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Beginners Guide to Layers & Layer Masks in Photoshop

A beginners guide for new photographers wanting to understand Photoshop layers and layer masks.

Understanding Layers & Layer Masks in Photoshop

If you are new to Photoshop, then you are in the right place! Understanding layers & layer masks in Photoshop are one of the first things the master to start feeling more comfortable and confident working with the program.

Watch the tutorial below for the easiest and straightforward explanations for working with layers in Photoshop.

What is An Adjustment Layer?

An adjustment layer is a layer that you work from inside of Photoshop that will target a specific edit you’d like to make. Layers are non destructive, meaning that if you make a mistake, or don’t like the way your last particular editing step looked, you can easily remove it and it will not effect the original.

What is A Layer Mask?

The layer mask is a small box that will appear right next to any layer. The mask will either help you”hide” or “reveal” different parts of the edit you just made by brushing them “on” or “off” . I know it sounds a little tricky and confusing, but trust me, once you get the hang of it, so many parts of Photoshop will start coming together! (Make sure you watch the above tutorial to see layers and masks in action)

What Can I Create with Adjustment Layers & Masks?

Really, just about anything! (well, once you learn more and more about the program…) Layers can help you adjust brightness or darkness, create contrast, create new color tones, make black and white images…and so much more. Plus by utilizing masks, you can target certain parts of your image with the edits you want to make!

Why is this important?

So much in Photoshop revolves around Layers and Masks. Photoshop is a program that can become very overwhelming if you try to learn it all or take on too much at once. Layers and masks are one of the very first things to try to understand and master. It will make learning some of the more advanced techniques seem less difficult and give you more confidence when learning more about the program.

Make sure to watch the above tutorial (it’s under 10 minutes!) to really understand how to work with layer and masks. And make sure give yourself the time to learn and grow with the program. Photoshop really is so much fun when once you learn it!

If this tutorial helped you, make sure to let me know! I am over on Instagram @cozyclicks, so make sure to leave me a comment or tag me in one of your pictures where you used layers and masks!

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Understanding layers and layer masks inside of Photoshop.  A beginners guide to understanding what a layer and mask is inside of Photoshop.  Become clear about learning Photoshop when you understand working with layers and layer masks.
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