Photoshop and layers?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by InTheViewFinder, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. InTheViewFinder

    InTheViewFinder TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure if this topic belongs in this forum:The Beginners Place, but I do have a question about layers in photoshop.

    Well where do I begin I'm very much confused on layers itself in photoshop. I don't really understand how they work and what they are used for. I've experimented on layers on photos, but I think that just got me more confused.

    I do know that you can use selective coloring, but I don't know how to do that either. Thats about the only thing I know that they are used for.

    So can anyone explain what and how (etc) layers are used on a photo and photoshop? I would appreciate the help.
     
  2. InTheViewFinder

    InTheViewFinder TPF Noob!

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    Should I post this question in the Digital Discussion & Q&A?
     
  3. gmarquez

    gmarquez TPF Noob!

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    Think of layers as layers of glass...some layers of glass have images on them (from your photos), and some layers of glass are filters, that change the look of the images.

    One of the most important reason for layers is that they allow you to modify and tweak an image without really modifying it past the point of getting it back. If you don't like the direction your image enhancement is going, just turn off the offending layer (piece of glass with an image on it, or a glass filter), and see if you can get a better effect with a new layer.

    Suppose that you have a photo that would look better if certain parts were lightened (shadows), and other parts had more contrast to them. Applying one global "effect" to the entire picture would not get the photo to look as good as you know it could...you want certain parts to be lightened, and other parts to have more contrast. One way to do this is to use two adjustment layers, one for the "brightening" effect and one for the "contrast" effect. You use the adjustment layers' "masks" to SELECTIVELY apply either brightening, contrast, or both to areas of the photo. You can then mess with the brightness sliders and the contrast sliders to see what value of each makes for the best photo...all the while you are not permanently messing with/destroying the actual pixels of the original image.
     
  4. InTheViewFinder

    InTheViewFinder TPF Noob!

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    Thank you! That really helps me out a lot.
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  6. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    You can make selections and copy the selection to a new layer so you can work on an individual part of an image without affecting the rest. You can change the opacity of a layer so that you can merge layers together (seeing a bit of tow or more).

    There's a whole book on photoshop layers that is very good and there's a million links on the use of these.

    Check out this site. Read about blending modes (a way of blending layers over others), selections and masks http://www.ronbigelow.com/articles/articles.htm

    and check out this too.

    http://www.photoshopcafe.com/tutorials/layers/intro.htm
     
  7. InTheViewFinder

    InTheViewFinder TPF Noob!

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    Thank you Mike_E and Eos_JD you have been very helpful.
     
  8. wherediputit

    wherediputit TPF Noob!

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    I agree with all the others explanations, and just in case it wasn't mentioned in any of the links, a tip I learned from my photoshop teacher last quarter, is that if you are going to edit a picture, duplicate the background layer before doing anything, that way you don't inadvertently alter the base layer and not be able to get it back (if you did too many steps).
     
  9. Keith Gebhardt

    Keith Gebhardt TPF Noob!

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    layers in photoshop is a major key role in any graphic design, or a simple edit. everything you do in photoshop must consist in a layer.. making it simple for if you screw up, doesnt screw up all your work. every little thing you do to your photos, add a new layer. the eye logo is for hiding or showing the layer. so if you wanna add an effect then add another one, hide it to see what it looks like while creating it. then show both to see the final result. thats the basics of layers.

    But as others posted tutorials.. learn them. Layers are a major roll in photoshop.
     
  10. InTheViewFinder

    InTheViewFinder TPF Noob!

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    Thank you wherediputit and Keith Gebhardt.
     
  11. NikonD40x@Denver

    NikonD40x@Denver TPF Noob!

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    If that ever happens just close the picture and do not save changes
     
  12. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    If editing an original image you should always save as another name just in case you save over it.

    But if the above does happen, actually all you have to do is go to the history pallet, scroll to the top and click the top image (snapshot). When you open an image the first snapshot is always the opening state of the image. No matter the number of amendments you make you can get back to the start by clicking this.

    You can also add snapshots of various states of the image too as you go along.
     

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