Creating Adjustment Layers
Another nice feature in Photoshop Elements 13 is Adjustment layers. An Adjustment layer is a layer that lets you apply color and tonal adjustments to all layers below it without affecting the actual pixels in those layers. Adjustment layers have the same Opacity and Blending mode settings as an Image layer, but unlike an Image layer, the changes you make apply to all the layers below it.
- Open a photo that has multiple layers in the Photo Editor.
- Click the Expert mode.
- Click the layer you want the Adjustment layer to be above.
- If you want to focus on just an object in the image, select it. Selection techniques are covered in Chapter 9.
Click the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button.
Choose one of the eight layer enhancement commands for an Adjustments layer.
Levels—The Levels window lets you adjust the shadows and highlights in an image or selection. Click the Channel menu to set the channel. Click and drag the three sliders to adjust the shadows, middle tones, and highlights. Adjust the Output levels of black and white by dragging either of the two sliders. Click the Close button to apply the enhancement and close the window.
Brightness/Contrast—This window lets you adjust brightness and contrast. It is best used on just a selection in the image. Click and drag the Brightness and the Contrast sliders to enhance the image. You can also click in the number value box for each setting and type a number between 1 and 100. Click the Close button to apply the enhancement and close the window.
Hue/Saturation—This window lets you adjust the Hue/Saturation in an image. Click and drag the sliders for Hue, Saturation, and Lightness to adjust these settings, or click in the number value box and type a number between 1 and 100. Click the Colorize option to deselect this. Click the Close button to apply the enhancement and close the window.
Gradient map—Adjust a Gradient map with this window. See the topic “Creating a Gradient Fill Layer” in this chapter for instructions on how to use this enhancement. Click the Close button to apply the enhancement and close the window.
Photo Filter—Adjust a Photo Filter enhancement. Click the Filter menu and choose a filter. Click the Color option and choose a color for the filter. Click the Density slider and adjust the density of the color filter by dragging left and right. Click Preserve Luminosity to deselect this option.
Invert—this enhancement does not have any settings and is immediately applied to the image.
Threshold—Adjust the color threshold by clicking and dragging the Threshold slider. You can also click in the number value box and type a number between 1 and 255.
- Posterize—Use this window to set the posterization in the image. Click the Levels slider to adjust this enhancement. You can also click in the number value box and type a number between 1 and 255.
- All the Enhancement windows have common buttons. Click this to apply to all layers below.
- Click this to turn on or off the layer visibility.
- Click Reset to reset the enhancement settings to the default settings.
- Click this to access a menu of commands specific to the selected Enhancement panel.
- Click the Close button in the Enhancement window to close the window and apply the enhancement.
You can access any Adjustment layer enhancement settings again by double-clicking the Enhancement thumbnail in the layer.