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Layers-an extremely basic question - Adobe Photoshop Elements

Okay, I'm reading my photoshop elements for Dummies book and I stilll have a question about layers....not a good sign! Are layers used only when editing several pictures together to make an entirely new image, or can they also be used to work on an existing photo to make improvements? For example: I am workin on restoring an old photgraph where I would like to improve the looks of the sky. I am able to do this with the cloning stamps, but I was wondering if I could in some way isolate the entire sky from the other images so ...

  1. #1

    Default Layers-an extremely basic question

    Okay, I'm reading my photoshop elements for Dummies book and I stilll have a question about layers....not a good sign!

    Are layers used only when editing several pictures together to make an entirely new image, or can they also be used to work on an existing photo to make improvements?

    For example: I am workin on restoring an old photgraph where I would like to improve the looks of the sky. I am able to do this with the cloning stamps, but I was wondering if I could in some way isolate the entire sky from the other images so that I could work on it and not worry about messing up the other object such as the people in the foreground.

    I don't want to add clouds, or fish, or anything else from another photograph. I just want to remove the ugly parts and stick it all back together to look exactly like the original only nicer.

    Any help on this matter will be greatly appreciated,

    Kelli
    kelli hayden Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Layers-an extremely basic question

    Kelli,

    In fact, you're encouraged to use layers for several reasons : not to mess
    up with the original, to be able to remove what ever you made and don't
    like, to add elements (no pun!) to a picture, to adjust it, etc. The
    reasons are unlimited :)

    To correct your sky, several techniques : first, select the sky with the
    Magic Wand. If the sky is visible through trees, uncheck "contiguous" if
    you wish for a quicker way to select it all. Then, Layer / New Layer /
    Layer Via Copy. This will create a new layer, on top of your picture. Now,
    what improvement would you like to add to your sky? Tone correction? If
    so, create a new adjustment layer (either Hue / Saturation or Brighness /
    Contrast) and group it with this new layer. So, if you don't like the
    result, you can delete the adjustment layer and still have a layer with the
    sky only on it!

    Ray


    Ray Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Layers-an extremely basic question

    Kelli: Layers are definitely your answer! You'll learn how to select
    (using any of several tools) the sky, then put a copy of it on a separate
    layer to work on or replace or just improve the contrast and brightness -
    possibilities are nearly endless. Virtually every picture I take winds up
    being edited, and almost all of them end up with some layer or another to
    perform that editing. Keep reading and keep asking questions here - you're
    on the right track!

    Chuck


    Chuck Snyder Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Layers-an extremely basic question

    OK, fellows and girls, let me jump into this thread with a very simple (I guess) question. If you go to this page, <http://www.palms-california.us/Map2.html> , you will see a black-and-white map with yellow shading.

    Knowing nothing about layers, I took a yellow highlighter to the paper original, shaded it and copied the whole blamed thing. Simple and effective.

    Of course, now I want to change the boundaries of the shading, and I want to do the whole thing the “Photoshop” way, which means, I guess, that I need two layers, the b&w and the yellow on top.

    How do I do that? And, as an aside, what should I name the layers. I think there are automatically named “0” and “1,” aren’t they?

    Any help or instructions would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh, yes, in what form should I save the image when it is done? And should I be working on a copy or on the original? What format should I scan it in?

    Thanks, folks.

    George
    George Garrigues Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Layers-an extremely basic question

    Thank you to everyone who replied regarding my question on layers. I had to be away from my computer for a couple of weeks so I was unable to thank you all any sooner. I'm anxious to try all of the suggestions.

    Kelli
    kelli hayden Guest

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