Skip to main content

Blend Modes

Lesson 11 from: Retouching & Adobe Photoshop Techniques

Lindsay Adler

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

11. Blend Modes

Lesson Info

Blend Modes

if you followed the classical time, you see how important blend modes are. They change everything, and we've played with screen and multiply light in and darkened overlay and soft light and luminosity. That's kind of the ones who played with. And they get even cooler when you're doing creative retouching and doing special effects. So I'm going to give you an example. Let's open up. There's actually if I know that people can't might be able to see it. There's a picture on the back wall of a girl with like bubbles floating around her head. Okay, um, this is what the original shot looks like. Okay. And the theme of this shoot for and for people watching out there. I'm a fashion photographer, and I started off doing portrait and wedding photography. I had a studio for 10 years, and then I transitioned over and now I do on Lee Fashion photography in New York. Um, but I've used all of these techniques at one time or another for Porcher wedding. So you kind of thinking outside of the box ther...

e. And so that's I'm talking too much about fashion. This is an editorial and the theme of the shoot was a dream catcher, and it was supposed to be a lens flare and pretty and high key. And it was cloudy day and it was raining. And so I wanted to deliver what I had told my clients. And so I knew I had to do it in post. So this is what it was shot like. And I went ahead and you can find these online, but I've also taken plenty of them myself. Is it's photographing bouquet of like So, for example, having a bunch of lights, Christmas lights, lights at the stand on the bar. You know, whatever it may be, and you turn your lens out of focus that the lights get bigger and I've photographed also like I don't know if anyone friends. It's amusing, but you know, long exposures of their camera on the dashboard. You find that fun, I find the fun. And so I photographed those and this was Christmas lights that I've been changed the Hughes in post. So I just switched the huge because I didn't think green and red look nice. So we open this up in photo shop and we're going to treat this basically like a texture that I'm overlaying on top. I have the two photos open side by side and using the move tool, which is right here. I'm going to click and drag, and it overlays it. Now. This is where blend modes become really, really important is depending. What blend mode. I select that layer will interact with layers, blow it differently so each one will be totally different. Darkened, multiply, difference. I mean, it's all these perfect, you know, for me, I look at this and I think when would I ever use difference? I've seen editorials recently in some of the magazines I publish in that I think they basically to switch the picture to difference and use it that way. So you never know until you need it. 99% of the time for a lot of the creative effects that I'm doing. Okay, back that off. Maybe 85% of the time. I use overlays off later, hardly usually for adding some kind of textures or deaf to the photo. So here's overlay. Soft light or hardly, and so either Over later, soft light looks best to me, and then you can go in and you can mask things off. So I'm gonna add my layer mask and I can zoom in and maybe say All right, I want to paint off of her eyes and her eyebrows. I could get rid of that pink. I can make it more subtle, and I've used this. When I had my portrait studio, I had many young women that had seen I had a photo like this upon my portrait, my studio walls and said, I want that photo And so that just kind of became another service that I could offer. And so people become attached to certain techniques or something becomes kind of your niche, and it doesn't mean it defines your career. But it might be that particular year if it's high school seniors or might be with brides. And so I have, you know, several shots of you know, a bride and groom. Um, with the sunset behind them, it didn't create lens blur, I added in, in in post, um, so how I want you to think about this is when you're adding over lies, it can add interest, and it can kind of be like a texture. So I've added presidency in the shots where it's kind of shot through. Um, a store window, you know, so like has reflections of the street and there's rain on it that doesn't have to actually be rial. You can photograph those on the street, get those reflections, overlay it, do overlay soft, lighter, hard light and have a subject behind it. So it's kind of half shot through a window so you can get creative in these ways. But what I want to dio is show you another thing for blend mode. I showed you about the eyes. I can change. I color. I can also fake makeup. So I'm gonna fake makeup in this photo because we have it up here when a zoom in and one of the problems that I encountered when I did senior portrait is a girl would come in wearing like, bright blue around her eyes, and then she'd wear, like, address that it didn't match like green, and you know that I'd have to change it so most and then that also overdo it a lot, so most of the time. But I recommended, as I said, use flattering neutral makeup that defines your features And so you know, a subtle, so smoky eye or just a little bit of texture above. And the reason I would say this is it's easy to change color. It's very difficult t add texture in, and this is the person that was asking about. How do you fake glossy lips? You can, but it's a pain, Um, and you're much better off having it there so I'd have If I want glossy lips, it could just be a clear glass. I can change the color after the fact. The same thing for eyes. If I want a shimmery, I just use a grey shimmer. I can change it to pink, purple, blue, whatever I want. So look at this photo. I click new lair. I zoom in and I could make her eyes whatever color I want. So maybe let's say I want Grab me one. Got my brush tool? Let's grab kind of purple, and I can change it later. What I'll do is with my brush at 100% capacity, just going to paint over the eye on both sides, so obviously that looks terrible. If I back off my capacity, you can start to see detail, but it's still it's not interacting with the layers below. You need to use something like overlay soft like hardly or color. For this makeup effect, color works. Wells, um, seems to work well also. So I do color and I back off. For example, you can pick up color and interact with that. I can also select c'mon, pick softly, and each one will work a little bit differently. Um, the thing that gives away that it's not really is also the hard edges. So I go to filter, blur, caution, blur. You know, I can soften up a bit. What's good is I can keep layering on. I can add another layer and then say, OK, maybe I want tohave blue, and the edges and a blue do the same. Same thing softly. Back off. Blur it. I can come down, do one for her lips, so on and so forth. So I will do that often. It's the same way that I change. I color. I also will do this for somebody who seems to have problems getting color on their teeth, and I'd rather just not have to deal with the smiling and having a photo shop off lipstick off their teeth, so have them wear a gloss. And then I could easily do colorized changed the color. Or I can say here if I want to give her a pink lip, I could paint and let's go. Really, really. General here could paint pink on her lips and change into softly. Back off the saturation blurred a little bit. You can do things like that. Or, as we said before, I could select her lips. Change it to hue. Saturation color rise can make her lips green whatever you want, dark and it down and then just clean up your edges So I'd rather do that than have to worry about someone changing lip color. That's definitely a huge one for me. And I understand that most people out there aren't fashion photographers that are watching. Um, but what I'll do is I'll my wardrobe or my, uh, makeup artists will say, Listen, we're running a little behind on time. I can change the lives from Red Dipankar. You want to change imposed on most of time, I'll just change it imposed. It's gonna make everybody's lives easier, make things go faster. So that is adding kind of a texture over life for interest, kind of the fake lens flare and then also taking makeup. Any questions on that? Actually, I've had a question because I've heard that there are some fashion beauty photographers who are asking their models to come in without makeup, and they'll actually do everything afterwards. Is that something you've tried doing? Um, I'd rather not Of the other thing is, well, I'm not this one to be for this individual. I'm not good at Make up a ce faras. It's not my specialty. And so I work with the creative team's. Everybody can take responsibility of their specialty, and then sometimes you you could fake it in photo shop if you tried forever. But they'll you know, my my makeup artist will use airbrush to define the features and pull them out and smoothed out the skin. Change the color in the tonality, and I would much rather have somebody who that's what they do for a living than me trying to do a hack job. Photoshopped. I'm sure there's some people who really good at it, though. Question from Martin, 76 Do you ever use a color lookup table, which is a new feature in CS six for toning images or other creative color effects. I haven't I haven't at all, but it sounds interesting. It's one of those things that kind of have my flow, but I'd totally be willing to try and see. See how it looks. Ah, I guess. Looking at the backgrounds Kim Photo Ass Is it OK to use someone else's background to create your own backdrop for your thoughts on that? Okay, so if it's, say, an HD our composite image, I say no unless they were selling them and because that's the rights, their image. But there's a lot of people that create textures and patterns and what not on, um Devi in art, for example, or you can search free texture packs or it depends on how it says its creative comments or copyright exists. There are certain rules for copyright. If it's a part of a work and it's a completely different work and it's adding to it, you are allowed to use it. I'd rather just stay away from anybody calling foul for inappropriately using a photo

Class Materials

bonus material

Keyboard Shortcuts
Retouching Checklist
Beauty and Retouching
Creative Techniques

Ratings and Reviews


Fantastic Photoshop course. I knew Lindsay was great at Photography, Lighting, Posing and Public Speaking, but I am really blown away by her mad (great) skills at Photoshop. Lindsay really is a fantastic teacher. She turns what might be a more or less dry topic into a fun and entertaining topic. Thank you Lindsay and thank you CreativeLIve. You have a real superstar with Lindsay Adler.

a Creativelive Student

This is a great workshop for photographers wanting to learn and hone in on their retouching skills. As a photoshop user and photographer of 10 yrs I have been able to take away some further techniques to help better my skills and more or less tailor them. I would suggest you have some adv beginner knowledge of photoshop because I don't think some of the techniques you will be able to keep up with unless you buy it. There are two things that I wish she did better in her teaching and that is to teach new users to label all their layers and what they are as you are working. As you can see Lindsay ends up with 20 layers and unless your the one doing the editing you will have know idea what is what when you have to go back to it. So its best to teach this in the beginning so people get into the habit of organization early. Also I wish she used a Wacom. It really does cut your editing time in half and you have more solid movements in precisely selecting areas of a photo. From a photographer to other photographers. Use a wacom. You can start with a basic baboo for $89 and when the apple wireless mouse cost $69. Time is money, and a wacom truely save time! I used to use a mouse and my trackpad and once I switched I was like OMG what was I thinking before! So I wish she just emphasized that point more. Overall I think it was $99 well spent.

Christian G.

Not only is Lindsay very knowledgeable and a very good teacher but I REALLY TRULY appreciate her no-BS, straight-forward style.. No time wasted on long tangents talking about herself (or what have you), on cute remarks or on off-the-mark humor. She has showed us many great techniques, has presented to us various creative/different ideas AND she has also really been able to explain "how she thinks of a solution", how there is a bit of trial and error, "even" at her level.. All in a all, a truly excellent course and worth every penny!! Thank you Lindsay and thank you to the CreativeLive team for a great course!!

Student Work