05 Layer blend modes
Now I’m changing the blending mode in the Layers panel on the right side of the screen as a quick way of combining the two images. The Linear Light mode works well here, blending the clouds with the forest scene in a mysterious, ethereal way.
06 Changing the opacity
The top part of the picture was burning out a little after the previous step, so I’ve reduced the opacity of the top layer to 80% to restore some of the highlight detail. And now all I need to do is click the Save button to close the file and then switch back to Aperture to see the result.
07 The new version(s)
Back in Aperture, you can see my new photo (circled in red) grouped with the original image. It’s all worked perfectly, though there is one minor annoyance with this process. When you export an image to an external editor from Aperture, it automatically creates a new file for editing. In this case, I don’t just get a new version of my forest picture, I also get a duplicate of the sky image I opened alongside it. This is not needed, and I’ll have to delete it manually.
08 The finished picture
If I was doing this for real, I’d want to use a mask and some further adjustments to blend the clouds in more effectively with the forest, but this was just intended as a demonstration of how the Perfect Layers 8 system works. It’s quite a nice effect, though, and one that wold be impossible to achieve in Aperture or Lightroom aloen. The masking tools in Perfect Photo Suite 8 are very good, incidentally, and I’ll be looking at them in more detail in future posts.