After you evaluate an image, and then decide (say) to dodge it, then burn it, and then make the cigarette butts disappear from its floor, do each of those edits in its own layer. That way you can delete layers whose edits just didn't do the job, without affecting other image-editing layers.
Here's the fast way to create an editing layer:
a. Create a new layer.
Press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E or ^+Shift+Option+E on a Mac to merge a copy of all visible layers into a new target layer. (Run out of fingers yet?)
By combining all the previous layers into the new layer, you're essentially merging all the adjustment layers and other edits you've made so far. Press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E (^+Shift+Option+E on a Mac) to combine the previous layers into your new editing layer.
b. Give the layer a proper name.
For example, if you're creating a new layer to use the Healing Brush to remove spots on your image, give the layer a descriptive name (such as "Healing Brush Edits"). After you create the layer, double-click the layer name in the Layers palette, and type in a new name like the example shown in Figure 11-3.
If you use the Merge Visible command (LayersOMerge Visible), you wind up flattening all the visible layers into one layer. That's not a good idea if you want to preserve all your changes in separate layers. Instead of using the Merge Visible command, press Shift+ Ctrl+Alt+E (Shift+^+ Option+E on a Mac) to retain all the previous layers but to merge those layers into the one you just created. Now you're ready to make an edit!
After you've created your first editing layer and combined all the visible layers into that layer, you can simply duplicate the new layer for whatever new edit you want to perform next.
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