As you begin to work with more and more layers, you might want to control the way that your Adjustment layers affect different layers. For example, currently the bridge layer is selected. If I had a Curves Adjustment layer in order to color correct this, and I'll do that by clicking on the gray point eyedropper and then clicking in the area that I think should be neutral, everything below this layer is now adjusted. So not only was this top image adjustment, but the Adjustment layer went down through the Layers panel and adjusted the broom layer as well as the detail layer here at the bottom.
The best way to prevent this would be to click this first icon, which would restrict the Adjustment layer to only affect the layer directly below it. As soon as I select this, you can see now that the Curves Adjustment layer is only affecting the bridge. But what if I want this Adjustment layer to affect both the bridge and the broom? The way I would solve that is I would unclip the curve for now, so we can go to layer and then choose Release Clipping Mask or use the keyboard shortcut, Cmd+Opt+G. Then I will take the bridge and the broom layer and I'm going to put them both in the same group.
I'll do that by using Cmd+G. Now that the two photos are in a group, I can select the Curves Adjustment layer and go back to Layer menu and choose Create Clipping Mask. The shorter way to do this would be to position your cursor in between the Group and the Adjustment layer and hold down the Option key or the Alt key until you see this changed cursor. As soon as I see this icon, if I click the Curves Adjustment layer will automatically be clipped to Group 1.
Now we can see that this adjustment is only affecting the two photographs that are within the group and it's not affecting the detail layer on the background. So there you have it, a quick way to limit an adjustment layer's effect on one or more layers in a single document.
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