Photoshop – Layer Blending Modes

Floral Photography
Apricot Roses

One 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


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..


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