If you've used Photoshop for any length of time, you've no doubt used layers; they're such a key feature of the software. In fact, if you're doing anything other than simple photo retouching, layers are pretty much essential.
The beauty of layers is that you can work on different parts of your image independently; if you draw on one layer, the other layers in your image remain untouched. This means you can easily try out different ideas (and easily scrap them if you don't like them!).
Layers offer you a great deal of flexibility when it comes to creating your images. If you don't like the position of a logo, for example, simply drag it to a new position — if it's on its own layer, then it'll move on its own, without disturbing the rest of the image.
You can also use layers artistically. For example, layer blending modes give you a wealth of composition tricks that you can use to really make your images come to life, while adjustment layers allow you to make tonal adjustments to your images without altering the underlying pixels.
Learn more about layer blending modes in Chapter 7.
In this chapter, you look at the history of layers in Photoshop and explore key concepts such as the Layers palette and transparency. Each of the basic layer types is explained, and some of the uses and applications of layers are discussed. Finally, we finish off with a simple example to help cement the concepts that are introduced.
A good way ...