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Photoshop Tutorial : Using the Luminosity of an image to create effects

Written by Ally

I wouldn’t be able to go through all the different combinations of colours, gradients, patterns, images and blend modes that can be used with this effect. I will show you a couple here and then you can go off and experiment to your hearts content 🙂

I have used an image from the Stock Exchange Site and you can find it HERE. Thanks to Alessandro Paiva
for making the image available.

Correct your image … I did a quick Levels adjustment layer to correct a yellow colour cast. Duplicate the image and then turn off the top layer. Create a new blank layer above the b/ground layer ….. we’ll try a Pattern fill first to see how that works. Go to Edit>Fill and choose Pattern from the drop down menu, then click on the Custom Pattern menu and choose Bubbles, then hit the OK button and the layer will fill with the Bubble pattern.

Turn back on the top layer and click on the Channels tab at the top of the layer palette. Hold down the Ctrl Key and then click on the thumbnail of the RGB channel. You should now have lots of little marching ants and successfully loaded the luminosity of your image. Click back on the Layers tab and then click on the Bubble layer to make it active. Click on the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the layers palette and then turn off the top most layer. If you’ve used the same image as me, you should end up with something similar to my image below.

That hasn’t enhanced the image any 🙂 you’ll need to scroll through the blend modes to decide which one you prefer. I’ve chosen Overlay for the purpose of the tutorial (so you can see it better) but I would probably choose Soft Light.

You can see from the image that the Bubbles have gone over the park area and I don’t really like that, so grab a soft edged brush, make sure the f/ground colour is black, and then paint out any of the bubbles that you don’t want to be there. You can see that the effect has been left on the buildings in the image below.

Another thing you can do to finish off the image effect is to slightly blur the Bubble layer. Click on the Bubble thumbnail – not the layer mask, and then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and choose how much you want the effect to be blurred. I chose 2 pixels for the image below

And a comparison image.

So now you know how to do the process, you can try using a gradient or solid colour instead of the pattern fill. You could also try using the Luminosity of another image to target onto the image. As usual the possibilities are endless. In the image below, I used a gradient set to Soft Light and in the image below that I used a solid colour layer set to soft light and a layer opacity of 75% In the last image I used the Luminosity of another image and a solid red colour, changed the blend mode to soft light and lowered the layer opacity to 75%. I also clicked on the layer mask to make it active and used Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur set to 5 pixels to blend the colour a little better.

Have fun experimenting 🙂

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