The beginner guide to using Layer Masks

If you use Adobe Photoshop, you work with different layers that include adjustments or other images to make a combined composition and let them blend together. But not all these layers should show everywhere and often you don’t want them to be as strong on one place as in other areas of the canvas. This is what masks are for: to give you control over the opacity of specific areas of a layer.

First select the right layer you want to make a mask for. Then press the button in the bottom right corner of your photoshop panels and there will appear a white field next to your layer.

It’s funny to notice that a lot of people think of me as a photoshop guru because of my graduation project. But even though I really enjoy playing around with images, I can still feel like a complete rookie when I’m exploring the many, many features of the Adobe programs. At the time of creating my ‘fake holiday photos‘, I didn’t even knew what a ‘mask’ was, which will come as a total shocker to the ones that know even a little bit about Photoshop. I’ve come a long way since then, but there is still so much to learn that I decided I want to start studying to become an Adobe Certified Expert. This would mean I have to know every detail there is to know and more. Knowledge is power! And I want to become the most powerful photoshop wizard out there! Or at least make myself count with the professionals and turn the fake fame – or whatever it is – into something worthy.


To show you the basics of what this essential Photoshop tool can do, I made a geometric nature artwork inspired by Victoria Siemer. Below I will explain step by step how I came to this result.


1.Select your background layer and duplicate it by pressing cmd+J


2. Use the elliptical marquee tool to select a circle (or a rectangle or square, whatever you like best)

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