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  1. I think that would have been a very interesting project to try. The first photo looks like a screenshot from a game I think. i haven’t tried this but I think it would be interesting to do so. I don’t have Photoshop but do have an older version of Photoshop Elements. I’ve never really understood how masks work so your explanation helped.

    • I first wondered if I should write a detailed tutorial, but in this case it would have been a very confusing long post since I used too many photos and layers or work steps. I might do this some day with a much simpler project that has just two photos. There are some cool things you can do with layer masks, not only for photo manipulation but also for basic photo editing. The same concept of layers and layer masks works with different things too…

      Here is another example, that might make you understand what kind of things you can do with layer masks. You can also add vignette effects with a layer mask (although it’s much easier with a pure photographers tool like Lightroom). Back then I usually did it with Photoshop. I used two layers, one with a photo, and one completely filled with black color. The one with the black color on top. Then I added a circular gradual filter in the layer that is filled with black, the gradual filter would range from black (outside of the circle) to white (inside of the circle)…. since white acts as transparent in the layer mask, you would get the typical vignette effect (outer areas black, photo visible in the middle). It’s good to understand these techniques, but that’s the only reason why it would make sense to add vignette with Photoshop, because other tools have special features that make it much easier to add vignette….. but it’s still good to understand how this is working under the hood 🙂 If you ever added a vignette effect to your photos, under the hood there was basically a black layer mask applied with a white to black gradual filter circle 🙂

      Talking about Photoshop again, layer masks also acts as a non-destructive feature since you don’t really apply any changed to the photo but to a layer with a layer mask. That’s what I like about it too.

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