Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Avoiding false saturation with Luminosity

From: Photoshop Blend Mode Magic

Video: Avoiding false saturation with Luminosity

Here is an image that needs a little bit of tonal correction, it's a little bit too dark on the outside edges here, and little hot spots or the lights could be a little bit brighter as well. One thing you may not have realized when you are doing tonal correction to an image is that you can actually introduce false saturation, when you are doing something like Levels or Curves or any of the other type of adjustments that you might make. Instead of just opening up the detail of the image or affecting the detail, you are also affecting the color when you are using something like Levels or Curves. Let me show what I'm talking about. So I'm going to go to the Adjustments panel and we'll just do a Levels adjustment to get things started here, and we are just going to bring the sliders in, when we go right sliders to the left here, the white slider.

Avoiding false saturation with Luminosity

Here is an image that needs a little bit of tonal correction, it's a little bit too dark on the outside edges here, and little hot spots or the lights could be a little bit brighter as well. One thing you may not have realized when you are doing tonal correction to an image is that you can actually introduce false saturation, when you are doing something like Levels or Curves or any of the other type of adjustments that you might make. Instead of just opening up the detail of the image or affecting the detail, you are also affecting the color when you are using something like Levels or Curves. Let me show what I'm talking about. So I'm going to go to the Adjustments panel and we'll just do a Levels adjustment to get things started here, and we are just going to bring the sliders in, when we go right sliders to the left here, the white slider.

And we'll open up the midtones just a little bit. And sure, that looks good there. I am going to zoom up to Actual Pixels. Command+1 or Ctrl+1 and what we are going to do is take a look at the color values here by changing the blend mode. So this is the Normal blend mode, meaning just take this 100% Opaque layer and blend it down to the layer underneath. If we change the blend mode to Luminosity, what ends up happening is that the tonal adjustment you are making is only happening to the detail of the image, not the color of the image. I'm going to just quickly Undo and Redo this, Command+Z, Ctrl+Z and pay attention to, say, the eye or one of the feathers or the blue of his chest and neck here.

So Command+Z, Undo, and Command+Z again, Redo. Do you see the difference? When you have the Normal blend mode turned on, you are really seeing the blues get bumped up, increasing their saturation and the greens as well. Now that may be what you want. That's fine, but if you don't want to introduce a false saturation to your images when you are just trying to do tonal correction in the details, meaning the grayscale data of the image, then you might consider changing your blend mode to Luminosity when you make these adjustment layers. So things like Curves, Levels, any of the other adjustment layers that you might be using.

Now for this particular image, I want to kind of go on a tangent and show you another bonus tip here. I'm going to delete the Levels layers. I'm going to go ahead and hit the Delete key after selecting the layer. Since this image is really dark in certain areas and not bright enough in other areas, it really means two different kinds of correction I need to focus on. I need the shadows and the highlights. So sometimes I find that using Shadow/ Highlight, the actual image adjustment called Shadow/Highlight, is a much better tool because it lets me address both at the same time as oppose to having to create different Levels adjustments and masking them off and what not.

So let's go, look for our Shadow/ Highlight adjustment layer. Hmmm. Yeah, it's a trick question; it doesn't exist. If you go to the bottom of the Layers panel to the Adjustment Layer icon here as well, again, I do not see Shadow/Highlight available. Well, if I go to Image > Adjustments, there it is, the Shadow/Highlights. But this is a destructive command; it's actually affecting the pixels on the layer. So what you want to do is a trick here. If you want to make Shadow/Highlights adjustment non-destructively, you need to convert your image to a Smart Object first. Now we know that about Smart Filters where you can apply Smart Filters to Smart Objects, and layer adjustments are always non-destructive, but Shadow/Highlight can be that way to if you just convert this.

So I'm going to right-click on the Background layer and say Convert to Smart Object. It turns to Layer 0, I'm going to go ahead and rename this Peacock, and we'll go back to Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlights and you'll see, it's still available. Everything else is grade out because you can't apply these adjustments to a Smart Object but for Shadow/Highlights, you can. I'm going to choose Shadow/Highlights and we are just going to play with these settings a little bit. I'll bring the Amount just down a little bit and make the Tonal Width down a little a bit and the Radius up.

Again, these values are different for every single image. I'm just looking visually to what I think looks good for this particular example. I'm just bumping up the Highlights a little bit and toning them down, and I'm going to do a little bit Midtone Contrast as well, pretty good. And I think I can even make this just a little bit lighter in the darks, like so. Okay, good enough. Go ahead and click OK. The good news, again, if it's not perfect because it's a non-destructive filter now on top of the Smart Objects, you can always go, double-click on Shadow/ Highlights and just adjust the sliders later on.

Now because it is a Smart Filter, Smart Filters can also have their blend modes changed as well. So let's zoom in again, Command+1. I'm going to pan around just holding on the Spacebar to see a representative area like this. If you double-click on the little slider icon to the right of the Smart Filter name, I'm going to double-click on that. That brings up the Blending Options for this Smart Filter. And just like we saw earlier, I'm going to change the blend mode from Normal to Luminosity. So there the false saturation isn't happening anymore. This Shadow/Highlights is only impacting the grayscale data, the detail of the image as oppose to saturating the color.

So here is before, here is after. We are just turning the Preview on and off so that you can see Normal blend mode versus Luminosity blend mode. So it's a little geeky kind of, I promised not to be geeky in this title but just a nice little tip there; when you don't want to introduce false saturation, change your adjustments. Use your adjustment layers or your Smart Filter adjustments to the Luminosity blend mode to restrict the tonal corrections to just the detail of the image and not the color.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Blend Mode Magic
Photoshop Blend Mode Magic

46 video lessons · 25624 viewers

Michael Ninness
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. Using the exercise files
      52s
  2. 13m 9s
    1. The three kinds of blending in Photoshop
      1m 49s
    2. Blend modes, blend modes, everywhere!
      1m 38s
    3. Cycling through the blending modes
      2m 1s
    4. Three blending modes you must know
      5m 8s
    5. Blending mode keyboard shortcuts
      2m 33s
  3. 3m 13s
    1. Roughening or pointilizing edges with Dissolve
      3m 13s
  4. 34m 40s
    1. Removing halos with Darken
      2m 26s
    2. Bringing down hot highlights with Multiply
      3m 50s
    3. Tonal correction with Screen and Multiply
      3m 35s
    4. Combining adjustment layers with blending modes
      3m 58s
    5. Creating a composite from a single Camera Raw file
      5m 56s
    6. Creating a cast shadow with Multiply
      4m 50s
    7. Creating artistic edges with Multiply and Screen
      3m 39s
    8. From iPhone to Photoshop: Colorizing line art with Multiply
      6m 26s
  5. 14m 47s
    1. Removing dust spots with Lighten
      1m 36s
    2. Adding lightning to a sky with Screen
      3m 20s
    3. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      2m 27s
    4. Reducing halos when sharpening with Lighten
      3m 55s
    5. Creating a faint soft-edged line drawing with Linear Dodge
      3m 29s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Using Dodge and Burn with Overlay
      4m 34s
    2. Reducing wrinkles with Overlay
      6m 37s
    3. Using graduated neutral density filters with Overlay
      5m 32s
    4. Custom vignettes with Overlay
      3m 30s
    5. High-Pass sharpening with Overlay
      4m 16s
    6. Smoothing skin with High-Pass sharpening and Overlay
      5m 29s
    7. Textured patterns with Overlay
      6m 21s
    8. Textured type with Overlay
      2m 55s
    9. Creating a dramatic diffused glow with Overlay
      2m 49s
    10. Creating a subtle glow with Soft Light
      2m 57s
    11. Creating a medium glow with Soft Light
      4m 25s
    12. Simulating film grain with Add Noise and Soft Light
      3m 54s
    13. Recovering detail in over-saturated areas with Pin Light
      8m 30s
    14. Creating 80's pop art with Hard Mix and Multiply
      3m 15s
  7. 5m 7s
    1. Aligning layers with Difference
      5m 7s
  8. 12m 51s
    1. Reducing color noise with Color
      2m 13s
    2. Avoiding false saturation with Luminosity
      5m 33s
    3. Recovering detail in blown-out highlights with Luminosity
      5m 5s
  9. 26m 27s
    1. Getting better sepia tones
      5m 15s
    2. Using antique color effects
      5m 5s
    3. Combining multiple exposures
      4m 34s
    4. Replacing the sky in an image
      3m 44s
    5. Splitting edges when sharpening
      3m 15s
    6. Displacing type around contours
      4m 34s
  10. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop Blend Mode Magic.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.