Here’s a Beginner’s Guide to Working with Layers in Photoshop (VIDEO)

Today’s tutorial is intended for those new to using Layers in Photoshop for more effective image enhancement. This simple guide also provides great tips for more experienced Photoshop users looking for a quick refresher on taking advantage of this powerful tool.

Colin Smith, founder of Photoshop Café, is a popular instructor known for easy-to-follow advice on processing images in Lightroom and Photoshop. His goal is to help photographers better enjoy digital imaging software and arrive at superior images.

In the 17-minute video below Smith reviews the basic of the Layers panel, and demonstrates how to add layers and change the stacking order. He also explains how to adjust opacity, and merge various layers, and more. Best yet, his step-by-step guide proceeds at a beginner’s pace so it’s very easy to follow.

Smith begins the lesson with a cartoon image comprising four layers—a background and three additional layers. You’ll see how to “show” or “hide” various layers while working on an image. Here, Smith hides the top three layers to begin with the background.

As the tutorial progresses, Smith demonstrates how easy it is to select, move, scale, and apply filters to objects on various layers within the image. You can also rearrange the order of various layers, simply by dragging on their icons in the Layers panel.

There are a lot more tips, including keyboard shortcuts, in this very helpful video, so be sure to take a look. You can find more editing advice on Smith’s YouTube channel.