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Common Photo Editing Tools – Layers Explained

November 13, 2019


hello I’m Robin Whalley
welcome to lentcraft today we’re going to look at another of the common editing
tools that you find in many photo editors and that’s layers when we edit
an image we should make use of layers this is an important tool and it’s very
powerful it makes photo editing that much easier
unfortunately lots of people avoid using layers because they find them confusing
let’s look at an example in Photoshop to start with when you’re new to photoshop
it’s easy to fall into the habit of applying adjustments directly to the
image for example we can apply a curves contrast adjustment to this image you if you’re not sure how the curves are
just works try watching my previous video I
put the details in the video information below know we’ve applied the adjustment
if we think it’s too strong we can’t correct it our only option is to undo
and reapply the curve this means if we’ve made other
adjustments after the curves adjustment we also need to undo and redo those this
is time-consuming and it’s easy to make mistakes it’s also important to
understand that each adjustment we apply to an image degrades the quality of the
image slightly if you make lots of adjustments it’s very easy for quality
problems to arise the alternative and better approach is to apply adjustments
as a layer now if we add a curves adjustment layer to our image we can
continue to make changes to it even after we’ve applied subsequent
adjustments you this is much less damaging to the
quality of the image so you reduced the risk of introducing problems like
banding here we can see the original image together with the layers we’ve
added this is called the layer stack each layer in the layer stack has an
effect on the layer below it and creates the overall edited image if we hide a
layer by turning it off or on in the layer stack we hide the effect from the
image but layers also have other advantages
too you can attach a mask to a layer this allows you to control where the
layers effect is visible or hidden in the image you you can also adjust the opacity of the
layer to control how strong its effect is you and layers have something called a
blending mode attached to them which I’ll be covering in a later video one very useful way to use layers is to
combine different images into one this is called compositing in this example
I’ve got two versions of the same image one of these was deliberately over Expo
and it has a pink tint to it the other image was under expose when he was
captured and has a normal tent you can then apply a mask to one of the images
allowing you to hide it and allow the image below to show through you as I paint you can see the Heather
becoming lighter because the image below is starting to show through
in this way I can blend multiple exposures together into a single
realistic and more pleasing image once you’re familiar with this technique you
can use it to create all kinds of interesting images layers are important
because they help us to preserve image quality and make photo editing easy now
let’s look at how layers are used similarly in affinity photo just as in
Photoshop we have a layers studio panel showing the layers in the photo we’re
editing you just as before we can turn the layers on
and off to hide or display the effect there’s an opacity slider to control the
strength of the layers effect a layer mask to control where you see
the layers effect on the image you as well as each layer having once you know how to use layers in one
photo editor it becomes easy to translate that knowledge to others I
hope you found this video useful I’m Robin Whalley you’ve been watching
Lenscraft I’ll see you soon for another video

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