In this quick tutorial we show you some of the special photo effects you can create in Photoshop by mixing different images together using Blend modes.
The Blend mode drop-down menu that sits near the top-left corner of the Photoshop Layers panel is a powerful addition to the Photoshop user’s toolbox.
By changing the Blend mode of a layer, you can alter the way it interacts with the layers beneath it. This enables you to blend layers for creative effect, such as using an abstract texture to age an image.
The image above was tinted and aged using a Hard Light Blend mode to mix the colours and tones of a rusty metallic texture with a butterfly collage.
We also used the Lighten Blend mode to add a hint of fog to the canal background.
There are 27 Blend modes in total and we’ve applied each one to the same butterfly layer to show how it mixes the butterfly layer with the texture layer below – read on for a full breakdown of the 27 different effects.
If this has whetted your appetite for learning more about blending modes, make sure you check out our excellent video lesson too:
Amazing photo effects you can create from Blend modes: 1-3
The default mode shows every pixel on the layer normally, without any blending of the layers. This means that the layers below the butterfly layer have no effect on the butterfly.
Mixes translucent pixels from the top layer with colours and tones on the layers below. The butterfly’s feathered edge is translucent, so the effect is most noticeable in these areas.
Lighter pixels on the top layer are replaced by the colours and tones from the layer below, while darker pixels remain unchanged. The darker rust from the layer below shows through.
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