A blend mode compares the content of two layers and enacts changes based on the content of both. You can choose from 14 different blend modes using the pop-up menu at the top of the Layers controls. Understanding blend modes requires a bit of science. To start, let’s establish three key terms.
  • Base color. The original color in the image
  • Blend color. The color is applied by the top layer or Adjustment layer.
  • Result color. The color resulting from the blend

Adjusting a layer’s Blending Mode is easy.

  1. Open a photo within Luminar.
  2. In the Layers controls, click the + button and choose the Add New Image Layer option.
  3. Click the Blend pop-up menu in the Layers control area for the top layer.
  4. Choose from one of the 14 available blending modes.

Normal

The default mode performs no additional change to how layer contents interact.

Darken

Pixels lighter than blend are replaced; darker ones are not.

Multiply

It is similar to drawing strokes on an image with markers. The colors of the top layer are blended with the image.

Color Burn

Evaluates each channel; darken the base by increasing contrast.

Lighten

Evaluates each channel; it then uses base or blend color (whichever is lighter).

Screen

Uses a lighter color. It is helpful for “knocking” the blackout of a layer.

Overlay

Overlays existing pixels while preserving highlights and shadows of the base.

Soft Light

The effect is similar to shining a diffused spotlight on the image.

Hard Light

The effect is similar to shining a harsh spotlight on the image.

Difference

Evaluates each channel and subtracts or invert depending on brightness.

Subtract

Look at each channel’s color and subtract the blend from the base.

Hue

Uses luminance and saturation of the base and the hue of the blend.

Color

Preserves gray levels. It’s very useful for coloring and tinting.

Luminosity

Is the inverse effect of the Color mode.

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