Photoshop Layers 2

Yesterday, I talked about 4 kinds of layers. The first in my list was just a Layer, an empty one. As an artist with a training in wet darkroom processes and the production of photographic prints as objects, I actually have little use for many of photoshop's features, this layer does however have a fantastic use. If I fill it with 50% grey, and change it's blending mode to soft-light, this enables me to burn & dodge an image in a NON-DESTRUCTIVE manner as I would in a wet darkroom.

I've never quite understood HOW¶ this works, but it's power, simplicity elegance, and infinite un-doability makes it a must have trick in my bag of photographic darkroom tricks.

Then using either a) a paintbrush and black or white at low opacities, or the burning & dodging tools again at low opacities, in photoshop you can totally re-map the tonality of your image shifting emphasis on areas in a way that painters have understood for 100's of years.

The real beauty of this is if applied subtly there will be no obvious artefacts creeping into your image and even if they do, they can be wound back by using the opposite colour to change, not to mention that no pixels are edited directly in the image thereby non are destroyed and no issues such as banding creep into you prints†.

colour picker 50%
¶Many of the blending modes remain a mystery to me, and as photographic tools there are only really a couple that I would use regularly, this being one of them.
† All of these articles will be written from a paper output approach, as when producing screen based work I rarely make modifications to my images, due to the great unknown which is monitor calibration, and monitor colour spaces.
The first in my list was just a Layer, an empty one. As an artist with a training in wet darkroom processes and the production of photographic prints as objects, I actually have little use for many of photoshop's features, this layer does however, have a fantastic use. If I fill it with 50% grey, and change it's blending mode to soft-light, this enables me to burn & dodge an image in a NON-DESTRUCTIVE manner as I would in a wet darkroom.

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This page contains a single entry by s2art published on November 28, 2007 12:02 PM.

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Photoshop Layers 3 is the next entry in this blog.

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