up the exposure and choose to adjust the red, green, or blue sliders.  I am also able to brush the tones off of the skin since I am working in a new adjustment layer with each slider that I move.  For example, if I am changing the green, I will edit green in one layer.  Then, brush off of the skin.  Next, I may adjust the blue slider in another layer, after which I will brush off of the skin as well.  Moving those sliders will dramatically change your image.

4 must know Adobe Photoshop Elements Tricks by Melissa Gibson

4 must know Adobe Photoshop Elements Tricks by Melissa Gibson

The Burn Tool:

I like the burn tool for a couple of reasons, but you have to be careful with this feature.  Too much burning can be bad for your image and make it look unrealistic.  However, burning (and dodging) can draw attention to part of an image so long as you use it subtly.  In this case, I used the burn tool to help bring out her reflection.  I only used it lightly, yet it makes that part of the image stand out a bit more.  Burning (and dodging) are great tools to use in black and white images as they help draw the eye to shadows and highlights.  If you’re using these tools in color images, as I mentioned, be sure to take it easy and always work in duplicate layers.

4 must know Adobe Photoshop Elements Tricks by Melissa Gibson

4 must know Adobe Photoshop Elements Tricks by Melissa Gibson

And there you have four reasons why I really love Photoshop Elements.  There are so many useful functions in this software, but these are the ones that I use most often on my images.  Again, if you’re just starting out and looking for an editing program, PSE is an excellent choice.  Then again, if you’re thinking that you need to upgrade in order to get the edits you want, try out these options and see how you like them.  Also, feel free to ask questions in the comments or in the forum.  I’m always on the lookout for Elements questions and I’m happy to help you!

sponsored giveaway!

mod straps

We want to give a huge thank you to Mod Straps for sponsoring today’s photography tutorial!  They are giving away a Classic Camera Strap and Drop in Pouch to one lucky winner. The Classic Camera strap is lined with their signature, plush fabric and strong enough to withstand a pulldown weight of 70lbs.  The versatile Drop-in- pouch allows you to carry your camera in style while keeping it free of dust, dirt and sticky fingers. Just place your camera inside, secure the pull strings, and you’re ready to go. It is also lined in their signature, plush fabric.  To enter to win, simply comment on this post telling us what your favorite post processing tool is.  The winner will be announced here on this post next Thursday, May 2, 2013 after noon EST so make sure and come back to see if you’re the big winner!

giveaway update!

Congratulations to Krystle who said, “My favorite (LR) tool is the adjustment brush. So many applications! Lovely photos:)”!  I will email you shortly on how to claim your prize!

About the Author:

Melissa is a proud MWAC who gears up with a Nikon D700, prime lenses, and edits her “fun, childlike, and whimsical” photography solely in Photoshop Elements. Melissa's goal both now and when she first began her photography journey in 2005 is to, in her own words, “remember my girls’ lives for them. They are so young yet growing so quickly. I know they won’t remember it all so I feel it’s my job to document it for them.” Visit Melissa Gibson online.
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161 Comments

  1. JessicaV Apr 25 2013 at 11:12 am - Reply

    My first go-to tool is always the spot removal tool for little blemishes. Great tutorial and giveaway! Thank you.

  2. Carito Apr 25 2013 at 11:20 am - Reply

    I love the brush tool in LR, I find it really handy. Thanks for the giveaway and the tutorial.

  3. Karla Cox Apr 25 2013 at 11:36 am - Reply

    I love the clone tool. Easy to get rid of distractions!

  4. Jennifer Lovelady Apr 25 2013 at 11:37 am - Reply

    I love the clone tool too but need to learn more about the dodge and burn capabilities! Thank you!

  5. Melanie Brown Apr 25 2013 at 11:39 am - Reply

    I love the colour boost tool! Thanks so much for these great tutorials! Beautiful photo’s 🙂

  6. Jamie Apr 25 2013 at 11:40 am - Reply

    I am learning Lightroom and am having fun bringing out the blue in my girls’ eyes (mine are brown as could be) with the iris tool.

  7. Christi Apr 25 2013 at 11:43 am - Reply

    My favorite go to tools are the dodge and burn tools. It really helps bring the eye where you want it to go. Thanks for tutorial. I always love to hear photographers favorite tools to edit. Editing makes of break a good photo.

  8. Kathy Newman Apr 25 2013 at 11:44 am - Reply

    I just recently bought Elements 11 and I am so addicted! Besides the program itself, there are so many great textures, brushes, and masks out there to play with. It is so much fun!

  9. Kathy Newman Apr 25 2013 at 11:46 am - Reply

    oops…I noticed the giveaway after I commented! My favorite tool in the program is the clone tool. I love being able to get rid of stuff I don’t want in the picture and getting rid of blemishes/spots.

  10. Meredith Hepburn Apr 25 2013 at 11:49 am - Reply

    In PSE my favorite tool is the clone stamp tool. In LR, I love the adjustment brush when needing to remove a color cast!

  11. Krystle Apr 25 2013 at 11:56 am - Reply

    My favorite (LR) tool is the adjustment brush. So many applications! Lovely photos:)

  12. KaMarlowete Apr 25 2013 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Until I read this post, my favourite was adjusting the eyes with layers. Now I’m excited about expanding my layers toolkit. Thanks for the suggestions!

  13. Jenny Snyder Apr 25 2013 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    I love the clone tool and the healing tool.

  14. Juliette Apr 25 2013 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    My favorite tool is the clone tool! Couldn’t live without! (in LR). Thanks for this tutorial. I am new to PSE so this is very helpful

  15. Ashley lortie Apr 25 2013 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    I have elements 11 and my go to editing tool is the blemish corrector. I also play a lot with the hue saturation sliders. Thank you so much for this post. I love learning new things, can’t wait to try out the color pop!

  16. Jennifer Apr 25 2013 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Wow! I had no idea about the color curve! Thanks 🙂 I’d love to learn more about the levels adjustments, I don’t really get it :-/

    My favorite tool is definitely the clone stamp! It works wonders!

  17. Gillian Apr 25 2013 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Great post! I go back and forth between the clone tool and the rectangle select tool to remove objects with the ctrl+alt method to duplicate the area and move it to another spot. Thank you for the info and the giveaway chance!

  18. Rae F. Apr 25 2013 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Love this article! The clone tool is definitely my favorite, but after reading this I’m going to have to experiment with color curves. Thanks for sharing, Melissa!

  19. Grace Presley Apr 25 2013 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Thanks for a fantastic tutorial! I pinned it as well 😉

    I will definitely have to play with the dodge and burn tool a little more! I am always afraid I am going to ruin my image.

    I could not live without the brush and mask tool! I think these are essential when editing. When I first learned how to do this, it was as if I had found the golden ticket! lol 🙂

  20. Beth Hall Apr 25 2013 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    I, too, think the clone tool is my favorite tool. It is especially great if you get a spot on your lens and don’t realize it until you look at the pictures.

  21. Kristin Apr 25 2013 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    I love the straightening tool! I just can’t for the life of me get straight pictures SOOC! Thanks for the tutorial! I would have never thought to adjust the opacity on clone layers!! That would help me a lot.

  22. Andrea G. Apr 25 2013 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the tutorial. I’m just learning all the benefits of Elements.

  23. Carrie Yuan Apr 25 2013 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    I have this crazy obsession with whitening people’s teeth using a brush in LR. But I really need to learn my PSE better.

  24. Cassidy Nunn Apr 25 2013 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Great post! My favourite post processing tool is the clone stamp tool. I love being able to quickly remove a few minor distractions from my photos.

  25. Christine Apr 25 2013 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Hard to pick a favorite but I guess I’d have to say the clone tool. Love everything about elements!

  26. Nicole Meyer Apr 25 2013 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Thank you Melissa for the great info! I really like the spot healing brush is PSE. It is such a handy tool! 🙂

  27. Elaina B. Apr 25 2013 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    I love the clone tool and healing tool as well. They come in quite handy!

  28. Erin W. Apr 25 2013 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Love this! I definitely need to take a PSE class.

  29. Nancy Apr 25 2013 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Thanks! I appreciate articles like this. I have become fairly confident in my photography abilities when it comes to my abilities to capture good shots, but I still feel like a total novice when it comes to editing . . . and it doesn’t help that most tutorials I come across are for photoshop or lightroom rather than my simple little elements.

    One questions . . . that will clearly show how “novice” I am at editing. I am decent at using some of these tools, but am not certain how to brush the effects off of skin as you mentioned. Can you explain that in lamans terms to me?? Do I use the eraser tool? Does the soft edge brush somehow erase things? Also, how do you use the brush to blend your clone tool work?

    Thanks so so much!!

    • Melissa Apr 28 2013 at 6:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Nancy! Using layers will give you the option of brushing off whatever changes you make. So, let’s say I was adding some tones like I mentioned above. I would go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels and name that “tones” (or whatever you wanted) when the window pops up. Then, I’d make the changes. Next, if I didn’t want it on the skin, I’d go over to the layers palette on the right, click on the white layer mask box (next to the gears in the “tones” layer), choose a soft brush from the left side of the screen in the menu bar, and just “erase” away the tones from her skin. Hope that helps, Nancy!

      • Nancy Apr 30 2013 at 12:41 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much for making something that sounded complicated seem so easy. I have been frustrated wondering how on earth to apply changes to limited areas. I think there is a chance my PSE 8 doesn’t have adjustment layers . . . which will make me cry now that you’ve explained it! I will check!

  30. Jeannette Apr 25 2013 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Thanks Melissa for such great info!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Sheryl P. Apr 25 2013 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    The clone tool is definately my favorite! I usually start with it, so that my “base” image is clean and ready for enhancing! 🙂

  32. Sarah Wamuhiu Apr 25 2013 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    So glad to hear of someone else loving Elements. I don’t want the hassle of learning full PS when Elements does everything I need. I love the the healing brush tool.

  33. Becky Kueter Apr 25 2013 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    I have self taught myself Elements and it was good to see that I am on the right track. Just figured out the adjust color curve and love it.

  34. Barb Apr 25 2013 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with gradients lately. I never really saw the potential with them before. Thanks for the giveaway and the tutorial!

  35. Christina M Apr 25 2013 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    I love using the levels adjustment. I do need to practice more though 🙂

  36. Cyndie Apr 25 2013 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Oh boy! It’s tough to pick just one… Probably the healing tool or the hue/saturation sliders. Thanks for the tip on the color boost tool! 🙂

  37. Christy Harper Apr 25 2013 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    I love the crop tool 🙂

  38. Sarah Best Apr 25 2013 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for this! I love Elements and sometimes have feelings of inferiority but it really is a great program!!! Love your work and your write-up, so very helpful!! 🙂

  39. Juli Apr 25 2013 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    I am a beginner with elements so I really appreciate this article. I was wondering if you could explain the ” brushing off skin” or “brushing off tones” as you mention above. How do you do that? Thanks so much!

  40. Heather Meyer Apr 25 2013 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Love love the clone tool! And I’m getting familiar with levels now. 🙂

  41. Nicole Apr 25 2013 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    My faves are curves and the clone tool! So great for random people who pop into your background!

  42. abrianna Apr 25 2013 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    I like the punch tool on LR. I use it on my black and whites too.

  43. Cary Apr 25 2013 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing these details about pse! My fav tool in pse is the healing brush, but I’m excited to play more with the things mentioned above 🙂

  44. Adeena Apr 25 2013 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    In PSE my favourite is definitely levels.

    I did not know about the colour boost tool! Will have to play. Thanks! 🙂

  45. Liz Bauer Apr 26 2013 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Thanks! I love the brightness/contrast. It adds just what I need!

  46. Kari Apr 26 2013 at 12:38 am - Reply

    Definitely the clone tool!

  47. Kim Peterson Apr 26 2013 at 1:12 am - Reply

    Thank you for a great article and awesome tips! My favorite pp tool is Lightroom’s adjustment brush, followed by PSE 9’s spot healing tool.

  48. Sara Apr 26 2013 at 3:03 am - Reply

    PSE is really powerful! I purchased it about a year ago when I didn’t want to do so much post processing but I turned out that it can do pretty much everything! I’m happy with the quality of my processing in PSE.
    I love to do selective level adjustment to have the light exactly the way I envisioned it!

  49. Rebecca Apr 26 2013 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Great article and great images. I love the clone and healing tools too…pure magic!

  50. Katie Apr 26 2013 at 10:17 am - Reply

    cropping,do actions count? ( if so, definitely actions!)

  51. Stephanie Apr 26 2013 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    The angle tool to fix all my crooked horizons!

  52. Courtney Karban Apr 27 2013 at 7:25 am - Reply

    You are so talented! Thank you for the wonderful article. It is packed with information!!! <3

  53. Lacey Butler Apr 28 2013 at 10:17 am - Reply

    I am a fan of the clone tool!

  54. Dawne Apr 28 2013 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Thank you Melissa! Love PSE11… Very helpful!

  55. Kim L Apr 28 2013 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    I would have to say level adjustments! Thank you for a great article.

  56. Marci Apr 28 2013 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    I use the clone stamp all the time to get rid of blemishes on skin and unwanted distractions!

  57. Tiffany Apr 30 2013 at 1:50 am - Reply

    <3 I love PSE too!

  58. Tiffany Apr 30 2013 at 1:51 am - Reply

    My favorite tool is the clone stamp – for sure!

  59. Mylene Apr 30 2013 at 11:11 am - Reply

    I like the curves and the level tools in PS 🙂

  60. Jen Apr 30 2013 at 11:50 am - Reply

    I would have to say the levels adjustments is my favorite tool

  61. Meghan Apr 30 2013 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    I’m a Lightroom girl myself, but I’m excited to check out PSE (my dad just got it for me!) I know I will love the clone tool. In LR I love the tone curve adjustment tool and the adjustment brush.

  62. Courtney Apr 30 2013 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Free transform!!

  63. Tara Stallings Apr 30 2013 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    Love my ACR! And the level tool- I shoot crooked often!

  64. Jessica Apr 30 2013 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Curves for sure!!!

  65. Keri Apr 30 2013 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Using curves to adjust midtones!

  66. Miranda Apr 30 2013 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    I am just getting used to PSE. I don’t really have a favorite tool just yet.

  67. Annie Apr 30 2013 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Clone for sure!

  68. Crystal Sams Apr 30 2013 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    I love the clone tool!!

  69. Shanna Apr 30 2013 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    The clone tool.

  70. Jennifer B. Apr 30 2013 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Love the clone tool – huge help to mask any minor distractions in my photos!

  71. Alexandra Apr 30 2013 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Levels….always!!!

  72. Kyla Gibson Apr 30 2013 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    My favesie is the clone stamp as well.I loveeee it!

  73. Alyson Luikart Apr 30 2013 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Clone stamp!

  74. Heather Apr 30 2013 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    I am in love with the luminance noise reduction tool in LR. Brilliant!

  75. Shannon Apr 30 2013 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    I love my cloning tool! Can’t get through an edit, most of the time, without using it.

  76. Calissa Apr 30 2013 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    I love the burn tool!

  77. Michelle Owens Apr 30 2013 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    I am just learning editing so I haven’t done much. I like being able to blend to minimize blemishes and get rid of distractions . I don’t have PSE yet and am just trying to decide which software is easy to learn and use. 🙂 Thanks for all the info.

  78. Melissa Harms Apr 30 2013 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    My favorite is burning (and dodging). I love being able to bring more attention to my subject!

  79. suzanne rogers Apr 30 2013 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Clone, stamp, portraitore, bandaid

  80. Sabrina Apr 30 2013 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    So hard to decide! I guess is have to say my favorite tool is levels

  81. RacheL Healey Apr 30 2013 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    I love the burn & dodge tool!!! Great article !!!

  82. Michelle Apr 30 2013 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    brush tool!

  83. Tracy Apr 30 2013 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    I love the horizon straightener! I get too busy looking at everything else, that I always forget to check my horizon!

  84. Danielle Falcione Apr 30 2013 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    Clone tool!!

  85. Nadia Doyle Apr 30 2013 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    Content Aware in CS6!!!

  86. Danielle Falcione Apr 30 2013 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    Levels

  87. Amber Baird Apr 30 2013 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    i love clone/heal and the burn/dodge are a constant for me !

  88. Krisztina 'Schaffer' Lindsley Apr 30 2013 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    curves, levels, cloning, dodge and burn You name it. I love it all. 🙂

  89. Courtney G Apr 30 2013 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    My favorite would be the levels adjustment in ps!

  90. Faye Apr 30 2013 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I have to say I love curves and levels.

  91. Elva Apr 30 2013 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    ACR is my best friend!

  92. Amy Grubaugh Apr 30 2013 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    I love the crop tool – I probably use that one the most. 🙂

  93. Shanna Apr 30 2013 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    PSE – I love the clone tool! I also love the photo filters layer tool, sometimes gives the right kick when adjusting color curves isn’t quite enough for the look I want.

  94. Michelle E Apr 30 2013 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    The clone tool.

  95. lee r Apr 30 2013 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    Just bought PSE and still trying to figure my way around the program. Post processing has me a little overwhelmed. After reading this article I’m eager to try out the clone and burn tools.

  96. Lori Apr 30 2013 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Layers, healing brush and clone tool

  97. Mindy Apr 30 2013 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    I love layers, healing brush, and the crop tool!

  98. Leigh Apr 30 2013 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Hmmm…from these particular options I’d say the clone tool is invaluable, but burning can take an image from wow to wowza. 🙂 They all have their place!

  99. Shelly Truelson Apr 30 2013 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    I haven’t used many actions yet but I LOVE to boost the colors and make the pop!

  100. Stephany Cure Apr 30 2013 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Clone & healing brush for sure!

  101. Jennifer Apr 30 2013 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Clone tool! I love removing cars from the background when they couldn’t be avoided.

  102. Bria Apr 30 2013 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    I use the temp and tint sliders on almost every photo I process. Even when I nail WB SOOC, I still like to play around with them to enhance the mood I’m going for!

  103. cindy Apr 30 2013 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Mine are the curves and levels for sure! You can do so much with them alone!

  104. Heather Apr 30 2013 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Love the clone tool and the healing brush comes in handy!

  105. Carla Bagley Apr 30 2013 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    I could I live without clone???

  106. Janelle Apr 30 2013 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Levels. Definitely.

  107. Tara Dal Maso Apr 30 2013 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    I just got my first dslr and I’m not super familiar with post processing….yet:)

  108. Jennifer Apr 30 2013 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    My favorite tool would be selecting the ‘best’ photos in Lightroom. It makes the whole process much easier! Aside from that, curves/levels.

  109. heather Apr 30 2013 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    clone tool

  110. Chasity weeks Apr 30 2013 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Heal or clone tool. Love it for teens. 🙂

  111. Pamela Apr 30 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    I absolutely love the clone tool….I have used it on everything from cleaning up sticky faces, to cloning out distractions from the background. So handy!

  112. angela jackson Apr 30 2013 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Favorite tools would be cloning and color boost. Cloning is awesome for cleaning up and removing blemishes. Color burst gives the photo such character and pop!!!

  113. Leah M. Apr 30 2013 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Still new to some post processing, so I keep it simple for now. I love me some custom white balance!

  114. Dana Apr 30 2013 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Healing brush tool!

  115. Michael Bishop Apr 30 2013 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Clone tool

  116. Denise Hunter Apr 30 2013 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Clone tool!

  117. Angie Apr 30 2013 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    I am still learning all the wonderful items in Elements 11. So this was an awesome article for me to trip over! Thank you so much!

  118. sabrina Apr 30 2013 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    Mine would be the healing brush or the tone curve in lightroom!

  119. Danielle Apr 30 2013 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    Curves and levels. 🙂

  120. Carrie Ann Apr 30 2013 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    Love color boost

  121. Teresa Apr 30 2013 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    I love the clone tool, especially when working with children.

  122. Emily Apr 30 2013 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    The Clone Tool No doubt 🙂

  123. Kim Steele Apr 30 2013 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    White balance dropper!

  124. Mary Apr 30 2013 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Def the clone tool!

  125. Heather Marco Apr 30 2013 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Clone tool!

  126. Jessica Strode Apr 30 2013 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    I am a Huge fan of the clone tool and the healing brush. There are so many amazing things you can do with your images

  127. kari Apr 30 2013 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Love me some clone tool!

  128. Tanvvi Agarrwal Apr 30 2013 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    I have been using PSE 11 for over a yr and I love it. I don’t even use photoshop anymore. Love the Smart Brush & the Clone tool.

  129. Kathy P Apr 30 2013 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    Love the clone tool!

  130. CJ Olson Apr 30 2013 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Oh my favorite tool is definitely the cloning but also the levels & curves. Just those little touches help make the picture pop so much! 🙂

  131. Jess Terry Apr 30 2013 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    I absolutely can’t live with put my level adjustments and color boost tool! Nothing says perfect like photos that POP like corn 🙂

  132. Mickisha Apr 30 2013 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    My favorite tool these days is levels!

  133. Around Apr 30 2013 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    I’m going to have to give another vote to the ever popular clone!

  134. Jo Apr 30 2013 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    The clone tool for sure!

  135. A Drew Apr 30 2013 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    I am super new too but I love color boost

  136. Gladys Apr 30 2013 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    Healing brush is my favorite.

  137. April C. May 01 2013 at 12:08 am - Reply

    I love the clone tool! It was the very first tool I learned when I started editing my photos.

  138. Andrea May 01 2013 at 12:29 am - Reply

    Clone tool! And curves lol

  139. Angie May 01 2013 at 12:50 am - Reply

    Clone!

  140. Monica May 01 2013 at 12:54 am - Reply

    Clone!

  141. Pam Noland May 01 2013 at 1:04 am - Reply

    I have soooo much to learn… thanks for the info! My fav so far is the clone.

  142. Sabrina Akers May 01 2013 at 1:14 am - Reply

    Clone for sure!!

  143. Rachel May 01 2013 at 1:45 am - Reply

    Clone tool all the way!

  144. colie May 01 2013 at 3:16 am - Reply

    HSL sliders (i know that isn’t in elements but it is my favorite).

  145. Lisa Wells May 01 2013 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Clone and burn…just learning about the cloning, but I use the burn tool a lot! 🙂

  146. KimG May 01 2013 at 5:24 am - Reply

    I loved PSE (and still recommend for those on a budget!) I do love instead of the burn tool…adding a layer that is 50% gray then changing its blend mode to overlay. That way I can add black (burn) or white (dodge) and it is totally adjustable/editable/blurrable with gaussian blur and such and don’t touch my original pixel layers. Then I can just lower opacity, add a mask (add a layer in PSE filled with white and control-g the dodge/burn layer to it to add a mask in PSE or at least older versions.) PSE is truly a wonderful program that can do 80% of what PS can do. I just love content aware and the patch tool too much to give up my CS5!!!

  147. Dana Vastano May 01 2013 at 7:52 am - Reply

    The “soft light” blending tool- I duplicate my layer and apply soft light blending to it- gives it such a pop of color and clarity!

  148. Jennifer Oberheim May 01 2013 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Can’t live without the healing tool! Or the dodge/burn tools…do I REALLY have to choose!?!?

  149. Chavi May 01 2013 at 10:05 am - Reply

    Multiple, adjustable layers. Not exactly a tool, but couldn’t live without it.

  150. Daniela May 01 2013 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Great article, I will be coming back to it!

    I love PSE, two of my favorite tools are the gradient map to start a B&W conversion and the soft light blending mode for layers to add contrast.

  151. Lola May 01 2013 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Use all the time the healing tool and filters such as gaussian blur

  152. Christine Wright May 01 2013 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    My favorite post-processing “tool” is a high-pass filter to define the eyes and shadow details.

  153. Michelle May 01 2013 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Burning and dodging… and layers…

  154. Ellen K May 01 2013 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    The clone tool, probably! 🙂

  155. Kathy May 03 2013 at 8:24 am - Reply

    LR4 and exposure white balance sliders

  156. Jessica Reischel May 04 2013 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    You are so great Melissa!! You make it all look so easy!! 😉

  157. Regina Jun 09 2013 at 10:21 am - Reply

    I have to admit that layers intimidate me. Is there a PSE workshop that you or anyone else recommends?

  158. Laura Aug 28 2014 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I really don’t know how to use any of them very well would be adding tones!

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