Photo editing basics: working with layers

Learn how to use layers in your favourite image editor to improve your photos and add sophisticated effects.

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<h2>The Magic of Adjustment Layers </h2><br><br>In this instance, choose <i>Levels</i> and click <i>OK</i> on the New Layer dialog box. You should see the Levels control, which you can manipulate to improve the exposure of you photo. <br><br>Adjust the white point, black point, and gamma to your taste. For help, read "[[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/112302/digital_focus_punch_up_photos_with_the_histogram.html|Punch Up Photos With the Histogram|Punch Up Photos With the Histogram]]" and "[[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/135259/perfect_photos_every_time.html|Perfect Photos Every Time|Perfect Photos Every Time]]." When you're satisfied with the results, click <i>OK</i>. If this were a single-layer photo, you'd be done at this point; anything that you did to the levels would be baked into the original image. But that's where the magic of layers becomes evident: Our various manipulations so far haven't affected the original photo at all. As a result, you can now blend the original photo with the adjustment layer by using the Opacity control. Click <i>Opacity</i> in the Levels Palette and back off from 100 percent; when you reach a combination of the two levels that you like, stop.

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Photo editing basics: working with layers

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