Luminosity is the last of the HSL blending modes. It takes the base color and outputs it with the luminosity from the blend color. You may notice that this is the opposite of the Color blend mode. So, while the Color mode saturates a picture's colors, Luminosity only alters the brightness values. While this has no use for self-blending, it can be really helpful to the photographer for controlling the effect of adjustment layers. When an adjustment produces unwanted color shifts, these shifts can be eliminated quickly by switching the layer's blend mode to Luminosity and then fine-tuning with the opacity percentage.


Windows: Alt+Shift+Y Mac: Option+Shift+Y

Self-blends and changing the opacity

Self-blending with the Luminosity blend mode has no effect

We would expect this because the base and the blend have A self-blend with identical luminosity Consequently, varying the opacity also Luminosity has has no effect no effect.


Adjustment layers

While self-blending isn't relevant, the Luminosity blend mode really comes into its own when adjusting the contrast of a color photograph One of the best uses of the Luminosity mode is to ensure that adjustment layers don't shift the color balance

Often a color image needs a little more contrast to add some punch, so to fix this you might add a Curves adjustment layer An adjustment layer's blending mode defaults to Normal, and, while a gentle S curve may improve the picture's contrast, it can easily also change the image's colors When you have just fine-tuned the image's color temperature and it matches other images, this is an unwelcome surprise

To fix this, instead of using the Normal blending mode with the Curves adjustment layer, switch the blend mode to Luminosity Try this whenever you see unwelcome colors appearing—it's quick and lets you use stronger adjustment layer effects without changing the color balance

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The initial image is too soft.

The initial image is too soft.

Although the Curves adjustment the canyon, to the left of layer has improved the contrast, the hoodoo, it has also added a red cast to

Changing the adjustment layer's blend mode to Luminosity has corrected this color shift.

SH: [5 OL: 63 | OS: 1 11'". Oa: 90 | OB: 1001% Ob: 70 |

SH: [5 OL: 63 | OS: 1 11'". Oa: 90 | OB: 1001% Ob: 70 |

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