Using the History Brush Effectively

Info media photography : The History Brush is a Photoshop tool that is often used as an alternative to a Layer Mask, but it is also a quick way to create multiple versions of your image. Here’s how.
In this image of a vase with flowers, I am going to alter the overall color by changing the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness (HSL). First, I will go to Window>Image>Hue Saturation Lightness (HSL) in the Menu bar and move the Hue, Saturation and Lightness sliders until I get a nice blue color.
Select Hue Saturation and Lightness to alter overall color.
Select Hue Saturation and Lightness to alter overall color.
Adjust the sliders to create a blue image by moving the Hue slider to the left and adjusting Saturation and Lightness as needed.
Notice that the History Palette (left of image) has recorded this change. Now I will make a change to the image by painting true color back into it. To do this, I will use the History Brush which is located in the Tool Bar.
Next, I will adjust the History Brush edge feather by using the Drop Down palette in the upper left corner of the Task Bar at the top of my window where I can use the slider to reduce the hardness to the softest level by bringing the slider to the far left. I can also adjust the size of my brush by pressing the Left Bracket Key (to reduce) and Right Bracket Key (to increase).
In the History Palette, I will click in the small box at the left of the full color layer shown at the top of the palette. It is important to click this box because it tells the History Brush to pull pixel information from this layer. Now I can begin painting.
Select the check box next to the Image in the layer at the top of the History Brush.

Notice how the History Palette records this activity. Every time I stop and start, the History Palette records each action individually. This allows me to undo and redo at will simply by turning each action on or off.
Paint with the History Brush in the same way you paint with a brush. The true color of the image will replace the blue color.
After completing the painting of the flowers, I can make a snapshot of it by going to the History Palette and selecting Snapshot from the drop down menu. Now I have two versions of this image. I can select either one and my image will change accordingly.
I will make a third version by painting the vase at the bottom of the image. When I am done, I will make another snapshot which will display a third layer at the top of the History Palette.
I now have three versions of this image that I can access simply by selecting one of the layers in the History Palette. If I want to save any of these as a separate file, I can click the drop down menu at the upper right of the History Palette and select New Document. Once I do that, I immediately get a new file.
Create a separate document by using the drop down menu on the History Palette.

Notice that there are two tabs, one for each file.
Now I have two files open. I can save the second file with a different name or I can simply keep the original file with all three image versions. In this way, the History Palette becomes another way to edit an image and maintain multiple versions. I do not need to create adjustment layers or layer masks. While this is an advantage for some images, it is also modifying the original image and increasing its file size. For that reason, it is a good technique for simple or minor changes. Try it and have fun.

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