Very often in landscape photography you get the landscape or the lighting you want, but not the sky. In the perfect world you'd keep going back again and again until everything was perfect. In our not-so-perfect-world, however, it's sometimes useful to be able to add a new sky later, as the final touch to an image that was already 90% of the way there. The trouble with adding … [Read more...] about How to add a new sky to a landscape without selections
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.
I've discovered what I think is a really neat way of producing richer, deeper colours by turning your picture into black and white... well, sort of. If you've got an image which needs more contrast, the usual method is to use curves adjustments. But contrast and saturation are linked, so you get more saturated colours too, and this is often unwelcome. Besides, Elements … [Read more...] about How to use Elements blend modes to boost your colours with black and white!
OnOne Software's Perfect Effects is just like Nik (Google) Color Efex Pro, offering a range of different filter effects from a single interface. Where Color Efex Pro lets you 'stack' filter effects, Perfect Effects lets you do even more, with a Photoshop-style system of layers, complete with different blend modes. This means you can combine Perfect Effects frames and blend … [Read more...] about How to combine Perfect Effects frames and blend modes
OnOne Software's Perfect Effects plug-in adds effects to your images as new layers, and these work just like the layers in Photoshop. And, like Photoshop, Perfect Effects offers a variety of blend modes to control how these effects interact with the original image. If leave the blend mode set to Normal, the image effect layer simply covers up the original image below, but if … [Read more...] about Create new effects with Perfect Effects blending modes
Photoshop Elements does not have the curves feature found in Photoshop itself and many other image-editing programs, and many people cite this as one of its limitations. I don't really agree. There's always more than one way to do anything, including modifying the contrast, and I find this 'overlay' method so quick and useful I often use it in Photoshop in preference to the … [Read more...] about How to boost contrast in Photoshop Elements with overlay mode
You can't always choose the lighting you shoot in, and sometimes it's just so flat that your pictures don't have any depth or intensity. It doesn't help that most digital cameras lean slightly towards overexposure in these conditions too. That's why I wanted to have a go at 'relighting' some shots I took in Paris a few years ago on a basic Nikon Coolpix compact, and I'm … [Read more...] about Try this five-second fix with a gradient and color burn blend mode in Elements