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Blendingmodes 1
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7.2 Luminosity Mode: Soft Focus

Hello everybody, welcome back to mastering blending modes in Adobe Photoshop. This is lesson 7.2, where we look at a practical application for some of those component set blending modes. In the course files for this lesson is this Christmasgirl.jpeg file. I really enjoy this shot. This is an adorable little girl in front of her Christmas tree but I think this could benefit from a little bit of a soft focus technique. And that's what we're going to use one of these components blending modes for. First of all, we'll start by making a copy of this background layer. Again, calling this the duplicate and changing it to a smart object. Now I want to zoom in just a little bit, so you can see what this effect is doing. Let's start by changing the blending mode of this duplicate to luminosity. Now you don't see much of a change there at all, do you? That's because it's the exact same layer, so the luminance values are no different between these two. Let's run a black and white adjustment on that smart object. We'll use the onscreen adjustment tool to really pull up on some of those highlights and down on some of the shadows. The mid-tones we want to brighten up a little bit too. We don't really see too much of a change now, we're brightening things up a little bit and that's good, that's well on our way to what we want to do. Let's add a bit of a blur now. Filter Blur, will use the Gaussian Blur and just use a one pixel blur. That's already starting to soften things up for us. But then let's use an Image > Adjustments > Curves adjustment to brighten things up just a little bit more. I'm going to add a midpoint to this curve. Just pull it up, just a little bit. Now this is already adding a pretty convincing soft focus effect to it and I think it's already an improvement to this photo. But let's push it even a little bit further. Let's go to Filter > Lens Correction > the Custom tab and then add a lighten Vignette to it to lighten those corners up. That's looking really nice and Christmas-y. Notice that if we had changed this to something like screen or lighten we don't quite have the same effect. Those might be good options but for this soft focus effect that we're trying to get, I find the luminosity does a great job of maintaining the color tones but still giving a very brightening type of effect. I do find that the effect over the eyes and the face tends to look a little bit too blurry. What I like to do is grab that mask for those smart filters and grab my brush, at a really low opacity with black paint and just brush out some of that effect on her face. Just so that that can shine through really nice and focused. There we go, I think that's a really pretty image. Look at the difference from the original to the soft focus effect using that luminosity blending mode. Okay everybody, we've gone through a lot of material in this course. We've looked at every single blending mode that we have available to us, talked about what it does and how most of them can actually be used. There's only one lesson left and that's the conclusion, where I get to share some final thoughts with you, I hope you'll join me for that.

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