A variety of uses – some unexpected
Click to enlarge any image (except animations)
Some are unreadable if you don’t & you won’t get much
Fixing a bare bright sky
What does Darken do (How does it Work)?
Adobe explanation of Darken blending (verbatim) -
Darken - Looks at the color information in each channel and selects the base or blend color—whichever is darker—as the result color. Pixels lighter than the blend color are replaced, and pixels darker than the blend color do not change.
Pretty straightforward & easy to understand
If you enlarge it
The blend layer is just the base layer flipped horizontally
Both are a black to white gradient
Here’s a 0′ 39″ video that shows the progression
Increasing opacity from 0-100% in 10% steps
Watch the result (bottom) layer as the
Darker tones on the right of Blend replace the Base
How is Darken used?
Darken has a variety of uses.
In general it’s used to reduce unwanted highlights in the base image
This first example is illustrative
1. Often post processing introduces artifacts
HDR (& others) often produce light halos
Sharpening may create white edges
Solution (illustrated with OVER-sharpening) -
- Create a duplicate layer of your image
- Sharpen the duplicate
- Change duplicate’s blend mode to Darken
100% opacity usually is best
The light areas disappear; replaced with the original colors
The sharpening remains intact
Enlarge image below for a better look
2. As you can imagine there are many similar unwanted highlight situations.
How about a light featureless sky?
Add a layer with clouds
Use Darken to replace the light with dark
Note that in this case we place our original image
In the upper (blend) layer
The clouds are under the original (becoming the base)
Here’s the progression -
Note above (enlarge if needed) that in the lower left image which would normally be our finished result after blending the top row
Some of the blue sky had discolored the foreground
It is common that the substitute image will have some material darker than the original and thus show through
The solution is to mask out the offending areas with a mask layer as shown below
Which takes us to the final (lower right above)
You’ll find little or no mention of these specific Darken uses elsewhere
Of the several blend modes that fall into the PS “darken” category
Only Multiply gets much press
Multiply is next in this series
What did I learn today while preparing this post?
1. These Blend Mode posts aren’t the “quickies” that I anticipated
Stretched my imagination to come up with a couple of
Undocumented Darken blend uses
2. I finally got around to tackling layer masks in PSE
Anyone up for a tutorial?
3. Using Snagit to create a screen capture video
4. Adding videos to my WordPress.com blog
Required a $ upgrade from my previous freebie
My brain’s worn out.
Subscribe (see sidebar) and don’t miss anything. New posts daily.
- No sidebar? Click the blog title at the top of this page.
Another option – Click on the “Follow” button at the bottom right of the screen.
- Or - “Follow” in your admin bar, displayed at the top of the screen, for logged-in WordPress.com users.