Why Use Layers?
First, you are probably wondering exactly what layers are. Layers allow you to break up your image into editable elements, including separating the background from the foreground. Layers also have another major advantage: they do not mess up your original image. If you do not like the way something looks, you simply delete the layer, reverting to your original image.
About Photoshop Layers
Now that you know what layers are, it is time to start using them. When you create a layer, it shows up in your Layers palette. In the Layers palette, you will see different icons around your layers. If you see an eye icon next to hit, then it means that the layer is visible. You
can click the eye to make the layer invisible. If you see an icon that looks like a lock it means that layer is locked and not editable.
You will also see icons beneath the Layers palette. The icon that looks like a folded piece of paper allows you to create a new, standard layer. The icon that looks like a Ying/Yang symbol creates an adjustment or fill layer. If you want to delete a layer, click on the garbage can.
You can create different types of layers in Photoshop Elements. One type of layer is the “Blending Modes” layer. This layer adds special color effects to your photograph, including combing colors over your original photograph. To use this layer, follow the below steps:
1. Go to your Layer palette, and select the standard new layer icon.
2. Change your background and foreground colors. You are going to apply a gradient to your image so select colors that you want to use for this gradient.
3. Select the Blending Modes option in your dialog box.
4. Change the Blending Modes settings from Normal to Overlay.
Now, you’re original image will look very different.
If you work with many images, then you are probably going to want to make a duplicate layer at some point in time. Usually, you do this because you want to experiment with your layer, but you do not want to mess up the original layer. To create a duplicate layer, follow the below directions:
1. Go into your Layers palette, and right click on the layer that you want to make a duplicate of.
2. In the dropdown menu that appears, scroll down until you see Duplicate Layer.
3. Select the options that you want to use for your duplicate layer, and then press OK.
You can do a lot more with Photoshop layers than just these two things, but these steps will help you get started.
Image Source: Writer