On Sunday, my sister and I went to Chautauqua Gorge. I intentionally took photos with the idea of blending them later in Photoshop. (I have this notion to do a whole series of “blended landscapes” in which I make a single image from several shots taken all at the same spot.) I didn’t have a particular plan in mind. Still, I tried to make shots that I thought would blend well with others. For example, I shot some sun-drenched beech leaves against a dark background, and slowed my shutter to get a blurred waterfall. I shot a lot of textures in the rocks.
Then, at the computer, I just started playing. Here’s my little experiment.
I’m still trying to learn the blending modes. I found this wonderful explanation in words! (I love that the author offers to tell us what the modes do, not show us. I guess I need to be able to explain something in order to feel like I’ve learned it.)
Each of the blend modes in the Darken group have an opposite (complementary) mode in the Lighten group. These “opposites” use slightly different math to arrive at their results, but the logic they use is similar but reversed. For example, with the Darken blend mode, if the pixels on the active layer are darker than the ones on the layers below, they are kept in the image. The opposite blend mode to Darken is Lighten, and with the Lighten blend mode, if the pixels on the active layer are lighter than the ones on the layers below, they are kept in the image.
(The emphasis is mine.) Bingo! That little sentence fragment was exactly what I needed to read! For this image, I experimented solely with the “Lighten” blend mode. I also needed to use masks to soften edges and let certain parts of layers show through. It was a good learning exercise!
Or how about in color?