The Ultimate Guide on How to Use Photoshop Layer Masks

Diving deep into Photoshop can seem daunting, but to suit both beginners and more experienced Photoshop users alike, Colin Smith from Photoshop Cafe has created a video covering useful tips and tricks on using layer masks to strengthen your Photoshop knowledge.

There's no doubt about it, Photoshop can appear complicated for anyone starting out in post-processing. There are so many different ways to use the extensive list of tools, but to break things down and start off with a very important part, Smith lays out the basics of layer masks, what they are, and just how powerful of a tool they can be to create an image that you otherwise wouldn't be able to. Even if you are an avid Photoshop user already, there's always something out there that you can learn or use to improve your current technique. If you're a beginner, it's good to understand the primary reason for the tool you are using, so you can build upon your knowledge step-by-step, instead of jumping straight into complicated techniques that you'll easily forget. The video is easy to follow with clear instructions and explanations, and you're bound to learn something new along the way, as it shows different ways of using masks, their features, and how to control them. 

Lead image by Ian Dooley, used under Creative Commons.

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Simon Patterson's picture

It's an excellent introduction to layer masks but I'm not sure calling it the "ultimate guide" on how to use layer masks is accurate. There might be one or two (hundred) other ways to use them!

Peter Gargiulo's picture

I use both Photoshop and Lightroom, usually for separate purposes. Photoshop for photo manipulation, compositing, etc. Lightroom for processing photos.