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Adjustment Layers in Photoshop, the ultimate guide

How to use Adjustment Layers in Photoshop CC

When it comes to making your images look good, there are 2 places to go, Adjusment Layers and Camera Raw plugin.

This tutorial explains exactly what Adjustment Layers are, why you should use them and it’s sprinkled with a healthy does of tips and practical examples. Get ready to grow in your Photoshop knowledge.


Learn exactly how Adjustment Layers work in Photoshop in 4 steps that are packed with little-known tips and tricks. Your photos are going to look amazing. This is the ultimate guide to the heart of Photoshop. Colin Smith will show you:

4 classes of Photoshop Adjustment Layers
3 Benefits of Adjustment Layers over everything else
Masks, Blending Modes and advanced blending
Extending Adjustment Layer functionality to regular Adjustments


Tutorial on Curves here

► Download Layer Blending Modes e-book:


Thanks for checking it out!


PS Don’t forget to follow us on Social Media for more tips.. (I've been posting some fun Instagram and Facebook Stories lately)
You can get my free Layer Blending modes ebook along with dozens of exclusive Photoshop Goodies here photoshop goodies for free

35 responses to “Adjustment Layers in Photoshop, the ultimate guide”

  1. Loved your tutorials on Curves and Adjustment layers. I never knew you could use adjustment layers the way and I am going to try it. I am practically self taught in Photoshop but after seeing your tutorials my interest was exacerbated and all my work have improved so intensely.

  2. Thank you Colin for your tutorials. I am a beginner and I appreciate your videos! From San Diego, California.

  3. I appreciate your tutorial Colin and look forward to trying them out – especially the shadows – might be a big help for some of my real estate photography. Thanks for the e-book! I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Come and see our Balloon Fiesta in October.

  4. Thanks Colin, even though I’ve been using Photoshop for years, I never cease to be impressed by the things I’ve learnt through your tutorials. Cheers from Melbourne Australia

  5. You give the most understandable tuts that I have watched!!! Please keep them coming from Vancouver, WA. Thanks a million!

  6. Hi Colin!! I’m from Adelaide, Sth Australia, Australia. I thoroughly enjoy ur tips on Photoshop and am eagly wanting to try them out, thankx very much

  7. Great tutorial, Colin.
    “You raised the curtain” in photoshop for me, I finally understood “adjustmenst layers”.
    Thank you very much Colin!
    I’m from Alba Iulia, Romania.

  8. Great stuff. I use your tutorials and videos as teaching references for my high school PhotoShop class.

  9. Again you explain the processes so that is easier to experiment without fear. I’m from Moore Oklahoma (Ground zero for tornadoes, starting this afternoon)

  10. Thanks for the tutuorials Colin. These are greatly appreciated. You open up so many hidden doors in photoshop and explain them so well. I’m from St Andrews, Manitoba, Canada

  11. I like the way you explain things. simple and easy. Thanks for sharing you knowledge.
    Stroudsburg, Pa.

  12. Excellent tutorial–enjoy learning from watching your videos. Greetings from Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Come over to our neck of the woods to do some shooting in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

  13. Virtually self taught in Photoshop largely using your tutorials, they are excellent, currently from Phu Quoi Vietnam

  14. Hi Colin, I’m from Australia and a subscriber to all your tutorials. This has been another great tutorial like all of yours. I have a question about a special effect. I would like to show you a picture of the sort of effect I’m talking about. Where is the best place to send you an image and show you which effect I mean? I have virtually done all your free tutorials and haven’t found one similar to what I was after as yet, so would like to ask you about it. Where can I email you?

    By the way, I’m a primary (your elementary) teacher in a school here. I sent a grant and received licenses for some of the photoshop elements premium application to teach small groups of my upper primary students. Years 6 and 7. I thought “elements” may be a better starting point for them.

  15. Hi Colon,
    I have a love/hate relationship with photoshop. I love learning and working in Photoshop, but I hate how much I seem to forget! I’m glad I can go to you website to check out what to do again.
    Thank you for your easy-going, clear presentations.
    I’m from the beautiful Central Coast (about 1hr north of Sydney), Australia

  16. Hi Colin. Writing this from Sheffield, UK.
    Thanks for ‘Adjustment Layers’ another great tutorial. Learnt so much in such a short time.
    Never miss viewing a tutorial.
    Can I ask you? Is possible that you could add written instructions to more of your video tutorials.
    At 72 going on 73 my memory is not what it was.
    Keep up the great work.

    • Yes, my goal is to have written steps for ALL of them. I just haven’t had time to do the newest ones, it takes a lot of time. I tried to get someone to help, but it didn’t work out.

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