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Lighting Blend Modes in Photoshop Elements 10

Photoshop Elements 10 provides the Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Vivid Light, Linear Light, Pin Light, and Hard Mix blend modes. This group of blend modes enables you to play with the lighting in your layers.

  • Overlay: Overlay multiplies the dark pixels in the target layer and screens the light pixels in the underlying layers. It also enhances the contrast and saturation of colors.

  • Soft Light: This mode darkens the dark (greater than 50 percent gray) pixels and lightens the light (less than 50 percent gray) pixels. The effect is like shining a soft spotlight on the image.

  • Hard Light: This mode multiplies the dark (greater than 50 percent gray) pixels and screens the light (less than 50 percent gray) pixels. The effect is similar to shining a bright, hard spotlight on the image.

  • Vivid Light: If the pixels on the top layer are darker than 50 percent gray, this mode darkens the colors by increasing the contrast. If the pixels on the top layer are lighter than 50 percent gray, the mode lightens the colors by decreasing the contrast.

  • Linear Light: If the pixels on the top layer are darker than 50 percent gray, the mode darkens the colors by decreasing the brightness. If the pixels on the top layer are lighter than 50 percent gray, the mode lightens the colors by increasing the brightness.

  • Pin Light: If the pixels on the top layer are darker than 50 percent gray, the mode replaces pixels darker than those on the top layer and doesn’t change lighter pixels. If the pixels on the top layer are lighter than 50 percent gray, the mode replaces the pixels lighter than those on the top layer and doesn’t change pixels that are darker. The mode is usually reserved for special effects.

  • Hard Mix: This mode is similar to Vivid Light but reduces the colors to a total of eight — cyan, magenta, yellow, black, red, green, blue, and white. This mode creates a posterized effect.

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