Hi and welcome back.

Click any image to enlarge.

With the end of the year here, this is a good time to run a series of posts on Photoshop.  In particular, working in Layers.

Working with the layers palette is easy, really easy, and yet so many of us struggle with this powerful tool in Photoshop.  Now I use Photoshop CS3, but the tips I give you should cross over to most versions of the program.

So let’s begin: First, bring an image into Photoshop and duplicate the background layer.  To do this, use the keystroke command of CTRL and the letter J (PC), or Command and the letter J (MAC).  Or click on the image in the layers palette and drag and drop it over the new layer icon circled in red.

Second: Click on the half black, half white icon to bring up the layers that are available to you.

Third: Once you click this icon, the palette will come up and you can choose the layer to use.  This image needs a boost in saturation.  Choose the saturation layer and a separate layer will come up.

Fourth: Now with the saturation layer, I can boost saturation up a bit to add color.   The difference is dramatic immediately.

Fifth: Now if I’m finished with my image I need to save it.  If I choose to keep the layers active to add or delete later on, I’ll save the image as a PSD, but if I’m done and want to go on the web or print, I need to flatten or merge the layers.   Here, on the right side of the palette is a little triangle, click the triangle and choose Merge Visible or Flatten image.

Sixth: Once the image is merged or flattened, save it as a jpeg and you are ready to go.  Here’s the almost final image.

On tomorrow’s post, I’ll show you how to use a layer mask to add effects to one part of an image and not the other.

Layers is one of the most powerful tools in Photoshop.  You never touch the original image and if you make a mistake or don’t like the edit, just delete the layer.

That’s it for now.  Till next time, happy Photoshopping!