I'm creating a huge collage using photoshop and so my workspace is filled with images; however, I'm slowed down by having to search for the image in the layer window before I can select and move it and resize it. Is there any keystroke or shortcut to allow me to select an image if my mouse is over it? Or at least some way that when I select an image in the layer window, there's a highlight or something which shows me which image I've selected, rather than me having to move the image to see which one I've selected?
You can do what you just figured out, but a faster method is to enable auto select layer, that way you can click direclty over the object you want to select without having to look for it in the layers panel, if you also enable show transform controls you can resize tthem without having to invoke the transform command, so there's another time saver.
By scaling down and up smart objects you are not losing resolution AS LONG as you don't go beyond the original size of the image.