Photoshop Blending Modes

Photoshop icon

Here's a neat Photoshop trick I picked up from watching a Marcus Bell tutorial at Adobe TV. By combining a hefty gaussian blur with Photoshop's blending modes, you can give your images a nice dreamy feel, which worked out really nicely for a few images we took at our friends' Johnny and Megan's wedding. Here's how:

  1. Open your image and duplicate the layer (Go to Layer > Duplicate Layer).
  2. With your top layer selected, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. In the example below, I used a radius of 6px because I'm not working with a full resolution file. Select a value high enough to blur out most details in the image.
  3. Now, select Edit > Fade Gaussian Blur.
  4. In the little popup window, adjust the blending mode to Soft Light. From here you can adjust the strength of the effect by moving the opacity slider down. The example below has an opacity of 50%.

That's it! It's a pretty easy way to apply a slightly hazy effect to any image.

San Diego Wedding Photography | Post

NikonD700/50mm 1.4 | 1/80s | f4 | ISO3200

What do you think? If you've used this technique, let us know how it worked out for you by posting a comment below.