Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Editing, Photography

What I Am Working On: Lots of Layers

I have a small Canon Powershot that is a bit older and doesn’t work as well as it once did. One of the situations where I still find myself using it is outings on rainy days. So, it is the camera I had with me on a visit to Blenheim Palace:

ISO 200 f/2.7 1/125sec 4.3mm

I liked the rain on the window and the table and chairs just waiting to be used. When I shot this photo though, I thought that I would really like to see it in black and white. So, that is what I have created:

ISO 200 f/2.7 1/125sec 4.3mm

Now while I was sure I wanted to make a black and white version, what I wasn’t settled on in advance was what type and style, would it be stark or dreamy? tint or not? Because I was very aware of my indecision, I made my various edits on different layers. This image has five layers: 1. Basic edits including luminance and sharpening. 2. The crop. 3. A black and white filter. 4. My custom vintage look filter. 5. Vignette.

I think a fair question, particularly if you are new to using layers, would be why bother putting things on separate layers? Two reasons, first it makes single effects easier to control. I could tweak the vignette confident I wasn’t disturbing the other edits for example. The second reason is that when you are working with layers, each layer has it’s own eyeball icon, making it easy to hide the effect of the layer. That makes it easy to compare your edit with different combinations of edits applied. For example, once I had applied layer 4, I could turn off layer 3 and see how I liked the edit that way. So, the short answer is flexibility, that is what working with multiple layers get you.

An additional tip? Name your layers. In Luminar 3 you do that by double-clicking the text and typing in what you would like. In this case, layer 3 was called “B&W” and layer 4 “Custom vintage”. Doing this helps you keep straight what edits are on what layer.

Your questions and comments are welcome below.


Added to Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge, Table & Chairs.