Soft Light Blend Mode


Adobe® Photoshop® CC® Bootcamp


Lesson Info

Soft Light Blend Mode

Soft light is unique also. In that it applies itself to areas. The way it applies itself to the areas in your image is anything that's dark will get darker. Anything that's white will get lighter and 50% gray completely goes away. So looking at this example, we have that same image that we have there. If I were to change this to the soft light blend mode, pay attention what happens. The darks are getting darker. The black is applying itself to make the underlying image appear darker and appear lighter. But it's never getting to pure black. Notice how that is a pure black color that we put across the top there. But it's not allowing it to get to pure black. It's just giving it a boost in the lightness or darkness of it. Now its second cousin, I guess, would be overlay. Change it to overlay, look at the difference. It's much harder, it's more harsh. Lot more contrasty. A lot of times I tend to stay away from overlay because it's a little too much for me. So I'll do something like soft li...

ght. Because notice what soft light is also doing. It's allowing, it's preserving a lot of the tones underneath while it does it to be more of a soft protection, I guess, over your image. So if I press command or control I on that, notice how we've just flipped this. We've just flipped this so that if we change this back to normal, our black's on the bottom, our white's on the top. We flip it. We do the soft light. It gives me that second option for this one as well. But notice that strip in the middle. The strip in the middle is 50% gray. Nothing is changing there. And this is a really powerful tool and a powerful blend mode to use in conjunction with a 50% gray layer while dodging and burning. So if I were to delete this layer here, and I were to make a new layer by clicking on this little icon right here, make a new layer. We're gonna go to edit and go to fill and the fill dialogue is gonna pop up. It's gonna ask me, "What do I wanna fill this with?" Do I want to fill it with my foreground color, which would be black? My background color which would be white? Or any color that I choose? Or do I wanna fill it with straight black, straight white, or 50% gray. So for this, we're gonna fill it to 50% gray. We're gonna change the blend mode right here to soft light. And then press okay. And it didn't actually change it to soft light. Imagine that. So what we're gonna do here is go to this blend mode and change this to soft light. Okay. So when I do that, if I turn this on and off, nothing's changing, right? Nothing is changing. It's staying 50% gray. So this is where the dodge and the burn tools become really helpful for pushing and pulling the depth in the image. I like to look at dodging and burning as me being the creator of light where light was not. Any image that I produce, it's gonna be printed. Especially for a client that wants some of my landscape images. Always goes to dodging and burning. Because it's me as the artist that gets to select what happens with the lights and the darks. If you're in portrait photography, portraits can really be pushed and pulled with the depth and the shadows and the highlights in people's face and also smoothing things out and making that face look a lot more attractive for a photograph. Take any photograph for face value. It's not gonna look quite as good as it would as if it's run through that artistic process and those artistic pieces. And that's where you're gonna see dodging and burning, and I highly encourage you to do that. So with this set to 50% gray, let me go ahead and get you introduced to some good habits here. We're just gonna double click this and call this dodge. And burn. 50% gray, full filled layer. Notice that this is not, this is not an adjustment layer. This is a pixel based layer that's been filled with gray. So it's not gonna exist outside of the bounds, okay? That we talked about with adjustment layers. So if I go over here to the dodge tool, and set to dodge with a soft edge brush, it's attacking my mid-tones with the exposure of 50. I would highly encourage you to bring this down to something like 20 or 15. Just something low. And now if I start painting on my image with this brush, it's gonna start brightening things up. So I get to decide what gets brighter. I'm gonna make this door brighter. I get to decide what gets brighter. And if I press alt or option, it's automatically going to switch me over to the burn tool. So alt or option. I'm now set to burn. If I start painting in and holding alt and option, notice I see that little alt symbol there. That's telling you while you're watching me, that I'm burning that area. I'm making that area darker. Might make my brush a little bit bigger to speed this along. Just brush here to darken this and what I'm gonna do here, specifically with this area, is I'm darkening down areas. Almost kind of making a vignette. You see that? I'm just vignetting the street a little bit and then if I unclick alt or option, I'm now dodging. So I'll start dodging some of the foreground area. What happens when I do that is I'm starting to make that area a little bit more inviting for the viewer. It allows their feet a place to step, and it also, if you look at this, it's taking a, what looked like a very two-dimensional, three-dimensional area, but two-dimensional base on the way it was edited, look almost three-dimensional. Almost like that floor is now raising up a little bit, not flattened out quite as much as it was. So I press alt or option. Just burn a little bit more around here. I like the way these lights looked when they were darker, so I'll burn those down. Burn this. Really brighten up this door, brighten up the pathway here. And then maybe brighten up some of these areas, and then maybe alt or option up here. So, you know, vignettes, a traditional vignette will apply itself globally if you have something like Adobe Camera or a light room. Global, meaning it's going to attack the whole image. But with this type of vignette, if you wanna call it that, we get to decide where it affects our photograph. So you watched me do this. So while you watched me do it, it probably doesn't seem like it would be that big of a difference, but look at the difference. There's the before, there's the after. There's the before, there's the after. It's a soft light layer at 100%. Look at what's going on there. We're making dark areas darker by using a burn tool, which is essentially kind of like a black paintbrush, and we're making bright areas, areas I want to be brighter using dodge that when we look at this, that's the paint of what's going on in the background. If we turn this, our soft light, our image that we're working on here on, then turn our soft light layer off, that's without those affects. We're making things brighter, we're making things darker with dodging and burning on a soft light layer set to 50% gray. There are many different ways that you can dodge and burn out there. As a matter of fact, if I wanted to and do something destructive, which I don't recommend you do, I could start dodging and burning right now on this layer. It's going to make things brighter and darker. But what it's not doing is it's not allowing me to do that in a not destructive way. And we don't wanna work destructively. That is the last thing we wanna do. What we wanna do is we wanna make sure that when we're working on our images, that we're preserving all of the data that's happening underneath, especially that background layer. Because that's the source of everything that's happening above. 'Cause as we talk about the layer stack, the layer stack, everything that's happening on the top, what happens on the bottom does transition into the top. Especially when you get into things like blend if, even with these blend modes.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop® CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop® expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop®. Topics covered will include:

Week 1
• Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
Week 2
• Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
Week 3
• Smart Objects , Transforming, Actions, Filters and Editing Video
Week 4
• Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop® prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.

Software Used: Adobe® Photoshop® CC® 2018


1Bootcamp Introduction 2The Bridge Interface 3Setting up Bridge 4Overview of Bridge 5Practical Application of Bridge 6Introduction to Raw Editing 7Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface 8Global Tools Part 1 9Global Tools Part 2 10Local Tools 11Introduction to the Photoshop Interface 12Toolbars, Menus and Windows 13Setup and Interface 14Adobe Libraries 15Saving Files 16Introduction to Cropping 17Cropping for Composition in ACR 18Cropping for Composition in Photoshop 19Cropping for the Subject in Post 20Cropping for Print 21Perspective Cropping in Photoshop 22Introduction to Layers 23Vector & Raster Layers Basics 24Adjustment Layers in Photoshop 25Organizing and Managing Layers 26Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes 27Screen and Multiply and Overlay 28Soft Light Blend Mode 29Color and Luminosity Blend Modes 30Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes 31Introduction to Layer Styles 32Practical Application: Layer Tools 33Introduction to Masks and Brushes 34Brush Basics 35Custom Brushes 36Brush Mask: Vignettes 37Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn 38Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation 39Mask Groups 40Clipping Masks 41Masking in Adobe Camera Raw 42Practical Applications: Masks 43Introduction to Selections 44Basic Selection Tools 45The Pen Tool 46Masks from Selections 47Selecting Subjects and Masking 48Color Range Mask 49Luminosity Masks Basics 50Introduction to Cleanup Tools 51Adobe Camera Raw 52Healing and Spot Healing Brush 53The Clone Stamp Tool 54The Patch Tool 55Content Aware Move Tool 56Content Aware Fill 57Custom Cleanup Selections 58Introduction to Shapes and Text 59Text Basics 60Shape Basics 61Adding Text to Pictures 62Custom Water Marks 63Introduction to Smart Objects 64Smart Object Basics 65Smart Objects and Filters 66Smart Objects and Image Transformation 67Smart Objects and Album Layouts 68Smart Objects and Composites 69Introduction to Image Transforming 70ACR and Lens Correction 71Photoshop and Lens Correction 72The Warp Tool 73Perspective Transformations 74Introduction to Actions in Photoshop 75Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface 76Making Your First Action 77Modifying Actions After You Record Them 78Adding Stops to Actions 79Conditional Actions 80Actions that Communicate 81Introduction to Filters 82ACR as a Filter 83Helpful Artistic Filters 84Helpful Practical Filters 85Sharpening with Filters 86Rendering Trees 87The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters 88Introduction to Editing Video 89Timeline for Video 90Cropping Video 91Adjustment Layers and Video 92Building Lookup Tables 93Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type 94ACR to Edit Video 95Animated Gifs 96Introduction to Creative Effects 97Black, White, and Monochrome 98Matte and Cinematic Effects 99Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades 100Gradients 101Glow and Haze 102Introduction to Natural Retouching 103Brightening Teeth 104Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool 105Cleaning and Brightening Eyes 106Advanced Clean Up Techniques 107Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization 108ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits 109Portrait Workflow Techniques 110Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization 111Landscape Workflow Techniques 112Introduction to Compositing & Bridge 113Composite Workflow Techniques 114Landscape Composite Projects 115Bonus: Rothko and Workspace 116Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos 117Bonus: The Mask (Extras) 118Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!

Sonya Messier

I'm been using Bridge, Adobe Raw and Photoshop for 12 years. I thought I knew those programs until I started to follow Blake and do this Photoshop CC Bootcamp. This course is AMAZING. I love the way Blake teach, brakes down concepts and tools... excellent teaching qualities! I'm half way in this course and I change all my workflow already. Much better results and better use of what Adobe offer me. This course is an investment! When I will be done, I will listen it again. Great job and congratulations on your success Blake!