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One of the fundamental principles of non-destructive editing inside of Adobe Photoshop are adjustment layers. Adjustment layers can give you the freedom to experiment and test different adjustments without damaging your original files. Over here on my image, I have a mobile device shot that I want to change the color of my screen. I'm going to do it two ways. The first way I'm going to go through and do it with an adjustment layer, and the second way I'm going to do it using a traditional layer and adjustment menu option. First, I'm going to take a selection of my screen, and come over to my adjustments panel and activate hue saturation adjustments.
And that's going to give me my hue saturation adjustment layer I can adjust my hue, and this is all non-destructive. I can turn the visibility on and off. I can even reset this or trash this if I don't like the effect. So that non-destructive element is the first bonus that I get by doing this. The second feature that I like is my file size. If I look down below on the lower left corner of my screen. I will see that my document size is 50.2 megabytes; but the new file size is only 53.2, so it didn't add a whole lot of file size to this.
Now, let's try this the traditional way. By duplicating the layer and running an adjustment menu. So I am going to take my background layer, drag it to my new layer icon to create my copy. Then I'm going to go to Image > Adjustments > Hue Saturation. And I'm going to do the exact same saturation and hue settings that I had before. So that looks pretty good, I'll hit OK. Now I want to mask this out, so I don't affect the rest of the image. So again I'll take a selection of the screen. And at the bottom of my Layers panel, I'll click Add Layer Mask.
So I end up with the same effects I had before. Same and destructive capability with the visibility or destroying the layer if I need to. But down below, I have a completely different file size. My original file size was 50.2 megabytes. The new file size is more than double that at 106.5 megabytes. So the file savings alone is a really great reason to use adjustment layers when working non destructively
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