Wait… What… Snapshots?  Photoshop is not a camera!

There is nothing more annoying than downloading a new Action for Photoshop and realizing that it is downright destructive!  It flattens your image, throws out all that hard work, and runs its course ruining your history palette with unnecessary steps.  Before you know it, you can’t go back, you forgot to save your work before the Action, and now you are left with an undesirable effect and hours of work lost.

Okay, I know that was one over dramatized example of why it is important to know what snapshots are, but these things happen and can be avoided with Snapshots.  Photoshop is not a camera.  It cannot take a picture of anything.  It can, however, make a carbon copy of your image and all the work you are doing on it in the layers palette.

There is a little-known tool in the History palette that lets you take a snapshot of your progress.  Certainly, every step in your History palette is kind of like a snapshot, but the actual snapshot button allows you to make a copy of your image and the layers palette right in the History window.   So, if your history states are set to a low amount (like the default 20) you cannot go back to any steps before the current 20.  If you make a snapshot, you can!

The crazy thing is, you are already working with Snapshots right now, you just may not realize it.  By default, every image you open in Photoshop is loaded with a snapshot.  Have you ever done a bunch of work on a photo, realized you didn’t like it and clicked the top most layer in the history palette?  That is a snapshot!

Snapshots in Photoshop 2

In this tutorial, I will show you how to make snapshots as you work, so you don’t lose your progress.  There are many advantages to using this tool and using it often.  You can even set it up so that every time you save your image, it creates a snapshot!  How cool is that!

Let’s get into it!


Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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