Photoshop – Layer Blending Modes

Photoshop – Layer Blending Modes

A photograph of apricot roses taken at Pashley Manor Gardens in East Sussex

A photograph of apricot roses taken at Pashley Manor Gardens in East Sussex

blending-modesOne of the things that frightened the death out of me in Photoshop was blending modes… and how to use them… For ages I couldn’t get to grips with what they did until I read this blog post called Photoshop Blend Modes Explained, which gives a very detailed look into blending modes…

As you can see from the image on the right Adobe has divided them into six different groups..  Normal which includes Normal and Dissolve, Darken which includes Dark, Multiply, Color Burn, Linear Burn and Darker Color, Lighten which includes Lighten, Screen Color Dodge, Linear Dodge (Add) and Lighter Color, Contrast which includes Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Vivid Light, Linear Light, Pin Light and Hard Mix, Inversion which includes Difference and Exclusion, Cancellation which includes Subtract and Divide and the final group being Component which includes Hue, Saturation, Color and Luminosity.

The key to blending modes is experimentation..

When you select a difference blending mode for that particular layer you will get a different effect to your image.. to show you what these effects look like… I have created a Black and White Adjustment Layer to the above photograph and then selected the different blend modes for that particular adjustment layer.

Here is my Black and White Adjustment with Normal Blending Mode Selected

A photograph of apricot roses taken at Pashley Manor Gardens in East Sussex

A photograph of apricot roses taken at Pashley Manor Gardens in East Sussex

Normal Group of Modes


Darken Group of Modes


Lighten Group of Modes


Contrast Group of Modes


Inversion Group of Modes


Cancellation Group of Modes


Component Group of Modes


And remember you can always lower the Opacity and Fill of each blending mode to get the effect you wish…  I hope this helps you a little to understand blending modes and bookmark these links for future reference..

Photoshop Blending Modes Explained

Adobe – Photoshop Blending Modes Explained

Have a good weekend everyone..

Posted by Bren in Photography, Tutorials, 2 comments
Reworking a Dahlia

Reworking a Dahlia

Back in 2013 using Lightroom I processed this photo of a Dahlia in a post called Magenta Magic and I have reworked this once before by converting it to black and white, which can be viewed in a post called  Lighroom Radial Filter.

Tonight I wanted to rework this photo again, this time using a texture…

3textile_texture_big_100923(Just one quick tip: As you can see the above texture has two fine lines running through the top… when in Photoshop Click Control + T to transform and increase the size of the texture layer until those feint lines disappear from your image).

I liked the texture but when it appeared against the vibrancy of the flower it rather faded and looked rather washed out… I could have remedied this in Lightroom by adding a graduated filter but that would have also darkened the flower which is what I didn’t want.

So I looked at the blending options in Photoshop… so I opted for a gradient overlay of black to transparent and used the overlay so that it darkened only the lower half of the picture.  I then added another blending option of Satin…

Once I was happy with what I was trying to achieve in Photoshop I saved the photo, and because I used the Edit in Photoshop Option in Lightroom, my saved results were automatically imported back into Lightroom.

This is the picture straight from Photoshop


Once I was back to Lightroom I decided to lower the exposure of the centre of the flower by using the radial filter and inverting the mask.  Finally I added another radial filter this time lowering the clarity and sharpness so it look like the edges of the flower and texture was blurred.

And here is the final photography…


Hope you like it…  mind you I like the original from Photoshop as well… isn’t it tough when you like both images and can’t make your mind up?


Posted by Bren in Photography, 0 comments
Reworking… adding texture

Reworking… adding texture

Today I decided to rework this photograph, using two of my favourite textures used in this post.  However with this photograph I wanted to emphasise the bark texture, so I increased the opacity until the texture of the bark became more visible.

Just by playing around with the opacity of the two texture layers, you can achieve such varying results.  I love playing with textures, as I think they give an more arty look to any picture.   Do you use textures?  And if so do you have any special ones that you use more than others?

Posted by Bren in Floral, Photography, 0 comments
Remember this… from yesterday….

Remember this… from yesterday….

Do you remember this photograph from yesterday?

Well today I thought I would play around with the photograph and add some texture to it.  I used two of my favourite textures, for the process and told Lightroom to edit the above photo in Photoshop.

Texture 5


I played around with the opacity and fill until I achieved what I wanted and then with a layer mask, again with a lower opacity removed some of the texture from the purple on each of the texture layers.

Then I saved the file and it was automatically transferred back to Lightroom as a TIFF file and I then added a radial filter to bring some lightness to the purple petals.

Here is the final result…. hope you like it.

Posted by Bren in Photography, 1 comment