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Chapter 13. Enhancement > Color Burn Mode

Color Burn Mode

This mode is not easy to describe or understand, but can be very useful nonetheless. Just as with all the Darken blending modes, white doesn't do anything in Color Burn mode. Black will leave any red, green, or blue numbers that are 255 alone and force all others to zero. When you paint with a primary color (pure red, green, or blue), you'll end up with the amount of that primary color that was in the underlying image and nothing else. When you paint with a color that's made out of two primaries, Photoshop will strip the third primary color out of the underlying image. Here's where the goodies come in. Paint with shades of gray to darken and intensify the colors that are in the underlying image. This can work wonders for darkening bland-looking skies, making them more colorful while at the same time maintaining the bright white clouds (Figures 13.39 and 13.40). I sometimes like the way shadows look when I use Color Burn. If a shadow is falling on a textured background, then more of the texture will come through because it will maintain more of the highlights (Figures 13.41 and 13.42). I also use this mode to colorize grayscale images. If you're going to try it, just make sure to change the mode of your image from grayscale to RGB or CMYK. You'll most likely want to lower the opacity of the painting tool you use; otherwise, you'll end up with a rather dark result. I'll talk more about using the mode for colorizing once we've had a chance to cover some of the other modes that are also used for that purpose.

Figure 13.39. The original image. (© 2005 Stockbyte, www.stockbyte.com)



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