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Photoshop CS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically and shooting with Photoshop’s capabilities in mind. Exercise files are included with the course.
One of the nice things about Blending modes is that each Blending mode has a shortcut assigned to it. We can take advantage of these shortcuts. We want to learn these, especially for the Blending modes that we're going to use quite often. So what I want to do here is simply highlight a handful of Blending modes that are used most frequently by photographers. All right. Well, you can see in the layer document that we have this layer, gradient. Let's go ahead and turn on the visibility of that layer and then click to target that layer. Well, we've already talked about the option where if you have the Move tool selected, you can press Shift+ Plus or Shift+Minus to scroll through your Blending modes.
Let's reiterate that here. Again, Shift+Plus or Shift+Minus, you can see it takes me through these different Blending modes. All right. Well, what about jumping to one particular Blending mode? Well, what we can do is if on a Mac, we can press Shift+Option+ the Blending mode letter. On a PC, that's Shift+ the Alt key. Let me show you how that works; for example, Shift+Option or Alt+M goes to Multiply. That same shortcut with the S key goes to Screen, or O for Overlay, F for Soft Light, and so on and so forth.
Every Blending mode has a letter assigned to it. So if you want to learn some of the other letters, simply press Shift+Option on a Mac, or Shift+Alt on a PC, and then start typing on the letters on your keyboard. You'll slowly teach yourself all of these different Blending mode shortcuts. Yet that being said, if you had to focus in on a few, I would focus in on these six that I've shown here on this screen. I definitely would take some notes down. Write these down, because I think you'll soon discover that Blending modes will be something that you'll be using every now and again.
Having access to these Blending modes by way of shortcut can really help out. Now, so far we've really focused in on the Blending modes for the layers, but we can find these Blending modes other places; for example, if we select our Brush tool, you'll notice that I have different modes up top. Here we can see it's the same list that we have over in our Layers panel. Now if I want to change the Blending mode for my brush, let's say to Soft Light, I can simply click on that option there and then begin painting, or I can also use the same shortcut.
Again, Mac users, Shift+Option+a letter, PC users, Shift+Alt+a letter. Let me show you what I mean. I'll go ahead and hold down those two keys and then press the different letters. I'll press S for Screen, and it makes a change right there, or I'll press F for Soft Light, or N to go back to Normal. So just keep that in mind, that you do have Blending modes in other places for some of your other Brush tools, and you can see those here as I click through these different options. The nice thing about these Blending modes is that they all work exactly the same, and all the shortcuts are exactly the same, as well.
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