As mentioned, I use overlay for toning when using a technique like you describe - and this 'feature' is not present with overlay, results are the same if the layer is transparent or filled with the netural blend colour [50% gray].
But then as you have found, some other blend modes do react differently to the same edit performed on either transparency or the neutral blend colour.
Perhaps it is due to the neutral blend not being 50% gray - who knows?
Here are a couple of responses pasted together from the Adobe Photoshop Elements forum written by a guy named Chuck. His explanation makes sense to me.
>>Richard, I tried your experiment and got the same result. Here are some
thoughts about what you experienced.
Color Dodge is a 'lightening mode' , which means that painting on the layer with any color brighter than black has the potential to brighten the
underlying image. In the case of Color Dodge, it will also tend to make the
colors more saturated. When you start with a Color Dodge layer full of black
and then paint (in normal blending mode for the brush) with white at a low opacity, you're in effect removing black, but only some of it (you can see
that on the thumbnail for the layer) - you have some gray left behind. On
the other hand, when you paint with white on a Color Dodge layer that has no black fill, it's really very much like just painting over the layer below
with white - no black to absorb it and do the dodging. If you paint on that
'empty' (unfilled) Color Dodge layer with a dark gray instead of white, I
think you'll get the same effect as painting on the filled layer with white.
Richard, the black is neutral in that it's the only color that can fill the
Color Dodge layer that doesn't affect the view of the image below (because
everything except black lightens). And when you paint on it with white at
10% opacity, you're mixing white with black and getting a dark gray. Try
painting on the one without the color dodge neutral black box checked, but
instead of white, try dark gray; I think it looks a lot like the one with
the box checked and white paint. Thanks for posting the comparisons in your gallery. <<
Last edited by Rich10; 08-03-2003 at 10:40 AM.
Thanks for the reply Richard.
Thanks for the thread too. Perhaps my guess about the black neutral blend colour was close after all.
So, what can one take away from all this?
If toning in a layer which offers the choice of a neutral blend mode - one should probably take this option.
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