Results tagged “layers”

Photoshop Layers 4

Layer Masks, one of my favourite tricks is to duplicate a layer, make some changes to it, whether it be colour contrast b&w, or some other effect I want to, apply to the image then add a layer mask and brush in any differences I want to see applied to the image.

Using a black and white image on top of the other is one of the most common, but intensifying colour using curves or levels is one of my favourites. Again this approach in non-destructive, and infinitely un-doable, while the layers are unflattened.

Lastly the Text Layer, which is relatively self explanatory, I hope? Handy for adding a copyright watermark to your image I guess?

Photoshop Layers 3

Today, I'm going to look breifly at how I use adjustment layers.

From Photoshop's help files:-

An adjustment layer applies color and tonal adjustments to your image without permanently changing pixel values. For example, rather than making a Levels or Curves adjustment directly to your image, you can create a Levels or Curves adjustment layer. The color and tone adjustments are stored in the adjustment layer and apply to all the layers below it. You can discard your changes and restore the original image at any time.

As a small aside you can now access an extensive set of help files on the web directly from the help applicaiton in photoshop.

The key issue here for me is the ability to make and adjustment to say colour balance density or saturation of an image and then brush through the mask to locally adjust the image to best suit my ideas and intentions in photograph.

This approach offers a degree of control unheard of in the history of colour photography. Combined with a desktop inkjet printer like the Epson R2400, I now have a complete home colour darkroom. And of course, again, no pixels are destroyed in the process.

adjustment layers

Photoshop Layers 2

Yesterday, I talked about 4 kinds of layers. The first in my list was just a Layer, an empty one. As an artist with a training in wet darkroom processes and the production of photographic prints as objects, I actually have little use for many of photoshop's features, this layer does however have a fantastic use. If I fill it with 50% grey, and change it's blending mode to soft-light, this enables me to burn & dodge an image in a NON-DESTRUCTIVE manner as I would in a wet darkroom.

I've never quite understood HOW¶ this works, but it's power, simplicity elegance, and infinite un-doability makes it a must have trick in my bag of photographic darkroom tricks.

Then using either a) a paintbrush and black or white at low opacities, or the burning & dodging tools again at low opacities, in photoshop you can totally re-map the tonality of your image shifting emphasis on areas in a way that painters have understood for 100's of years.

The real beauty of this is if applied subtly there will be no obvious artefacts creeping into your image and even if they do, they can be wound back by using the opposite colour to change, not to mention that no pixels are edited directly in the image thereby non are destroyed and no issues such as banding creep into you prints†.

colour picker 50%
¶Many of the blending modes remain a mystery to me, and as photographic tools there are only really a couple that I would use regularly, this being one of them.
† All of these articles will be written from a paper output approach, as when producing screen based work I rarely make modifications to my images, due to the great unknown which is monitor calibration, and monitor colour spaces.


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