07 Effect opacity
I’ve realised that my light leak effect is a bit strong, but I can fix this by clicking on the layer to select it and then reducing the Amount value below.
But can you see what’s happening when I do this? The layer above is deactivated while I make the adjustment – the border effect is, for now, disabled. This is disconcerting if you’re used to the way Photoshop or Elements work, so you need to be aware of this particular quirk – you won’t see the final effect of all the layers until you reactivate the ones above
08 Reactivating layers
You can tell which layers are deactivated by the ‘eye’ symbol just to the left of the layer name. If you don’t see the eye, you don’t see the eye – so click this button to reactivate the layer.
And here’s the finished effect. It doesn’t show the full subtlety available with Perfect Effects’ layers, masks and blend modes but it does demonstrate how you can combine pre-packaged effects to create something uniquely your own.
09 The finished image
It might seem perverse to deliberately degrade a perfectly good digital image, and I’ve been trying to work out why it’s such a popular technique.
My theory is that some of us what the camera to capture a technically perfect record of an object or event, which would make this kind of artificial ageing pointless and irrelevant.
But I think most of us actually want photographs to evoke a memory, a sensation or an emotion. On a simple level, this kind of artificial ageing can remind us of past times (that’s how this one works for me), but any kind of photographic treatment, this one included, can change how people view and respond to the picture. You can use image effects to make people ‘see’ the picture the way you want them to.
If the only purpose of photography was to record reality exactly, we might as well all walk round with colour photocopiers.