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Tips & Tricks

All 27 Photoshop Blending Modes Explained | Required Learning For Best Photoshop Results

By Kishore Sawh on April 8th 2017

Pareto’s principle isn’t just something to throw into a theoretical mix in business school, but something pervasive throughout (arguably), everything, and photography included. In photography it’s certainly apparent in every aspect from gear acquisition, to camera operation, to retouching. You probably use 1 or 2 lenses far more than all others; your camera settings probably are mostly the same even though your camera is capable of much more, and in retouching you probably rely on the same few presets even with hundreds available, or on the same few tools when there’s so much there. But what are you missing?

We’ve written before about the value of blend modes and understanding them within Photoshop, but there is probably a minute percentage of people out there who actually know what each of the 27 blend modes does, and therefore which should be used when.

This, actually, is a bit of a tragedy since blend modes are among the most easily administered effects in Photoshop, and can have huge impact. It’s likely that so many of the shots you see and admire but are currently unable to mimic can be done in some way by changing blend modes, but if you only use the same ones in the same ways, you’re probably unaware. This video herein is here to solve that.


Jesus Ramirez of the Photoshop Training Channel has created a video that goes over each of the 27 blending modes within Photoshop, and while the video is a bit lengthy it’s a wonderful resource to have, and should be required learning for anyone planning to spend much time within the borders of PS. Ramirez calls it “the last blending modes guide you will ever need”, and while that’s a bit of a stretch, it’s not that much of one. Really, if you use Photoshop, watch this once and it should serve you well forever.

Check out more from Jesus Ramirez here.

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Purvis Bane


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  2. Dustin DeTorres

    Good work Kishore! Love the way you write. Thanks for the info.

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