Photoshop Blending Modes Cookbook for Digital Photographers : 49 Easy-to-Follow Recipes to Fix Problem Photos and Create Amazing Effects (Cookbooks (O’Reilly))

Layer blending modes have been part of Photoshop for years, but because they’re not easy to understand at first glance, this immensely useful feature tends to get overlooked. Photoshop Blending Modes Cookbook for Digital Photographers is the only recipe-format book that covers blending modes specifically for digital photographers.

The book covers:

  • Changing hue, saturation, luminosity, and color
  • Correcting basic color shifts
  • Repairing highlights
  • Sharpening or softening focus
  • Adjusting lighting for subtle or dramatic effects
  • Controlling contrast
  • Creating surface effects and textures
  • Adding interest to landscapes and urban scenes
  • Enhancing portraits of children and adults
  • Simulating graphics arts techiques

and much more.

Unlike Photoshop’s built-in filters, blending modes don’t change the actual pixels that make up an image, so their effects are completely reversible. There are over 20 blending modes in Photoshop CS2, which range from those which darken and lighten images (such as Darken, Multiply, Lighten, and Screen) to modes that increase contrast (such as Overlay and Hard Light) and adjust color (such as Hue, Color. Luminosity, and Saturation).

In addition to covering each blending mode in detail, John Beardsworth, a London-based photographer and author, takes the reader through a whole collection of recipes that demonstrate how to use blending modes alone or in combination to fix problem photos, add subtle effects, and create dramatic images that are truly unique.

With clear, step-by-step instructions, real-world projects, an easy-to-follow format, and hundreds of full-color examples, Photoshop Blending Modes Cookbook for Digital Photographers is shows you how to use blending modes to achieve a wide range of image adjustments and special effects-without having to first learn everything there is to know about Photoshop.

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3 comments

  1. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Great Book, August 13, 2007
    By 
    Stella Nemeth (Macungie, PA, USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Photoshop Blending Modes Cookbook for Digital Photographers : 49 Easy-to-Follow Recipes to Fix Problem Photos and Create Amazing Effects (Cookbooks (O’Reilly)) (Paperback)
    I guess it depends on how you learn. This book has recipes for various looks using Photoshop’s Blending Modes. The examples generally include several different kinds of photos. The result is that you get to see what happens to photos of things, people, landscapes, etc. using the same or similar recipes. The author also tells you when he did things a little differently for one or two kinds of photos, and why.

    I’ve seen a lot of this stuff before, but found that I learned a lot from how this book is laid out. It should also make it a lot easier to find, and use, a specific technique for a specific problem.

    Because I am a digital scrapbooker, I might find all of this a lot more useful than some other people who use Photoshop. I’m not only manipulating photos when I scrapbook, I am also making and manipulating digital papers and elements. These techniques would be extremely useful for scrapbooking.

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  2. 6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Useful Insight, November 9, 2006
    By 
    D. Scott Ayler
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Photoshop Blending Modes Cookbook for Digital Photographers : 49 Easy-to-Follow Recipes to Fix Problem Photos and Create Amazing Effects (Cookbooks (O’Reilly)) (Paperback)
    Many end users are aware of the countless features that Adobe has provided within Photoshop. One of the most powerful features that many operators do not use (or forget to use) is the blending features. These can be found within each layer and are essential to the many creative tools found in Photoshop. These tools provide different blending capabilities that can address the creative professional.

    This book addresses these needs and is an excellent creative resource to guide users to use these powerful blending features found within Photoshop. This publication is well written and is easy for many beginners to follow, yet it also addresses the needs of the professional seasoned Photoshop user.

    There is a great amount of publications about Photoshop … this is one of the finest I have encountered. The information is valuable and this book is reasonably priced (compared to some that are full of fluff and useless). O’Reilly places valuable information within the reach of the masses that will not require a second mortgage.

    This book actually rates 4 1/2 stars. If you have the need, it comes highly recommended.

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  3. 41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    good, with some reservations …, January 10, 2006
    By 
    John Stevenson (Colorado Springs, CO U.S.A.) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Photoshop Blending Modes Cookbook for Digital Photographers : 49 Easy-to-Follow Recipes to Fix Problem Photos and Create Amazing Effects (Cookbooks (O’Reilly)) (Paperback)
    Realizing that there could be many practitioners in the digital fine arts community who likely will strongly object to the title of this book (…”cookbook, recipes,” etc.), and noting that the biggest chunk of the book is taken up with the forty-eight picture-making prescriptions without any real insights into why they were selected …, it does have some things to strongly recommend it. First, it deals comprehensively with one of the least well documented of the creative feature sets within Photoshop: the blending modes. Second, the author manages to encompass a lot of creative options without really using genuine montage (that is, he blends together different versions of the same starting image, without introducing totally different image subjects as separate Photoshop image layers). Third, the author deliberately restricts the use of other tools within the context of the book – for example, only ‘Gaussian Blur’ and ‘Find Edges’ are utilized with any regularity from the Photoshop Filters menu. And fourth, he has come up with a neat way of documenting the settings used in the blending undertaken, which simplifies reproducing the procedures. The recipes (yuk!) turn out to be as easy as, well, making different flavors of fudge (yummy!) …

    Despite all these pluses, the book suffers from numerous editing and layout problems. There are typographical mistakes, there are missing page numbers (!), and the format is quite confusing (and is only “saved” in some instances by the fact that there are lots of fairly large example images, so that it’s possible to see what was done, without needing to follow the text).

    Finally, potential purchasers should know that one of the author’s favourite blend modes is ‘Hard Mix’, which was initially introduced in Photoshop CS, but remains a sort of oddball in the full list of blending modes. (Personally, I’ve found no good reason to upgrade beyond Photoshop version 7, and would note that there are independent means of simulating, and even exceeding, what ‘Hard Mix’ is shown to provide in the book.)

    Overall, it seems to me that the attributes of the book outweigh its negative points – and that it might be useful to consider as a way of expanding creative image-building options for those with interests in web-based graphics as well as advanced photography and fine art.

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