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Advanced Adjustment Tips & Tricks in Adobe Photoshop

Lesson 11 of 13

Expanding Non-Destructive Options

Ben Willmore

Advanced Adjustment Tips & Tricks in Adobe Photoshop

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

11. Expanding Non-Destructive Options
Learn of an alternative method for applying adjustments non-destructively so you can do so using choices that are not available as adjustment layers.

Lesson Info

Expanding Non-Destructive Options

you may have noticed that some adjustments are not available as adjustment layers and you may like to use adjustment layers for just about everything you do because they're nondestructive. There are things that you can always turn off throw away later on. They're not going to permanently change your picture. Well, let me show you how to get a few other adjustments that are not available as adjustment layers and still apply them in a non destructive fashion. If you were to go down here to the adjustment layer, pop up menu. Not all of the adjustments that are available in Photoshop are found in this menu. If you instead go up here to the image menu and choose adjustments, you're going to find this list is longer. Well, if we compare those two and I've done that by making a screenshot, you're going to find that there are the same at the beginning. All those top choices. The left side is the normal adjustment the image adjustments menu and the right is the adjustment layer menu but down he...

re for some reason, shadows and highlights, hdr toning and some others are not available. How can I get more of these to be applied in a non destructive fashion. Also there are certain things that are not found here like using camera raw. Well here's how you can get a few more available instead of using an adjustment layer. Go to the filter menu and you're going to find a choice called convert for smart filters if you use that and click OK in your layers panel, you'll be able to tell you've done it because there's gonna be an icon in the lower right corner of the layer. When it's done in that little icon is going to tell you this is a smart object. Now it's a little different. Instead of doing adjustment layers, I can come down here and just apply normal adjustments and I can also use things like shadow and highlight an HDR toning which is not usually available as an adjustment layer. And if I were to come in here and apply some of these, I just want my amount my tone to be a little lower click OK. What happens is they'll be attached to that layer as an accessory down here. It's not an adjustment layer but it is nondestructive. You can always turn off the eyeball to turn it off, you can drag it to the trash to make it no longer applies or if you want to change the settings, just double click on the name here in the layers panel and it will bring up that adjustment once again. And not only can you apply things from the image adjustments menu, you can also go over here to the filter menu and there you'll find the camera filter and so therefore you can apply it in the same fashion. And when you click OK, It's just going to stack them one on top of the other. But that's an alternative method for adjusting an image in a non destructive fashion it was to first go to the filter menu and there was a choice of convert for smart filters. This one's already been converted so it's no longer needed. And then you can go to the image menu and choose adjustments to get to your adjustments, and you can also go to the filter menu to do your camera raw filter. Now, the other choices that are in here of de saturate, that's the exact same thing, is doing a human saturation adjustment layer in lowering the saturation all the way down. So you don't really need the choice available here. The choice called replaced color is the same. The one called replace color is the same as going to the select menu in using the choice called color range. And after you get a selection out of it, you go to human saturation to adjust what you have and therefore you don't have to do it here. You can just use those two features

Class Description


  • Precisely match the color of two objects
  • Change black objects to any color.
  • Add drama to dull overcast skies.
  • Apply multiple adjustments in a single adjustment layer.
  • Utilize uncommon settings such as Knockout.


Are you looking to up your adjustment skills so you can be more effective and efficient by utilizing a wider range of advanced features? Do you run into features in Photoshop that you do not utilize such as Knockout Deep, Knockout Shallow, Pass Through mode and wonder how you could utilize them? Then this class is for you.

Ben has been pushing Photoshop to its limits for over 30 years. Learn his best tips and tricks for getting the most out of Photoshop’s adjustments.

You’ll be able to tackle a much wider range of challenges once you expand the range of features you use on a daily basis. You’ll also reduce guesswork while increasing the precision of your adjustments.


  • People who are generally experienced using Photoshop, but want to push their skills to a more advanced level.
  • Those who want to tackle difficult tasks efficiently.
  • People who want to understand the more powerful and less commonly used features in Photoshop.


Adobe Photoshop 2021 (V22.5.0)


As a photographer, Ben Willmore has shot in all 50 states and explored over 80 countries. He has been pushing Photoshop and Lightroom Classic to their limits since the beginning. Ben is part of a select group of non-employees that Adobe trusts with pre-release beta versions of their software so he can have a voice in the future direction of their software. He has written more than a dozen books on digital imaging that have been translated into 9 languages, has written over 100 articles for major magazines, and was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame. He has been a featured speaker at events on all seven continents where he has taught well over 100,000 people.

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Alicia Orth

I've been using Photoshop for years and still learned lots of great tips from this class. Would love to see more classes like this.

Eric Johnson

Terrific - lots of great information. Way to go Ben!

Marco Basile

Really enjoyed how succinct and sharp the presentation was. Great information I hadn't seen elsewhere. Thank you Ben.