Weird, it was like Tim Grey from Lynda.com read my blog last week and made a video to answer all of my questions…well, maybe not all of my questions, but his tutorial definitely helped to alleviate some of the confusion swelling around Photoshop’s layers. Unlike some of the other readings and tutorials that have relied on a basic follow-along/do-as-I-do teaching strategy, Grey’s tutorial included explanation of what each of the layer tools was actually doing to his example images (darkening pixels, copying pixels) and why we might choose certain tools over others (i.e. the dust filter versus the spot-healing tool or a hard-brush versus a soft brush.) I feel much more comfortable using an application when I understand what it is doing rather than just what it can do, and so for my new appreciation for Photoshop and layers, I thank Tim Grey.
The readings and tutorials this week emphasized something else about layers- a point so obvious yet so easy to disregard- namely, the importance of naming and distinguishing layers. This seems especially significant to the historian (or art historian) who is likely to be managing older and more damaged photos and images. As we saw from the example photos on Lynda.com, certain images will undoubtedly require more “fixing” than others. While some may need an adjustment of hue/ saturation, some a removal of dust and blemishes, and others a cropping out or duplication of pixels, some may require the application of all of these corrections. In such instances, renaming layers so that they make sense and so that they are easily identifiable when future edits are necessary becomes even more important. Somehow, I feel like the Layer 1, Layer 2 defaults may not be incredibly useful when I find myself at the end of my project and in need of an edit to a single image element. Wait, where was that again?
I forgot that we read “The Case of the Inappropriate Alarm Clock” this week, which I loved. Luckily, April remembered, and included it in her post to which I commented.