Use of adjustment layers

From this article, you will learn about the corrective layers.

As a rule, image processing rarely involves one corrective operation. Usually it is necessary to perform several actions. For example, first perform the correction using Curves, then adjust the Hue / Saturation, change the Brightness / Contrast, and so on. All these operations affect the image destructively, therefore several successively performed operations significantly degrade the image quality.

This can be avoided by using non-destructive editing with corrective layers. The adjustment layer does not directly affect the image pixels. The advantage of corrective layers is also the ability to adjust the parameters at any time. So, let’s take a closer look at how to apply adjustment layers to the image.
The adjustment layer can be created in several ways.

The first way is to choose in the menu Layer – New adjustment layer (Layer – New adjustment layer) and from the drop-down list select the desired one.

Use of adjustment layers

The second way: click on the icon at the bottom of the layers palette and select the desired one from the drop-down list.

Use of adjustment layers

I prefer the second method.
To change the adjustment layer settings at any time, you need to double click on its thumbnail in the layers palette. A dialog box opens, no different from the window of the corresponding command. For example, the figure shows the settings window for the Curves layer.

Use of adjustment layers

Note that when creating a correction layer, a mask is also created with it.

Use of adjustment layers

This allows selective editing of individual areas with different intensities, by creating and changing a mask (drawing on a mask, or creating masks based on selections or channels). For an example, sky color editing is shown. First, the sky is highlighted in any way, then the Curves adjustment layer is created. In this case, a mask is automatically created from the selection, which hides everything except the sky.

Attention! Foreground and background colors must be set by default before creating a correction layer by clicking D.

Use of adjustment layers

Then, changing the shape of the curves, achieve the desired color and contrast.

Use of adjustment layers

Use of adjustment layers

You can create several different adjustment layers.

Use of adjustment layers

Using masks and changing the opacity of the layers provides greater editing flexibility, which is unattainable when using the usual similar commands.
Since adjustment layers are normal layers (with some limitations), many actions apply to them. For example, you can achieve complex effects by changing the blending modes of adjustment layers. You can also apply layer styles, use the Overlay if option (Blend if). You can combine adjustment layers into groups and perform operations on groups.

One more thing: in order to make the same correction of images taken under the same conditions, perform the correction of one of them with the necessary correction layers. Open the remaining images. Then select the adjustment layers and drag them to the desired images. Everything, correction is executed!

I wish you all creative success!
Author: Evgeny Kartashov

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