Inside Photoshop

Don’t destroy those pixels! Try these five non-destructive Photoshop techniques

Inside Photoshop

by Stephen Farnow

Your pixels never did anything to hurt you, did they? You, on the other hand, are likely roughing them up every time you enhance an image. Directly adjusting color, contrast, or focus-all staples of image digital enhancement-physically alters your original data (i.e., munches your pixels). Now you may not really care all that much about your pixels now, but you will when you realize you’d like a “do over” and they shrug and say, “so sorry.” Fortunately, Photoshop has a whole host of techniques that fall under the category of non-destructive editing or NDE. These techniques allow you to make all the changes you want without ever touching your original data, and you can always go back and do touch-ups later.

1. Don’t slack! Make sure you back up your file

The simplest start, of course, is to make a backup of your file before the pixel plundering process begins. We highly recommend this practice, irrespective of whether you follow the remaining suggestions in this article. Next, always duplicate your background layer by dragging it onto the Create A New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel before doing anything else. By preserving that background layer, your[…]


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