Adjustment Layer Help


Active Member
IM scanning some old 35mm Slides into my PC, and would like to put a little "Modern" touch to them, eg de-saturate the background in this pic, its been a while since I did this sort of thing so if you folks could assist me,
I know I have to create an adjustment layer, then desaturate that layer or apply the effect Im looking for, I THINK I merged the two layers then ERASED the original background layer around the subject, hence leaving my desired area in Colour but on a B&W background.....but im a little unsure on how to go through the steps in CS8. Any advice is much appreciated, please forgive the quality of the picture, its not the final image yet....

There's really no need for anything that complicated...each 'adjustment' layer comes with its own mask so you can adjust the whole image to however de-saturated you want then paint on the MASK to revert those parts you want to keep as original.

Remember to SELECT the MASK before painting on it....then use a brush with black white or any greyscale colour value and paint away.


This example is done using Photoshop CS.

Adobe never released a CS8, CS6 was the last of the Creative Suite clan before Creative Cloud was introduced....or CC to its friends.

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Active Member
So I still need to create an adjustment layer, eg a saturation one, then do I select the "Use previous layer to create clippingmask option". Then what other steps do I have to do, sorry to be so nieve......
...So I still need to create an adjustment layer, eg a saturation one...
Yeah, a Hue Saturation layer will de-saturate the image if thats what you want to do.

...then do I select the "Use previous layer to create clipping mask option"...
You can if you want to although with only the one layer it isn't really necessary.

The 'Clipping Mask' means the adjustment layer affects ONLY the layer BELOW it....but having only one layer below it, it makes no odds in this case.

...Then what other steps do I have to do, sorry to be so nieve...
No worries.

To be honest you are better off adding an adjustment layer by clicking the 'Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer' icon at the bottom of the layers panel...its the 4th icon from the left and looks like a half black, half white circle. (Right above the time in your screenshot!)

Using this will skip the 'Clipping mask' option dialog, (Which you don't need anyway), and just add the adjustment layer directly above the currently selected layer....again in this case there is only one layer so it should be added above that. (You should really make a copy of the original layer but the method here is non-destructive anyway so the choice is yours on that one)

You should see the adjustment dialog automatically open in which you can adjust the 'Hue Saturation', (if that is the adjustment).

Once adjusted click OK to accept the changes.

Note the empty 'Layer Mask' next to the adjustment icon....the arrow in my image points to it.

The adjustment layer MUST be selected BEFORE painting on the mask, the mask will automatically be selected for painting on.

Now, with the 'Brush' tool, and a greyscale colour, paint on the mask. (Your image).

With BLACK you will HIDE the adjustment....effectively turning it back into colour.
With WHITE you will SHOW the adjustment....effectively turning it de-saturated, (Or whatever adjustment you do)

You now just need to paint in BLACK everything you DO NOT want adjusted. You can easily do this with any of the regular tools, paint brush, pencil, fill, make a 'selection' if you need to and fill it with black.....whatever method you choose.

All you have to remember is BLACK will HIDE the adjustment, WHITE will SHOW the adjustment...Check my image, you can clearly see that the black part of the MASK removes the adjustment in that area. (You can paint over the black in white to apply the adjustment again)

(You can also double click the adjustment icon to open the settings dialog again if you wish)

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