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The dynamic adjustment layer

From: Photoshop CC One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: The dynamic adjustment layer

In this movie, I'll show you how to apply Brightness Contrast as a Dynamic Adjustment layer. And I'm going to recommend that you use Adjustment layers for all your luminance adjustments, because you can always go back and modify the settings any time you like. I'm working inside Light butterfly.jpg, and you have a couple of different options for creating adjustment layers. One is to drop down to this little black white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and click on it. The Adjustment layer start with Brightness Contrast and end with selective color, and they represent most of the static adjustments you can apply inside Photoshop.

The dynamic adjustment layer

In this movie, I'll show you how to apply Brightness Contrast as a Dynamic Adjustment layer. And I'm going to recommend that you use Adjustment layers for all your luminance adjustments, because you can always go back and modify the settings any time you like. I'm working inside Light butterfly.jpg, and you have a couple of different options for creating adjustment layers. One is to drop down to this little black white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and click on it. The Adjustment layer start with Brightness Contrast and end with selective color, and they represent most of the static adjustments you can apply inside Photoshop.

There are a few commands we saw in the Adjust submenu that don't work as Adjustment layers. At the top here are three commands that allow you to apply Fill layers. They have nothing to do with luminance or color adjustment. The other way to work is to go up to the Window menu and choose the Adjustments command. And that brings up the Adjustments panel, which nowadays merely allows you to create adjustments. You don't edit adjustments here. And notice that each of the Adjustment layers is represented by an icon. You just hover over the icon to see the name of the adjustment. I'm going to go ahead and click on that first icon to create a Brightness Contrast layer.

Notice Photoshop creates a new layer in the Layers panel called Brightness/Contrast 1. Plus, it automatically brings up the new Properties panel which is where I can edit my settings. And by the way, if the panel's getting in the way of seeing your image, you can make it smaller if you like. If you've got all the screen real estate in the world, you can make the panel much larger, and that's going to give you more fine-tune control where the sliders are concerned. Anyway, I'm short on space, so I'm going to keep the panel small. I'll start things off by clicking on the Auto button in order to see what Photoshop comes up with. So you still have an Auto button here inside the Properties panel, and that is better, I suppose, but it's a little heavy-handed where the contrast is concerned.

What I'm going to do is dial down the brightness to about negative 45 should work. And then, I'm going to take contrast down as well to about 70, in order to achieve this result here. Again, you want to leave the Use Legacy checkbox off. When you're done, you can just click the double arrow icon to hide the Properties panel. Now, happily, this is an independent layer of luminence correction. And I can turn it on or off as I like. So, if I want to see the before version of the image, I'll turn off the layer. If I want to see the after version, I turn on the layer. And meanwhile, the original image is altogether unharmed. Whereas, if I take a look at what I did to the dark butterfly, which still looks very good, those pixels are permanently modified.

So, in other words, when you apply a static adjustment, that's tantamount to a destructive edit inside Photoshop. I don't mean I've destroyed my image. I mean, I've permanently modified it, whereas with an Adjustment layer, it's not only editable, but it's also dynamic and non-destructive. Now, of course, the advantage to the static modification is, I can go ahead and save my changes over the original image to the JPEG file format. Because after all, this is a flat image, and JPEG doesn't support layers.

That's also a disadvantage because it means you can easily save over your original, which is not something you necessarily want to do. The potential disadvantage with Light Butterfly with the Adjustment layer, is I have to save this as a native PSD document because it contains layers. But check out the size of the layered image. Down here in the lower left corner, you can see that the flat version of the image is 15.1 megabytes. And after the slash that the layered version of the image is also 15.1 megabytes because Adjustment layers consume just a few bytes of information. They are extremely small, they're extremely efficient, and they are highly desirable ways to correct images in Photoshop.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CC One-on-One: Fundamentals

102 video lessons · 21095 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 35m 44s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 51s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop on Windows 8 NEW
      6m 16s
    3. Opening from the Windows desktop on Windows 7 or earlier UPDATED
      5m 48s
    4. Opening from the Macintosh Finder UPDATED
      7m 10s
    5. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      3m 52s
    6. Opening through Camera Raw
      5m 11s
    7. Closing one image and closing all UPDATED
      5m 36s
  2. 52m 47s
    1. Navigating your image
      40s
    2. The dark vs. the light interface UPDATED
      6m 2s
    3. Navigating tabs and windows
      4m 32s
    4. Panels and workspaces
      6m 20s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      6m 22s
    6. Zooming continuously
      2m 43s
    7. Entering a custom zoom value
      2m 25s
    8. Scrolling and panning images
      2m 31s
    9. Rotating and resetting the view
      2m 11s
    10. Cycling between screen modes
      3m 10s
    11. Using the Navigator panel
      3m 38s
    12. Using Retina and HiDPI displays
      4m 3s
    13. Adjusting a few screen preferences UPDATED
      8m 10s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      6m 34s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 9s
    4. Common resolution standards
      4m 7s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      7m 59s
    6. Changing the print size
      8m 15s
    7. Downsampling for print
      5m 14s
    8. Downsampling for email
      6m 22s
    9. The interpolation settings
      6m 40s
    10. Downsampling advice
      5m 5s
    11. Upsampling advice
      4m 15s
  4. 53m 20s
    1. The layered composition
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing the Layers panel
      4m 12s
    3. Adding, scaling, and aligning layers
      5m 27s
    4. Dragging and dropping layers
      4m 36s
    5. Stack, reveal, and rename
      3m 1s
    6. Opacity, history, and blend mode
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating a selected portion of a layer
      5m 32s
    8. Applying a clipping mask
      3m 58s
    9. Blending inside a clipping mask
      4m 10s
    10. Finishing off your artwork
      3m 13s
    11. Creating a new layer and background
      4m 24s
    12. Layering tips and tricks
      7m 2s
  5. 26m 13s
    1. The art of the save
      54s
    2. Four things to know about saving UPDATED
      5m 59s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 34s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 40s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 32m 16s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      4m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      6m 29s
    4. Cropping to a specific ratio or size
      5m 57s
    5. Straightening a crooked image
      4m 44s
    6. Filling in missing details UPDATED
      6m 44s
    7. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 44m 51s
    1. First, there is brightness
      2m 12s
    2. How luminance works
      4m 18s
    3. The three Auto commands
      3m 27s
    4. Automatic brightness and contrast
      6m 5s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 4s
    7. Editing adjustment layers
      3m 52s
    8. Isolating an adjustment with a layer mask
      3m 31s
    9. Introducing the histogram
      4m 58s
    10. Measuring an adjustment
      3m 34s
    11. Using the Shadows/Highlights command
      6m 3s
  8. 44m 33s
    1. And second, there is color
      1m 31s
    2. Identifying a color cast UPDATED
      3m 34s
    3. Correcting a color cast automatically
      3m 57s
    4. Changing the color balance
      6m 10s
    5. Compensating with Photo Filter
      3m 11s
    6. Adjusting color intensity with Vibrance
      3m 29s
    7. Correcting color casts in Camera Raw
      5m 46s
    8. The Hue/Saturation command
      5m 26s
    9. Summoning colors where none exist
      4m 8s
    10. Making more color with Vibrance
      4m 27s
    11. Making a quick-and-dirty sepia tone
      2m 54s
  9. 55m 46s
    1. Making selective modifications
      1m 10s
    2. The geometric Marquee tools
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning one image element to another
      4m 59s
    4. The freeform Lasso tools
      3m 59s
    5. The Polygonal Lasso tool and Quick Mask
      5m 19s
    6. Cropping one selection inside another UPDATED
      6m 15s
    7. Creating rays of light
      4m 44s
    8. Quick Selection and Similar
      4m 11s
    9. Making it better with Refine Edge
      4m 56s
    10. Integrating image elements
      2m 39s
    11. Magic Wand and Grow
      5m 17s
    12. Refine, integrate, and complete
      6m 16s
  10. 53m 48s
    1. Your best face forward
      1m 0s
    2. Content-Aware Fill UPDATED
      6m 11s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    4. The more capable "standard" Healing Brush UPDATED
      5m 55s
    5. Meet the Clone Source panel
      3m 53s
    6. Caps Lock and Fade
      4m 57s
    7. The Dodge and Burn tools UPDATED
      5m 1s
    8. Adjusting color with the Brush tool UPDATED
      6m 35s
    9. Smoothing skin textures UPDATED
      5m 57s
    10. Brightening teeth
      4m 0s
    11. Intensifying eyes UPDATED
      4m 43s
  11. 49s
    1. Until next time UPDATED
      49s

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