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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
In this movie, I want to talk about one of those topics that is both technical and creative and here's why. I want to talk about a few different blending mode shortcuts that you can use in order to be able to quickly find the right blending mode and also in order to be able to experiment with the different blending modes. All right well here you can see the shortcuts on the slide. Let's press F to go to Full Screen View mode to simplify everything a little bit and then zoom in just a touch here, so we can actually focus in on what these are and then I'll show you how we can actually use them. Well there's a shortcut. You can press Shift+Option on a Mac/Shift+Alt on a PC plus a letter in order to access all the different blending modes. Now I have just included here the ones that you will use most frequently. So if you press Shift+Option on a Mac/Shift+Alt on a PC, N it takes you to Normal and M to Multiply, S to Screen, O to Overlay, F to Soft Light and C to Color, pretty handy. Now here's the deal with this.
You don't need to memorize the letters. You just need to memorize Shift+Option or Shift+Alt and then press all the letters on your keyboard and you can slowly teach yourself the different blending modes. And what you want to do is simply pick one shortcut, just one out of all of these that you are going to learn. Let's say Soft Light because that is a blending mode the photographers use most often and just say okay. Blending mode for Soft Light, Shift+Option+F on a Mac, Shift+Alt+F on a PC, excellent. There is also another way to go through your blending modes as you can see down here. On the Mac it's Option, on the PC it's Alt, and then in addition you press the Plus or the Minus keys. All right well let's bring back the interface. Let's exit out of Full Screen View mode for a second and let's hide everything except for this top layer. We will go ahead and minimize our adjustment so we can focus in where I'm going to wrap and here you can see I'm on this uk in layer.
What do I want to do is I want to blend this with the underlying layer. So I'll go ahead and take this back to the Normal blend mode and because I'm on the Mac, I'm going to go ahead and press Shift+Option. If you are on a PC that will be Shift+Alt. And now I'll press the Plus key and what you can see that I'm doing here as I'm slowly scrolling through all of the different blend modes and this can be a real nice way to go to the different blend modes, either to find the blend mode, that's right, or to simply experiment with how this blend modes will work with the images that you are working on. So again that's Shift+Option+Plus on a Mac/Shift+Alt +Plus on a PC and then Minus toggles backwards.
Now one of the nice things about using those shortcuts is if you add Normal and you need to get the Luminosity or Color and that happens quite often. I use those all the time. Well all that I need to do is press Shift+Option+Minus once for Luminosity, another time for Color. So you can go from the top all the way down to the bottom. Okay well let's go back to this help slide and here's what I recommend. I recommend you take a moment you write these shortcuts down and then you experiment with them because working with blending modes really is an art in a craft. It is like mixing paint and does take practice and you may be thinking okay, the blending modes are kind of interesting. I'm not going to use them that often.
Well I would have to argue with you. I think you are going to use this quite often. You may not know it just yet but once you start to experiment with your own files, you will start to see that these blending modes can really help you create things which would have been incredibly hard to create with other techniques. All right, well, I hope you picked up something valuable in this movie and in this chapter. I'll see you in the next chapter.
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