cause confusion and uncertainty in the mind of a new scrapbook digital
tell that poor soul to add a new elements layer!
Once you understand them, however, your digital imaging
projects will go to a whole new level.
I understand the confusion because I was a newbie once and layers were
a complete and
utter mystery to me.
of layers as sheets of acetate stacked one on top of
the other above your image (take a look at the picture in the right
column). Making adjustments on the layer
above the original image means the original is not being modified but
appearance is changing.
can have as many layers as you wish so don't be stingy with them.
If you are burning or dodging an image don't do it all on one
layer - add additional layers for different items and give each layer a
name so you can find it if you need it.
So what are the values of working on Scrapbook Layers?
What Good Are Scrapbook Layers
In actual fact learning how to use layers is a joyous journey and there
are some very good reasons why you should learn everything you can
When you are working on Elements layers you are not working on the
image and that is generally a good thing.
for instance, you are doing some adjustments on a valuable image and
being a good digital imager you are saving regularly. The
comes when you realize you have gone too far and want to get back to
the starting point only to discover - to your horror - that you were
working on the original image and it is the only one you have of that
subject and now it is headed for the trash.
That will not happen if you were working on a layer!
For Saving Time
will come a time when you are retouching an image and
everything is perfect except for one little area. If you were
regularly adding new layers (and naming them) it is easy to locate the
offending area and eliminate that particular layer.
If, on the
other hand, you completed hours of work on a single layer and realized
something was amiss - well - out goes the layer and you get to start
all over again.
Of an Adjustment
The opacity of each layer can be lowered making it easy to decrease the
effect of an adjustment.
Layers can be turned off and back on to see the results of an
adjustment you have made. This is very useful.
If you don't like what you see then modify the adjustment or throw out
the layer and start again!
Scrapbookers who use Photoshop Elements for their projects really need
to understand Layers. Creating a scrapbook page on a single
with all of the different bits and pieces that are part of the page is
next to impossible.
Layers are poweful, versatile and not terribly difficult to learn and
The Layer Palette
This is where you control everything to do with Elements layers.
just a tiny little thing, really but it is so useful.
Create New Layer
Create New Adjustment Layer
Background Layer (original image)
Copy Of Background
Now for an explanation of the palette ...
is the create New Layer
is the drop-down New
Adjustment Layer. These will be covered
in greater depth later.
is the Trash
where layers go to disappear forever.
are the different layer locks.
is the Blend Mode
drop-down manu. They will be covered in
greater depth later.
is the Opacity
of the layer. It defaults at 100% and
the opacity can be lowered to lessen the effect of an
is the Backgound layer
which is the original image loaded into
Elements. It is locked unless it is double clicked and given
a new name.
is a Copy of the
Background. It is a good idea to make a copy so the
original image is untouched.
is a Basic Layer.
Along the left side are the Layer
Visibility icons. When the
eyeball is open then the modifications made on the layer is visible in
the overal image. When it is X'd out then modifications are
not visible. They are turned off and on by left clicking on
Well thats OK if you are because learning often has
to move through confusion because if you don't know anything about a
subject then you can't be confused!
And always remember ...
Elements Layers Are Our Friends!
The next section will look at a few applications of simple layers ...
Simple Scrapbook Layers Examples
manipulation is the
starting point to
understanding how to use this powerful feature of Photoshop Elements.
Clicking on the thumbnail will take you to a thorough discussion of
Layers are useful because they let you add components to
an image and work on them one at a time, without permanently changing
your original image.
For each layer, you can adjust color and brightness,
apply special effects, reposition layer content, specify opacity
and blending values, and so on. You can also rearrange the stacking
order, link layers to work on them simultaneously, and create web