Quick Tips

Light depth with layer blending

Studio lighting can be quickly and easily dramatized by blending multiple layers. Duplicate a layer with a subject by press- ing Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J). Desaturate the new layer, then adjust the Levels dialog (Command-L [PC: Ctrl-L]) to create a strong contrast. Now, apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) to the new layer and set its blend mode to Overlay, which ampli?es the saturation of the base colors, while retaining the tonal contrast of the new layer. This effect can provide a strikingly more provocative sense of depth with very little effort.

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1 comment

  1. Tony V 13 July, 2010 at 16:11 Reply

    Thanks again! This is a great tip, but I found if I changed the order of the steps a little, I had more control over the final result. I set the new layer to overlay just after desaturating it. Then I was able adjust the levels and the amount of blur while seeing exactly how they would affect the image.

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