Overlay mode in Elements

How to boost contrast in Photoshop Elements with overlay mode

05 Duplicating the layer

Overlay mode in Elements

I like the effect this adjustment layer has had, and if I want even more of the same I can simply duplicate it! To do this, use the Layer > Duplicate Layer command, or drag the layer thumbnail on to the New layer button on the Layers palette.

06 Even more contrast

Overlay mode in Elements

The effect is now magnified – in fact, it’s probably magnified way too much. The yellow background in this picture has now become a rich red, which is often what happens when you darken the colour yellow – but in any event, it’s all a little too much.

But note that each new adjustment layer comes with its own layer mask directly alongside, and I’m going to use this to get the effect I want.

07 Create a gradient mask

Overlay mode in Elements

I want to create a mask that protects the centre of the image from this new, duplicated adjustment layer, but keeps the effect around the outside of the frame, and the Gradient tool is perfect. Once I’ve selected the Gradient tool, I can use the options panel to choose a simple black-white gradient, set the gradient type to Radial, then drag outwards from the centre of the image (I’ve highlighted the start and end points in blue).

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