Blending Modes [ part two ]
By Kitten

Hey everyone! Hopefully you’re staying cool and social distancing. Sorry not to have continued this last month, but as we all know, July wasn’t the best month, and I was pretty busy.

So last time we talked, I went over the Normal and Darken blending modes. Let’s get into everyone’s favorite‚Ķ Lighten blending modes!

First things first, What is Lighten Blending? These modes will in a sense make colors brighter. Anything black that’s in the blend layer will become invisible whereas anything that is brighter than black is going to have some darkening effect on the pixels below it.

Let’s begin.

This blending mode basically takes a look at the base color and blend color, and will keep whichever one of the two is the lightest. If the blend and base colors are the same.. then there won’t be any changes applied. Similar to Darken, this blending mode looks at the three RGB (Red, Green, Blue) channels separately when blending the pixels.
On the supplied images you’ll see that the blending layer (top) has more black in it, so once ‘Lighten’ is selected, as you see the black disappears.

This blending mode is one of the more popular in PS. You’re always going to have a brighter resulting color. Black will have no change, similar to Lighten, it will just disappear leaving the brighter pixels visible.
This blending mode has many different levels of brightening depending on the luminosity values of your blend layer. With this effect, it makes Screen a great blending mode for brightening images or creating highlights.

Color Dodge
With Color Dodge this blending mode blends differently when Fill is adjusted compared to when Opacity is adjusted

This gives you a brighter effect than Screen by decreasing the contrast between the base and blend colors. The effect results in saturated mid-tones and blown highlights. You get a similar effect when you use the Dodge Tool to bright up an image (I use the dodge tool to brighten the ‘whites’ of the eyes).

Linear Dodge (Add)
This blending mode produces similar, but stronger results than Screen or Color Dodge. It looks at the color information in each channel (RGB) and brightens the base color to reflect the blend color by increasing the brightness. Black will again have no effect and will disappear.
It will blend differently when Fill is adjusted, compared to when Opacity is adjusted.

this image shows the difference from the previous with the fill at 100% and now at 52%

Lighter Color
Similar to Lighten, this blending mode does not blend pixels. It only compares the base and blend colors, keeping the brightest of the two. The difference is that where Lighten looks at each RGB channel to come up with a final blend, Lighter Color looks at the composite of all the RGB channels.

So there you have it. The Lighten Blending Modes. Next time we’ll move into Contrast.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to hit me up. If there’s anything you’d like to see explained further in photoshop or tutorials let me know. Stay cool, mask up, stay healthy!