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 the blend color information in each channel. While Darken selects the darker of the base or blend color, Lighten chooses the I ighter of the base or blend color. Its effect is more obvious with lighter blend colors.

KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

Windows: Alt+Shift+C Mac: Option+Shift+C

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Inverting and blurring

If you use Lighten to blend a layer with a copy of itself, because the base and blend colors are identical, the picture will remain unchanged For the Lighten blend mode to work, you need to introduce some difference between the base and blend layers Inverting the blend layer transforms the image, resulting in strange color shifts and reversals of the shadows By also adding a Gaussian blur to the blend layer, a halo is added around the now-light shadows

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Adding Gaussian blur to the Lighten blend layer lightens and blurs the image, and creates a rim or halo around the reversed shadows.

Gaussian Blur

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Applying Lighten to an inverted copy reverses the shadows.

Inverting the blend layer incurs unusual shifts in color, producing a negativelike image.

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Dust spots can be the bane of most digital SLR photographers' lives I would usually retouch spots manually with the Clone tool or Healing brush tools These tools offer greater precision But in evenly toned areas that are not critical to the image, such as clear skies, there is another, quicker method

This shot was taken at the end of a trip. Unfortunately, the digital SLR's sensor had collected particles of dust, which have become especially visible in this picture of southern Utah's clear, blue sky.

Applying a Lighten mode to a slightly offset duplicated patch of sky results in Photoshop selecting the lighter color from the base and blend layers, thus banishing the darker spots.

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1 Select the area containing the dust spots

2 Feather the edges of the selection

3 Copy your selection to a new layer using Layer > Layer via Copy (Ctrl/Cmd-J)

4 Change layer's blend mode to:

a Lighten for dark spots b Darken, if spots are lighter than their surroundings

5 Zoom in close

6 Select the Move tool (V).

7 Use the arrow keys to nudge the duplicate layer a few pixels until the spots disappear

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