i use layers all the time but it is in a mixing and blending context.  i
also have developed the rather odd habit of saving many, many different
versions on the desktop while i am doing things in either program and i
generally go to layers when i'm putting those images on top of one another
and combining.  when it comes to just doing color adjustments, i just tend
to do it the non-layer way.  i've never had a problem doing it this way.
remember though that i am a painter, collage maker and such though, not a
photographer.  thus, my personal work habits tend to be a bit messier and
sloppier than a photographer's.  i'm sure a photographer is a lot more
meticulous and technical straight across the board.  just look at the
difference one sees in their (former) studio environments.  "clean" artists
rarely get anything done whereas "clean" photographers are the norm.  i am
probably just a great deal more eccentric in the way i go about things than
the average person so one doesn't necessarily want to follow my "role
model".  generally, the messier the art form, the more i liked it too.


> I really cannot see any reason not to use layers - Flattening is such an
> easy
> but the benefits that come from using layers are so great that I would not
> see that as an obstacle. To not use layers seems IMHO rather like driving
> a
> car on a freeway whilst sticking to 30mph and choosing a low gear ratio.
> IF
> one is going to use sophisticated programs such as Gimp and photoshop then
> the additional effort of learning to use layers is trivial.
> As far as sharpening is concerned I agree with Carol.  I have only ever
> found
> sharpening to have a role  for low resolution images and then very rarely.
> It
> is a tool that is best forgotten in favor of developing higher basic
> skills.
> I would never sharpen (unless it is to achieve a specific artistic effect)
> on
> high resolution images but for these I always use raw at 16bit.
> Sharpening does not make a photographic image that was taken without being
> properly focused any sharper.. in fact when you carefully examine high
> resolution  prints that have been so-called "sharpened" one can see the
> traces of the sharpening process and these only serve to make the image
> appear a little "odd". If the image is not sharp to start with there is no
> digital process available that is going to replace poor technique at the
> capturing stage.
> My recomendation to students is if you think your photographic image needs
> sharpening then go back to basics.Use that image as
> a spur to re-examining your capturing technique.  Examine your camera
> handling methods. See whether anappropriate shtter/aperture had been used
> and
> whether the ability to hand hold a camera steady has been over-estimmated
> or
> whether a hand held shot has been attempted that needed a tripod. Using a
> hand held camera in inapproprate conditions is a recipe for disaster.
> Could
> you have changed the ISO?
> My two pennorth
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