Using Color Variations

The Color Variations window (Figure 12-11 ) is very appealing to many Elements beginners, because it gives you a visual clue about what to do to fix the color in your photo. You just click the little preview thumbnail that shows the color balance you like best, and Elements applies the necessary change to make your photo look like the thumbnail.

However, Color Variations has some pretty severe limitations, most notably, the microscopic size of the thumbnails. It's very hard to see accurately what you're doing, and even newcomers can usually get better results in Quick Fix (Chapter 11 ).

Still, Color Variations is useful for those times when you know something's not quite right with your photo's color but you can't figure out exactly what to do about it. And since it's adjustable, Color Variations is good for when you do know what you want but want to make only the tiniest sliver of a difference to the color of your photo.

Figure 12-11. Most of the time, you're better off using the Quick Fix window (Chapter 11 ) to make the kinds of changes you can make with Color Variations. But this dialog box is handy because it previews all your choices. In this case, Increase Blue was applied. The After photo is bluer than you'd probably really want it to be. If that happens to you, click Reset and move the slider to the left a bit before you try again.

Figure 12-11. Most of the time, you're better off using the Quick Fix window (Chapter 11 ) to make the kinds of changes you can make with Color Variations. But this dialog box is handy because it previews all your choices. In this case, Increase Blue was applied. The After photo is bluer than you'd probably really want it to be. If that happens to you, click Reset and move the slider to the left a bit before you try again.

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