Flipping an image in Photoshop

There are times when you may want to flip an image,  in order to give the viewers eye a more natural journey through the frame. This can be done in seconds in Photohsop, so I'm going to quickly show you how to do this today.

This is my original image after I had finished editing.  As you can see there is a strong diagonal line through the image from the tyre swing, and I wanted this line to go the other way by flipping the image horizontally.

Why? Because your eye "reads" a photo from left to right, in the same way that we read text.  It also tends to read strong lines first. So, in this original image, the eye follows the strong diagonal from the bottom left and follows it out of the frame on the top right.  Obviously, it would be preferable for the eye not to be lead out of the frame in an image, so flipping it would allow the eye to run into the main focal point of the image (so from top left to bottom right) It's a small detail, but easy to change so it's worth the two extra seconds it takes.

It's so simple to do. You either need to do this at the start of the editing process - before you have any layers - or at the end of your edit after flattening all the layers.

With the background layer selected in your layer's palette, go to


It will come up saying Layer 0 - Click OK (You can change the name of this layer if you prefer)

Now go to:


That's it - your image is now flipped and looks like this......

A simple change, but worth doing to some images for different reasons so good to have in your editing arsenal! 


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. It seems like a small detail but your explanation on how your eye reads an image is super important.

PJ Greetings said...

Great photo and tip!

Post a Comment