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.

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


Bootcamp Introduction
The Bridge Interface
Setting up Bridge
Overview of Bridge
Practical Application of Bridge
Introduction to Raw Editing
Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface
Global Tools Part 1
Global Tools Part 2
Local Tools
Introduction to the Photoshop Interface
Toolbars, Menus and Windows
Setup and Interface
Adobe Libraries
Saving Files
Introduction to Cropping
Cropping for Composition in ACR
Cropping for Composition in Photoshop
Cropping for the Subject in Post
Cropping for Print
Perspective Cropping in Photoshop
Introduction to Layers
Vector & Raster Layers Basics
Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
Organizing and Managing Layers
Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes
Screen and Multiply and Overlay
Soft Light Blend Mode
Color and Luminosity Blend Modes
Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes
Introduction to Layer Styles
Practical Application: Layer Tools
Introduction to Masks and Brushes
Brush Basics
Custom Brushes
Brush Mask: Vignettes
Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn
Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation
Mask Groups
Clipping Masks
Masking in Adobe Camera Raw
Practical Applications: Masks
Introduction to Selections
Basic Selection Tools
The Pen Tool
Masks from Selections
Selecting Subjects and Masking
Color Range Mask
Luminosity Masks Basics
Introduction to Cleanup Tools
Adobe Camera Raw
Healing and Spot Healing Brush
The Clone Stamp Tool
The Patch Tool
Content Aware Move Tool
Content Aware Fill
Custom Cleanup Selections
Introduction to Shapes and Text
Text Basics
Shape Basics
Adding Text to Pictures
Custom Water Marks
Introduction to Smart Objects
Smart Object Basics
Smart Objects and Filters
Smart Objects and Image Transformation
Smart Objects and Album Layouts
Smart Objects and Composites
Introduction to Image Transforming
ACR and Lens Correction
Photoshop and Lens Correction
The Warp Tool
Perspective Transformations
Introduction to Actions in Photoshop
Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface
Making Your First Action
Modifying Actions After You Record Them
Adding Stops to Actions
Conditional Actions
Actions that Communicate
Introduction to Filters
ACR as a Filter
Helpful Artistic Filters
Helpful Practical Filters
Sharpening with Filters
Rendering Trees
The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters
Introduction to Editing Video
Timeline for Video
Cropping Video
Adjustment Layers and Video
Building Lookup Tables
Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type
ACR to Edit Video
Animated Gifs
Introduction to Creative Effects
Black, White, and Monochrome
Matte and Cinematic Effects
Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades
Glow and Haze
Introduction to Natural Retouching
Brightening Teeth
Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool
Cleaning and Brightening Eyes
Advanced Clean Up Techniques
Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization
ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits
Portrait Workflow Techniques
Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization
Landscape Workflow Techniques
Introduction to Compositing & Bridge
Composite Workflow Techniques
Landscape Composite Projects
Bonus: Rothko and Workspace
Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos
Bonus: The Mask (Extras)
Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


  • 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.
  • 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!!!!
  • A superb course and excellent overall job, beautifully presented and easy to grab the material, in total the material the style and the whole set of classes is just great love to g back and watch again and again