Using the Screen Blend Mode in Photoshop to Edit a Dark Photo

January 11, 2015

Blend Modes in Photoshop change the way in which layers interact with one another.

“(The Blending Mode) Screen brightens by lightning the lower layer based on the lightness of the upper layer. The result is always lighter, and makes it a good mode for correcting exposure in photos that are too dark.”  -Sara Froehlich

When you find yourself with an image that needs a little lightening, using the Screen Blend Mode could just be a quick fix.

I took this photo of my grandson, Tyler, and his face was shadowed.


There are various different ways to fix photos like this, but I like to start with the easiest way to see what kind of result I can get.   I followed this process:

1. Duplicate the original photo.

2. Change the blend mode of the duplicated photo to Screen.

3. The result was good, but a little too strong for my taste.  I reduced the Opacity of the Screen Mode to 76% and was happy.


This method might not work with every photo, but it’s a great place to start. You might just get an easy fix right away!

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  1. Stacey

    thank you so much! i’ve tried several of your tutorials on my photos. I have several that are too dark. I’m so glad you’re doing pdf files as they make it easier to keep and find when I need them.

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