Photoshop background layer

Photoshop’s Lighten Group Layer Modes

Lighten Group 1In this Photoshop tutorial we will study the blending modes belonging to the Lighten Group.

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Photoshop CS6 (CS3+ versions will work as well)
  • Estimated Completion Time: 50 minutes
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

Setup working area

In this article we will talk about the Lighten group that is composed of: Lighten, Screen, Vivid Light, Linear Light, Lighter Color. We will work with 2 images, a photo and a texture and we will change the blending mode of the texture to look at the effects.


Lighten Group 2Layer window:


“Looks at the color information in each channel and selects the base or blend color—whichever is lighter—as the result color. Pixels darker than the blend color are replaced, and pixels lighter than the blend color do not change. “

This blending mode is the opposite of Darken. If the pixels of the blended layer are lighter then the composite pixels below then they are kept, otherwise they are replaced with the lighter composite pixels below. This behavior occurs on a channel by channel basis.

Here’s how the texture set to lighten looks:


“Looks at each channel’s color information and multiplies the inverse of the blend and base colors. The resulting color is always a lighter color. Screening with black leaves the color unchanged. Screening with white produces white. The effect is similar to projecting multiple photographic slides on top of each other.”

This blending mode is like Multiply only instead of darkening the image it lightens it up by boosting already present light pixels. Remember the analogy with transparent paper I told you to better understand Multiply. Well, to better understand this blending mode imagine a projector that projects an image on a white wall.Lighten Group 3 ne) on the exact location where the first projector is projecting. The result will be a lighter image. Adding another projector (or layer with Screen blending mode ) will further increase the overall luminosity of the image.

This is a very useful blending mode. Here’s how our texture set to Screen looks:

Note how the image got lighter.
Now let’s duplicate the texture layer (Ctrl + J) – and we will have the texture layers set to Screen blending mode:

Notice how the image gets even lighter. Delete the duplicate texture layer (Delete).

Let’s see what we can do with this blending mode. First let’s turn off the visibility of the texture layer and duplicate the photo layer by pressing Ctrl + J. Now change this layer’s blending mode to Screen and apply a 5-10px Gaussian Blur:

Notice how the image got a nice glowing, dreamy look. This works very well with wedding photographs or if you want to convey an angelic, out of this world feel to your image.

Another thing I use the Screen blend mode extensively for is my photo manipulations when I want to instantly get rid of the black background. A very frequent situation is when I want to place a fire effect on my image but I don’t want to bother selecting the flames from the background.

Lighten Group 4 Lighten Group 7 Lighten Group 6 Lighten Group 8

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What? I'm serious ;-)

by criticex

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Photoshop Elements Christmas background.?

For Christmas this year I want to get all my siblings together and take a photo to give to our parents for christmas. I want to know if anyone knew of a free christmas/winter background for photoshop or if there was any tutorial that showed you how to make one (all I have found is how to make a christmas ornimant).


Suggest using/import either winter or x-mas type backdrop,
and import family images,
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Philip Augustus
Taking photos of Christmas ornaments?

My mom has a huge amount of antique ornaments from my grandmother. I would like to photograph these ornaments, then have my mom give descriptions of them.
What would be the best way to photograph these ornaments?
What is a good setting? Just a black sheet or paper? Something else to just sit the ornament on? to snap a photo?
What is some good software, to put a photo in. Then add some text? I was thinking genology software. But something must be better?
thanks for any help

I've taken some amazing pictures of ornaments right where they are supposed to be: on the tree, with a zoom. Sure use diffused light if u wish, but i used a normal flash and the effect I got was one of dark backgrounds with a highlighted ornament; thereby highlighting the ornament all the more. Parts of the tree showed up but I liked that since it was very Christmas y.

As far as software, everyone on here seems to like Adobe Photoshop. At least from what I read in other Q's.

And have a Merry Xmas too!

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