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Editing Photos With The Adjustment Panel: An Intro

by Steph on 26 February 2013
in Photoshop CS+,Tutorials Pin this scrappy stuff!

In Photoshop CS4 and later versions, there is a fun little panel called the Adjustments Panel. It makes editing photos quick and easy. It places pretty much everything you may want to do in one easy panel. If you don’t have your adjustments panel showing, you can easily find it by going to your menu bar and clicking windows->adjustments. Note- you must have a picture open to actually see the adjustment options. If you open the panel with out a picture open, it will be empty. That threw me for a loop for a moment :) When you get your panel open, it will look something like this-

You can hover over each of the icons to see what they do, but in a nutshell {left to right top to bottom} they are- Brightness and Contrast, Levels, Curves, Exposure, Vibrance, Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, Black and White, Photo Filter, Channel Mixer, Invert, Posterize, Threshold, Gradient Map, and Selective Color. That’s a lot isn’t it? Don’t worry, I’ll explain them in more depth in the following weeks. Today, is just an intro.

Lets try it out, shall we? Here is the picture we are going to play with. I clicked on the  Brightness/Contrast icon first. As you can see, it brings up sliders for me to adjust my photo to my liking. Just play around until you like what you see. Notice the 2 circles at the bottom- The first one circling the arrow. When you are done with what ever setting you are in and ready to go back to the adjustment panel, just click this arrow. And the second circle, the arrow in a circle. If you want to restore your original image, click this arrow. This will rest the adjustment layer you were just editing. If you have other adjustment layers already on your photo, it will not effect them.

Now, if you are a little bit shy about playing with the settings yourself, photoshop also has handy presets for you. Just click on the arrow next to the setting you want {I clicked Levels} and a few choices will drop down for you to choose from.

And one of my favorite things about the adjustment panel is the it puts each adjustment on a separate layer. So easy to edit or delete later. And your original photo is unchanged. That is until you flatten and save it!

Well there you have it. An into to a very fun panel. I hope to have more in depth tuts on each feature in the weeks to come!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 ScrappyMama 26 February 2013 at 4:07 pm

This looks interesting, but, it’s different than in PSE (at least as far as I can tell!)…can you also do some tutorials on how to do these in PSE? I especially like how it keeps each adjustment on a different layer. Thanks!!


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