How to Save and Extract Layers from a Composite Image in Photoshop

Here’s a quick Photoshop trick in a 6-minute video by PiXimperfect that’s great for making composites. It allows you to save different layers, alongside any adjustment layers, into separate files.

All you need to do is select the layer in question and hit Ctrl + Shift + ‘ (for Mac, that’s Cmd + Shift + ‘). Once you’ve done that, a dialogue box will pop up to ask you where you want to save the layers.

Once confirmed, Photoshop will then burn the adjustment layers into the layers you are extracting, saving them as separate files that you can use at a later date.

This is ideal for photographers who might be making multiple composites that involve the same elements. Perhaps you have created the first composite, with the ideal adjustment layers applied, but need to swap in multiple backgrounds. This way you can extract and save different elements separately for use in other projects at a later date.