Learning The Power Of Blend Modes

Learning The Power Of Blend Modes

The power of Photoshop never ceases to amaze me as I continue to learn how to utilise it’s full potential. Over the years I have learned that a Lasso is not only associated with cowboys and that layers are not only associated with bricks, cakes, clothes and geology. However, I was completely in the dark when it came to Blend Modes, but we need to start at the beginning.

Layers were introduced into Photoshop a long time ago in version 3.0.1 and are definitely where the real magic of Photoshop happens and where most people start to learn and appreciate the power and creativity Photoshop can provide. Prior to Photoshop 4.0, you had to duplicate the original image first, in order to preserve the file if you wanted to edit non-destructively, but with the introduction of Adjustment Layers things have and continue to evolve.

Adjustment Layers have now become a key part of most photographer’s workflow and provide a way to edit non-destructively. When you add a new Adjustment Layer, it automatically adds a white Layer Mask (white reveals and black conceals)

I will be uploading a beginner’s guide video to Layers and masks with some other editing tips, but in relation to my own continuing Photoshop learning journey, I am currently on a Blend Modes curve.
What Are Blending Modes?
A Definition
A Blending Mode simply tells two layers how to work together to create a combined image. Photoshop will check any overlapping pixels between those two layers and then, depending on the blending mode you’ve chosen, decide how those pixels will blend.
I am no expert and am still learning myself, but have at least started to identify which of the blend modes work for me and what they do. PDF download link coming soon, that will provide a description of each of the blend modes and what they do which I think will help others starting out.

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