Layers are exactly what they sound like. They are images or effects overlaid on top of one another. Image drawing on several sheets of plastic and then stacking them together. These sheets of plastic can be either clear, opaque, or anywhere in-between. These layers can also hold part of an image or a whole image. By stacking these layers together we can create exacting adjustments to our images, combine multiple images, or create new images.
Using layers has several advantages over making adjustments directly to an original image.
- Temporary Edits
By using layers you can make adjustments without changing the data of the layer underneath. This allows you to make multiple changes without having to start over each time an edit does turn out like you had intended.
- Avoid Data Loss
Each time you change your image through adjustments or other edits, a small amount of data can be lost. By using layers, your original image is protected from corruption (just remember to use "save as" and not "save"). When you save the image with layers the edits are combined before permanently applying to your file so as to minimize any data loss.
- Specific Point Editing
By using layers you can select just one part of an image using masks (or by deleting the unwanted part on just one layer). This allows you to edit foregrounds, subjects, and backgrounds separately.
- Quick Edits to Multiple Images
By copying your editing layers to other images you can quickly make adjustments to large numbers of images.