Linear Burn

Like many of the Darken group of blending modes, Linear Burn also inspects each channel on the base and blend layers. It darkens the base color to reflect the blend color by decreasing the brightness. Because its neutral color is white, highlights in a Linear Burn blend layer have no effect on the underlying image. Linear Burn is similar to Color Burn in that both darken the base color to reflect the blend, so the effect Linear Burn creates depends on which color is on top. The difference is...

Pin Light

hough Pin Light, like Vivid Light and Linear Light, is a contrast-increasing blending mode, it behaves slightly differently. While you can use Pin Light for boosting contrast, because in effect Pin Light is a combination of the Darken and Lighten modes, it is more suited to creating special effects. Windows Alt+Shift+Z Mac Option+Shift+Z We can pass quickly over simple Pin Light self-blends, as applying them has no result Even if you apply Gaussian blur, there's little or no effect on the...

Normal and Dissolve

This chapter looks at blending modes in detail, so that when you reach the chapter on using blending modes for individual recipes (see page 62), you will have some contextual understanding of their effects. The first blending mode in this section is Normal, Photoshop's default blending mode. Dissolve offers more creative possibilities, which enables you to create grainy, mottled effects with your images. Windows Alt+Shift+N Mac Option+Shift+N Windows Alt+Shift+I Mac Option+Shift+I Photoshop's...

Soft Light

Photoshop describes the Soft Light blending mode as similar to shining a diffused spotlight onto the image. Like a softer version of Overlay and Hard Light, Soft Light belongs to the same contrast-increasing group of blending modes that have mid-gray as their neutral color. Essentially, Soft Light blending mode dodges the image if the blend color is lighter than 50 gray, and burns the image if the blend is darker. Deciding between these three modes is always a case of applying your judgment to...

Vivid Light and Linear Light

Uivid Light and Linear Light are two very similar blending modes, which is why I've chosen to include them here together. They are both contrast-increasing modes, but Vivid Light combines the effects of Color Burn and Color Dodge, while Linear Light combines the effects of Linear Burn and Linear Dodge. Windows Alt+Shift+V Mac Option+Shift+V Vivid Light is a contrast-increasing blending mode that combines the effects of Color Burn and Color Dodge If the blend color is darker than mid-gray, Vivid...

Ultrawide Sharpening

Here's an effect that started off with a blurred, inverted Color Dodge layer. Usually, this is a good base for a line drawing the degree of blur controls the lines' strength. But instead of using blur, I wanted to see the effect of applying the Unsharp Mask filter over a wide area that is, pushing up its radius slider. It took no time to repeat the process with Ctrl Cmd-F and discover that evenly toned areas could be bleached and the details could be fringed with...

Color

The Color blending mode is another variation of the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance group, and may be a little easier to understand intuitively than either Hue or Saturation. Color generates the output color by combining the base color's luminance and the blend color's hue and saturation. Its effect is stronger than Hue, and rather than tinting the image, Color colors it with the blend color. As with the other HSL modes, it has no neutral color. Windows Alt+Shift+C Mac Option+Shift+C The Color...

Y.

If the Hard Mix layer's opacity is too high, it dominates the result But this image also had a lot of drab midtones that appeared posterized if the Hard Mix layer was too transparent go opacity worked best here Q Q O Layers ' lt . -i Q Q O Layers ' lt . -i The final Hard Mix layer can be used to balance image contrast This photograph was taken in bright mid-morning light, and This building detail was shot on an overcast morning This the Hard Mix layer's opacity had to be set to under 50 recipe...

How Blending Modes Work

For many readers, it may be enough to work through the book, looking at the various blending modes and how they can be used effectively for a multitude of recipe combinations. That's absolutely fine. However, if you would like to know something more about how the blending modes work, this is the section for you. It is a survey of how blending modes are made and calculated and, unsurprisingly, it involves a little bit of math. But don't let that put you off I Photoshop's documentation usually...

Color Burn

Color Burn Blending

Self-blends and changing the opacity Color Burn is the third member of the Darken group of blending modes. It works by inspecting each channel and then darkens the base color to reflect the blend color by increasing the base color's contrast. So, applying the Color Burn blending mode to a layer makes the picture darker and increases contrast. Again, blending with white produces no change. Windows Alt Shift B Mac Option Shift B A simple Color Burn self-blend results in the darkening of all...

Water Droplets

T's easy to add the effect of water droplets. You don't need to sandwich your original with a stock photograph of droplets. Instead, make some water droplets of your own, and add steam or mist to simulate looking through a window or into a mirror. 1 In the Layers palette, duplicate the original layer by dragging the background layer onto the Create a new layer icon, or use Ctrl Cmd-J 2 Add a new layer using either the Create a new layer icon or the shortcut Ctrl Cmd-Shift-N and name Droplets 3...

Antique Photographs

Sometimes we want an image that is imperfect. I like to imitate the black spots that you can find on old black-and-white prints. These occur where there are dropouts silver grains that have dislodged from the negative which allow enlarger light to shine through. While we can apply a filter and add noise or grain, it's not easy to adjust it afterward. Varying the layer's opacity may vary the noise, but it isn't that all or nothing effect that you get from a damaged negative. Photoshop provides...

Tarnished Silver

Interesting things happen when you apply the Difference blending mode to an inverted copy of the base layer. Because Inversion turns white into black Difference's neutral color it leaves highlights and midtones unaffected, but reverses the shadows. This recipe takes advantage of these strange reversals. 1 In the Layers palette, duplicate the original image layer by dragging the background layer onto the Create a new layer icon, or use Ctrl Cmd-J 2 Using the pull-down blending mode menu in the...

Metallic Shadows

11 Hide the Shadows layer by clicking the eye in the Layers palette 12 Activate the background layer and Repeat steps 6 to g, but choose Midtones in the Color Range dialog, and name the new layer Midtones. Leave its blending mode set to Normal 13 Move the Midtones layer to the top of the layer stack Lock J B Fill 100 gt Q l In the Layers palette, duplicate the original image layer by dragging the background layer onto the Create a new layer icon, or use Ctrl Cmd-J 2 Using the pull-down blending...

Woodworm

've called this recipe Woodworm because that's what I was reminded of after I applied it to the image of the knight. The main ingredients are the Hard Mix and Pin Light blending modes and a couple of shots of Gaussian Blur. How much of each is up to you, but the two work closely together in this effect. On its own, Hard Mix reduces all pixels to one of eight colors, making a blocky image. But blurring the image creates larger areas of similarly colored pixels, which Hard Mix brutally shapes...

Emboss Sharpening

Always examine sharpening results at 100 . Every digital image needs some level of sharpening before it's printed, saved to the Web, or output to its ultimate use. Many sharpening techniques exist, from Photoshop's Unsharp Mask USM , edge-sharpening variations where the USM filter is applied in Lab mode, plug-ins, and countless actions. As for which is best, there's probably no right answer and it's better to add the tools to your armory, try them out, and decide with your own eyes. So, here...

Ultra Sharpening

Hard Mix is a fascinating blending mode that crudely reduces a picture to one of just eight colors. Apply it to a blend layer, then add some Gaussian Blur and set a low layer opacity. Halos appear around the details, resulting in a sharpening effect. This recipe builds on that idea, applying more blur and producing extreme Hard Mix sharpening. It works on its own, or as the basis for other treatments. 1 In the Layers palette, duplicate the original image. Drag the background layer onto the...

Sharpening without Color Noise

After sharpening the image with this technique, flatten the image Layer gt Flatten Image if you want to save disk space I any photographers switch off in-camera sharpening because they prefer the control that they get from sharpening in Photoshop. The Unsharp Mask is a very popular sharpening tool, but a downside is that it can introduce visible color noise and halos. Here's a quick sharpening recipe that uses the Luminosity and Color blending modes to eliminate these problems. After sharpening...

Hiking Map Contours

Iost effective with pictures containing lots of detail, this recipe takes advantage of some Photoshop filters that produce an image that is mostly white. Find Edges is probably the most commonly used of this group, but another is Trace Contours. This filter outputs a basic contour map by joining together all pixels matching the brightness value that you choose in the Trace Contours dialog box. You can create an effect like a hiking map's contours by adding many such layers and setting their...

Soft Hard

Each of the Exclusion, Pin Light, and Hard Mix blending modes can be used on its own to distort or degrade an image. Here, they're used together in a perhaps unlikely combination. Exclusion and Pin Light distort the image contrast and cause color shifts, then Hard Mix is used to moderate the effect and to restore at least a semblance of a natural appearance. 1 In the Layers palette, duplicate the original image layer by dragging the background layer onto the Create a new layer icon, or 2 Using...

Gentle Skin

Noticed this skin-softening technique in Scott Kelby's Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers. It's fundamentally the same, but here I've added a twist. Duplicate the original image twice, blur both layers, set one's blending mode to Lighten and the other's to Darken, and then use masks to show or hide the softening effect. Sounds easy Let's dive straight in. 1 In the Layers palette, make two duplicates of the original image Drag the background layer onto the Create a new layer icon, or...

Overlapped Lighten Layers

Applying the Lighten blending mode to a layer means that the final image shows only those pixels from the blend that are lighter than those of the underlying image. You can use this behavior to overlay copies of an image and produce effects that range from viewing the image through patterned glass to simulating movement. l In the Layers palette, duplicate the original image layer by dragging the background layer onto the Create a new layer icon, or use Ctrl Cmd-J 2 Use the pull-down blending...

Softening Contrast

N this recipe, we're going to apply lots of blur-more than you'd ever use if you wanted a simple soft-focus effect. There's a sandwich of two such layers, one with the Darken mode and the other using the Screen blending mode. This combination increases the image contrast, and, if we want, we can then reintroduce a bit more realism with a semitransparent layer containing the original. 1 In the Layers palette, duplicate the original image by dragging the background layer onto the Create a new...

Hard Mix Magic

Df all the blending modes, my favorites for radically transforming images are Hard Mix and Dissolve. Hard Mix reduces a picture to just eight colors, while Dissolve produces a speckling effect as you reduce the layer's opacity. This recipe is a gentle mix of these two fascinating modes. When you set the Hue Saturation adjustment layer to Dissolve, the resulting image isn't really a blend, but a mix of pixels randomly selected from either the adjusted or the underlying image Above Hard Mix...

Pin Light Bleach

Here's a simple recipe for producing a bleached, high-contrast image on a colored background. Highlights are progressively blown out by the Blend If si ider, but a softer and more colorful result is achieved using Pin Light or another of the contrast group of blending modes. 1 In the Layers palette, create a new layer by clicking the Create a new layer icon, or use Ctrl Cmd-J 2 Fill the new layer with a color by selecting Edit gt Fill and choosing Color in the Fill dialog box white is a good...

Repairing Highlights

In this example, I used the Color Picker to set the foreground color to the brightest areas on the top of the wall When I then chose Select gt Color Range, the dialog automatically selected the pixels matching the foreground color I then clicked OK, and added a mask to the Multiply layer This mask was automatically limited to my selection f an image contains obtrusive hot spots or blown highlights, you can quickly restore detail or make the highlights less obvious by applying the Multiply...

Pure Bleach

Here's a recipe for a great bleaching effect that works well with almost any image. A pair of inverted Exclusion layers removes the shadows and midtones, while a blurred Color or Linear Dodge layer softens the effect. However, because the bleaching effect can make some details indistinct, I added a further layer to which I applied the Find Edges filter to bring back some definition. 1 In the Layers palette, duplicate the original image layer by dragging the background layer onto the Create a...

Quiet Cooling

Here's a quick technique for cooling down skin tones and softening them at the same time. The technique lightens faces by making a layer from the image's Red channel and setting its blending mode to Luminosity. If you want to harden skin tones, try using the Blue channel instead. While I would use this technique mainly for portraits, it can also work with other types of images. 1 Open the image and activate the Channels palette by selecting Windows gt Channels You'll see thumbnails of the...

Fire and

This recipe darkens and adds contrast to any image not surprising, since its main ingredient is a pair of inverted layers that use the Hard Light and Hard Mix blending modes. The technique is best suited to low-contrast pictures that don't require a natural-looking result. 1 In the Layers palette, duplicate the original image layer by dragging the background layer onto the Create a new layer icon, or use Ctrl Crnd-J 2 Using the pull-down blending mode menu in the Layers palette, change the new...

Hard Mix Highlights

Hidden away in Photoshop's Layer Styles are a pair of Blend If sliders. These control how much of the image comes from the current layer and how much from below. Simply by dragging the slider, you can exclude some tones from the composite image. Here's a recipe that has a blurred Hard Mix layer to transform the picture, and then takes advantage of Blend If to restore the original image's shadow tones. Notice how the Hard Mix layer's halo emphasizes the shape of the bridge 1 In the Layers...

Hard Shadows

Lock J lt i lt a Fill 100 gt l In the Layers palette, duplicate the original image layer by dragging the background layer onto the Create a new layer icon, or use Ctrl Cmd-J 2 Select Image gt Adjustments gt Desaturate to desaturate the new layer, or use Ctrl Cmd-Shift-U Name the layer Desturated 3 In the Layers palette, duplicate the Desaturated layer using Ctrl Cmd-J 4 Using the pull-down blending mode menu in the Layers palette or the shortcut Alt Opt-Shift-L, change the new layer's blending...

Ice Cold

've called this recipe Ice Cold after the effect it has on the picture of the architecture, right. The effect works especially well when the picture has lots of blues and greens. The first ingredient is a blurred, inverted Luminosity layer that inverts the highlights and shadows, but tends to leave midtones unaffected. A Hard Mix layer at 10-50 fill opacity restores the image's shape and a Screen layer chills the final result. Experiment with inverting or desaturating any or all of the layers,...

Lighten

The next four blending modes Lighten, Screen, Color Dodge, and Linear Dodge all lighten the underlying image, and for this reason they are often referred to as the Lighten group. Just as the Darken modes have white as their neutral color, the Lighten group of modes have black as their neutral color, which is why they are also sometimes known as the neutral black group. The Lighten blending mode is the exact opposite of the Darken mode. Both create a new output color by comparing the base and...

Screen

Screen, the second of the Lighten group of blend modes, is often likened to projecting multiple transparencies onto the same screen. As Screen's neutral color is black, this blending mode will leave black unchanged. Dark colors marginally brighten the picture, but as the blend color lightens, the image becomes increasingly lighter. This can make certain images look bleached or overexposed. Self-blends and changing the opacity A self-blend simply lightens the image, especially in brighter areas,...

Overlay and Hard Light

Having looked at groups of modes that either lighten or darken, let's move on to a group of blending modes that both lighten and darken at the same time known as the Contrast group. The first two in the group, Overlay and Hard Light, are so similar that it makes sense to look at them together, but you should also bear in mind that much of what applies to Overlay and Hard Light applies to Soft Light too. All three belong to the contrast-increasing group of blending modes. These darken shadows,...

Reducing Digital Noise

LIn the Layers palette, duplicate the original image layer by dragging the background layer onto the Create a new layer icon, or use Ctrl Cmd-J 2 Using either the pulldown blending mode menu in the Layers palette or the shortcut Alt Opt-Shift-L, change the duplicate layer's blending mode to Color and rename it Color. 3 Zoom in to ioo using View gt Actual Pixels or Ctrl Cmd-Alt Option-Zero and move around the screen to an area where the digital noise is clearly visible 4 Apply some Gaussian Blur...

Linear Dodge

Linear Dodge also belongs to the Lighten group of blending modes it will always lighten the picture and blending with black has no effect. Linear Dodge can be seen as a combination of Color Dodge and Screen, but it's a more powerful blending mode than either. Like Color Dodge, Linear Dodge can clip highlights, which does not happen with Screen, but Linear Dodge differs from Color Dodge in that it lightens black. Linear Dodge inspects each color channel and brightens the base color to reflect...

Neon Posterization

Posterization reduces an image to a limited number of tonal values. Photoshop has the command Image gt Adjustments gt Posterize, which changes the image pixels themselves, or you can use a Posterize adjustment layer instead. In either case, the Posterize dialog box lets you choose the number of levels that should remain in the image. But an adjustment layer lets you change your mind later and experiment with combining posterization with blending modes. l In the Layers palette, click the Create...

Hue, Saturation, and Luminance (HSL)

Hue, along with Saturation, Color, and Luminosity, belongs to a group of blend modes that some call the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance group or HSL . Others call the group Neutral, because none of these modes has a neutral color. My preference is the former, HSL, because it refers to the color space they all use to generate the output color. Windows Alt Shift U Mac Option Shift U The Hue blending mode colorizes an image with the blend color's hue, but leaves the base color's luminance and...

Color Dodge

Blending the base layer with an exact but inverted copy of itself results in an all-white image However, apply a little Gaussian blur to the picture and things become a little more interesting Because blacks are preserved, using a small Gaussian blur radius with an inverted copy of the image will result in a line-drawing effect Color Dodge therefore allows you to build your own Find Edges filter that to some extent you can fine-tune afterward by increasing the blur Once it's applied, you can...

Contents

Photoshop Blending Mode Lookbook for Digital Photographers Copyright 2005 The lle gt Press Limited First published in the United Kingdom by 3 St Andrews Place Lewes East Sussex BN71UP ILEX is an imprint of The lle gt Press Ltd Visit us on the web at www ilex-press corn This book was conceived by ILEX, Cambridge, England LEx Editorial, Lewes Publisher Alastair Campbell Executive Publisher Sophie Collins Creative Director PeterBridgewater Managing Editor Torn Mugridge Editor hylie Johnston Art...