You can use adjustment layers to do all kinds of experimenting and not one pixel will be damaged. There are ways to do this and they are not time consuming or difficult to learn.
Sometimes you may use Photoshop to do some magic pixel manipulation but other times you may just want to make a few small changes.
What about the times when you just want to make a minor change to an image’s color balance? Maybe you have had occasion to tweak a contrast balance to achieve a print that is more pleasing to look at.
You can do this by learning how to take control over the way in which you adjust the image. It’s a good thing to be able to try various things in the adjustment department while being able to go back and retrace your steps if you encounter a problem. Smart layering allows you the ability to do these things.
As you may already know, undoing steps is not difficult. You use the [Ctrl]/[Command]+[Z] and can move back through stored history using [Shift]+[Ctrl]+[Z].
You can also use adjustment layers to do this and you will also be able to have instant access to the original file in its untouched state. Adjustment layers give you the opportunity to make changes to a single layer without changing any of the pixels on the layer itself.
This is such a great way to work because you don’t have to be concerned about altering the image permanently. When you find that you want to undo an adjustment layer you can simply drag it to the trash can that is located in the Layer palette. Another way to undo an adjustment layer is to turn it off using the eye icon.
When you want to add an adjustment layer quickly, the best way to do it is to click on the shortcut option that is located at the foot of the Layers palette. You can also go to the Layer>New Adjustment Layer in the main menu.
If you use the Lasso Tool when making a selection on your original layer, any adjustment layers you design will only affect the selected area. A mask protects the unselected parts of an image on each new adjustment layer.
You can build your image adjustments effectively and slowly if you combine the effects of multiple adjustment layers. You also have the option of turning them off and on when you are ready to fine-tune the overall effect.
Use the thumbnail icons to quickly identify your adjustment layers. These thumbnail icons are attached to the corresponding layer and they are labeled so you can see which layer applies which effect.
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