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Photo Editing with Apply Image

The Apply Image command also has a use in day-to-day photo editing tasks. By creating a layer mask using the image itself as the mask, you can adjust the strength of some fixes. For example, when lightening an image, try these steps:

  1. Create a duplicate of the image background layer and apply the Screen blend mode to the top layer.
  2. Add a layer mask to the top layer by using the Add Layer Mask icon at the foot of the Layers palette.
  3. Select the Layer Mask thumbnail and choose Image > Apply Image.
  4. Disable the Mask checkbox. From the Source image list, choose the target image.
  5. Set the blend mode to Normal and click OK. The image itself now appears as a grayscale mask on the top layer, limiting the strength of the Screen blend mode so it affects lighter areas more strongly than darker areas (see Figure 7).
    Figure 7

    Figure 7 Adding a grayscale version of the image as a mask on the topmost layer affects the strength of the Screen blend mode—giving a more natural result in the leftmost image, when compared to the version without the mask on the right.

With a little experimentation, you’ll find that the Apply Image command has a place in creating interesting photo effects as well as in routine photo-fixing tasks.

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