October 2009 Workshop - The Power of Layers

October 27, 2009 - This month, Bill presented a Photoshop workshop on “The Power of Layers”. This was the second time this presentation was given to the membership. Many members asked for a repeat to better grasp the importance and power of the use of layers in post processing their images. Bill covered the same material as last time with a few new items and tips as well. Example files that were used during the workshop were provided to those who attended and many followed along on their laptops during the presentation.
Bill’s presentation started with some Photoshop basics covering the pallets and basic tools used to access and manipulate layers. His presentation then continued with more basics explaining how layers are used as a virtual “stack of Slides” that the user then looks down through. He explained how depending on whether the layer is opaque or transparent and its position in the stack effects how the final image looks.

Besides the basic layers, there are “special” layers that can be used to modify an image with maximum flexibility and “re-do ability”. These special layers are called Adjustment Layers and they can perform transformations to you image without harming the underlying original data. Also these transformations can then be fine-tuned later as the post processing cycle continues. Examples demonstrated were the use Curves, Adjustments and Color Saturation. All these techniques could be done without the use of an adjustment layer, but then the changes would be permanent.

Bill also demonstrated how “layer masks” are an example of how layers can be used to really fine tune how adjustments can affect an image. By adding the layer mask between layers the adjustments can be made to only affect specific areas. This was demonstrated with and example of portrait retouching where the mask allowed aggressive sharpening to the eyes in the image without over sharpening the rest of the image.

The workshop was closed with a complex example file that used many different types of layers to build up resulting image. The example incorporated adjustment layers, text layers, layer masks and several other “layer” specific tricks and techniques. Bill answered many questions and helped several people with hands on help to better understand the concepts.

Share It

Login required to comment
Be the first to comment

Coming Up...




General Meeting


LPA Breakfast



PSA & S4C News

Get your S4C UEN here

My Account