Tag: Blend modes

Blend modes are used to control the way different layers in an image interact, and they apply not just to other image layers but also non-destructive adjustment layers.

If you set a layer’s blend mode to ‘Normal’ it will simply cover up the layer underneath – or, in the case of an adjustment layer, it will apply the adjustment layer ‘straight’.

‘Multiply’ mode is different, multiplying the effects of the pixels in the top layer with those underneath to produce a darker image that’s a combination of both.

Or there are two ‘contrast’ blend modes – ‘Soft Light’ and ‘Overlay’ – which darken or lighten the layer underneath, depending on whether the pixels in the top layer are darker or lighter than 50% grey. These blend modes have the effect of increasing overall contrast.

There are many more blend modes, but these are arguably the most useful for photographers.



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Life after Photoshop is dedicated to the wider world of image-editing beyond Photoshop and its technical, image-by-image approach. Here you’ll find tips, tutorials, reviews and ideas for everything from mobile photography to asset management, from one-click effects to professional workflows. Rod Lawton

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