Dark Side of the Lens

Adjustment Layers

Another in the series of video tutorials on layers in Elements 6, this time on “Adjustment Layers”.

There are several different types of adjustment layer, such as levels or hue & saturation. In this tutorial I demonstrate the use of an adjustment layer, using a hue & saturation adjustment layer as an example.

Don’t get too hung up on understanding the hue & saturation aspects of this tutorial, it is the use of the layer that is important here. I’ll be covering the hue & saturation settings, as well as the other adjustment layer types, in the future.

I have supplied you a copy of the photo that I use in this tutorial, so you can follow step by step if you so desire, but do have a go with your own photos and let me know how you get on.




10 Responses to “Adjustment Layers”

  1. Holly Says:

    I am very thankful for your website. It is very user friendly and beneficial to those in need of tutorials- like myself. : ) Thank you for taking the time to publish your site on the web for newbies to use!

  2. Candy Says:

    wow!! I needed this a year ago when I was just starting out but you have just made it all so clear!! Thank you!

  3. Natator Says:

    Thanks for the great feedback, it really matters to me 🙂

    Hopefully life is about to settle down a little and I can get back into creating a heap more tutorials I already have planned.

    All the best


  4. Kathy Says:

    Thanks for your tutorials. I am just getting started after having PSE 6 since March. Just a comment, the sound, especially on this video is very soft even with my sound up to the highest. Quite difficult to watch video with my ear right up close. Is it just my computer??? Anyway, I have learnt so much watching your tutorials. Thanks again. Looking forward to more!

  5. Natator Says:

    Hi Kathy

    I basically record the audio so it is approximately the right volume when you listen to your computer at a standard sort of volume.

    For instance, if my computer is set to a comfy level for listening to system sounds, or even MP3’s (assuming you are just listening quietly to them rather than trying to blow your neighbour’s socks off) then the volume should be about right.

    However …

    Many audio/video players have their own internal volume control that is separate to the actual volume on your computer. For instance I could listen to system sounds at a normal volume but have some music playing quietly in the background.

    These players usually have a volume slider somewhere on their interface.

    I suspect that the slider for whatever you are viewing the videos with is set low if general system sounds are a good volume.

    See if you can find a slider and put it up. If you can’t find it then please let me know what software you are using to play the video on and I can investigaten it further.

    If you are using Quicktime the slider (on my version at least) are to the left of the start/stop buttons. It is usually denoted by the picture of a little speaker.

    If other people have this problem then please let me know.



  6. Kjell Says:

    Thanks a lot!
    Exactly what I needed; your tutorials have certainly made things clear to me in a way that is fast and very easy to understand.
    Again; thank you very much!

  7. Mo Says:

    Hi Simon,
    I recently came across your tutorials and I do appreciate your generosity in sharing your knowledge and expertise. Thank you kindly for taking the time to have this learning opportunity available to the audience of the World Wide Web! I would like to ask for more “Tuts” since the quality of your vidoes is superb!
    Peace and Art!

  8. Preem Palver Says:

    As a complete newbie to Photoshop Elements 6 I found this website and the tutorial videos an absolute Godsend. I actually first found them via Natator’s posts on YouTube so thanks are due there as well. The tutorial videos are excellent in both quality and content and I have had great fun playing with my own photo’s over the past couple of days. However I do have a question. When I am working on a photo I can open a second one, cut or copy a part of that second one, paste it into the first as a new layer and then add an adjustment layer without any problems. I can then use the Black and White brush to add or remove bits as I like. I can then paste another image as a new layer but if I add another adjustment layer I cannot make any changes. I am sure I have put the 3rd image and adjustment layer in correctly, put the adjustment layer above the 3rd image layer and joined them together with Alt and Click on the join etc, in exactly the same way as the 2nd image and its adjustment layer. What am I doing wrong or missing? Any help or guidance will be much appreciated. Thanks.

  9. Natator Says:

    Hi Preem, and thank you for the very kind words 🙂

    I am not sure if I ever tried this with a third layer, using this method, so I just went and had a go and for me it worked perfectly. Admittedly I was using Elements 7 but I really doubt this functionality has changed between these versions.

    So, what I did was ……

    Followed the tutorial so I have (from bottom to top) the bottom layer, then the adjustment layer, and that adjustment layer is linked to the final layer, namely the other picture layer.

    You have it all working up till that point I believe.

    All I then did was this, and in this exact order:

    1) Pasted the new photo so I have a new layer. This layer is now the top of all three.

    2) Added the new adjustment layer and moved it so it is the layer BELOW the new photo layer.

    3) Linked the new adjustment layer to the new photo layer.

    4) Clicked on the mask part of the adjustment layer and then painted black.

    Is there something you are doing slightly differently?

    Remember as well that if you make an area of the top layer invisible, and the middle layer is also invisible at that point, then you’ll see right through to the bottom layer.

    If you still can’t get it working try this ….

    Do the whole exercise again but rather than photos use solid colour layers of very different colours. Add the adjustment layers etc, Then it is sometimes easier to see if the technique is working.

    Let us know how you go please.



  10. Stacey Coveney Says:

    Naturally, what a good internet site and informative posts, I’ll add backlink – bookmark this website? Regards,

Leave a Reply