Those of you who work in Photoshop using layers (and if you don’t, you really need to think about starting to do so) have a neat, yet often neglected, tool right at your finger tips. In the Photoshop Layers palette is a drop down menu which is defaulted to “normal”. This is the blend mode menu. What each blend mode does is best left to its own discussion; but the two that come into play here are “Luminosity” and “Color”.
Blending Modes Dropdown menu in Photoshop
Color and Luminosity Blending Modes in Photoshop
Luminosity refers to the light and dark, or brightness values of a photograph. Color refers to…well, color. Any color photograph is made up of these two properties. A great way of increasing your control after applying a Nik filter is to duplicate the layer onto which the filter is applied. Using the drop down menu, change the blend mode of one layer to “Luminosity” and the other to “Color”. Using the opacity slider at the top of the layers palette, you can change how much each of these properties contributes to the overall effect of the filter. My favorite use of this technique is with the Bleach Bypass and Monday Morning filters; any filter which has clear components of color and contrast.
Bleach Bypass and Monday Morning Filters used in Color Efex Pro 4
It also works beautifully with Silver Efex Pro 2.
Example of Silver Efex Pro 2
Example of Silver Efex Pro 2 with Luminosity applied
Example of Silver Efex Pro 2 Luminosity plus Color at 53 percent opacity
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