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During the time you’ve played your Playstation 4, you’ve likely noticed a variety of colors flashing on the back of your Dualshock 4 controller. Some of them may show up more often than others, but sometimes it’s not exactly clear what these lights are trying to indicate, especially if they pop up out of nowhere.

These lights can range from indicating errors with your PS4, problems connecting, needing a charge, marking different players, etc. Sometimes, games themselves will change your controller light bar to different colors simply as an effect for the game.

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For example, if you’re using a flashlight in-game, the developers may have set the controller to turn white in this instance. However, if you’re not playing a game or you can’t find another reason for your controller color, below you’ll find all the possible reasons for each one.

What a White Flashing Controller Means

If you’re noticing your controller flashing white, there are a couple things that this could mean, but neither are extremely serious. White flashing on your controller could mean:

Bluetooth or USB connection has failed. You will want to try resetting either or both your controller and the PS4. You’ll also want to check any wires you may be using to connect your controller to your PS4.

The controller battery is low. If a white light is flashing, you may need to plug in your controller and charge it. You may also see a low-battery indication on your screen if this is the case. To charge your controller, you’ll need to plug a USB cable from the back of your controller to your PS4.

Both of these issues are typically easy to fix if something else isn’t to blame, such as a software or hardware issue.

What a Blue Flashing Controller Means

Blue is the most common color you’ll see on the light bar when using your PS4 controller. It will be a solid blue color when it is successfully connected to your PS4 after pressing the PS button. However, if you’re noticing a flashing blue light instead of a solid one, it could be for one of these reasons:

Bluetooth connection failed. This is similar to the issue with a white flashing light, and you’ll want to follow a similar route to fix it. Try connecting via USB, restarting your controller, or restarting the console.

Software or hardware issues. These will have to do with issues that cause the controller to be unable to connect to the console. This could mean your PS4 won’t turn on, or that the charging cables or USB ports on the console or controller aren’t working properly. To fix this, check all cables and ports, then try resetting your PS4.

A blue flashing light could indicate a variety of issues with connectivity, so go through least-invasive troubleshooting techniques to try and fix this first.

What a Red Flashing Controller Means

If your controller is flashing red, this could indicate a more serious issue with your controller’s hardware. It could mean:

A port, cable, or battery issue is occurring. Typically a red light flash occurs when you’re trying to charge a controller, but a hardware issue is preventing it. To fix this, you could try resetting your PS4 controller. You can find the reset button near the L2 button on the back of the controller. You could also replace the cable or battery you’re using. You can tell the battery is malfunctioning if your controller continues to work when plugged into the PS4.

If you replace the cable or battery and the controller continues to be unable to charge, you’ll likely need to replace the controller itself. Further, you can also purchase a dock charging station to prevent damage to the port and remove the need for a cable.

What an Orange Flashing Controller Means

When an orange light flash is occurring, it means that your controller is currently charging and in rest mode. This will happen when you plug your controller in via USB and it’s low on battery charge, and you aren’t using the controller actively.

This is a good indication to have. If you don’t see it when your controller is low on battery and plugged in, that means that your controller isn’t properly charging while in rest mode. This could be due to port or cable issues.

Tips for Flashing Colors on Your PS4 Controller

If you notice any of the above colors while playing a game, it may not actually be indicating an issue. Typically flashing lights to signal problems or other reasons will only occur outside of playing a game. When different light colors are popping up while in a game, it’s more likely that the game developers programmed the light to come on for certain actions or sequences. For example, if you use a certain move in a game, it could cause a blue light to flash. If you’re low on health, it could cause a red light.

Another reason that different colors show up on a controller is when you’re playing a multiplayer game and have more than one controller paired with your PS4. Each different color light signifies a different player. The first player will be blue, second will be red, third is green, and fourth is pink.

Know Why Your PS4 Controller is Flashing These Lights

Having these flashing lights occur without knowing their meaning can be a bit worrying at first. However, understanding what they are indicating can help you fix any issue that may be happening with your PS4 or your controller. This can keep your console running smoothly for a long time to come.

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Celebrate A Red, White, And Blue Fourth Of July In Boston

Celebrate a Red, White, and Blue Fourth of July in Boston


Celebrate a Red, White, and Blue  Fourth of July in Boston  A guide to Independence Day events and festivities in one of America’s oldest cities

Boston Harborfest is one of the largest Fourth of July festivals in the country. The weeklong festival celebrates the city’s maritime and colonial history and includes events ranging from Chowderfest, where you can sample chowder from restaurants across the city and vote for your favorite, to a flag-raising ceremony, historical reenactments, boat and walking tours, a parade, and more. Attending the festival is free, although some partnered events require paid tickets. Today’s events include a whale watch excursion, a walking tour of Boston’s famed Freedom Trail, and free live Dixieland and jazz music courtesy of Downtown Sweet Sound.  

The 38th annual Boston Harborfest runs through July 7. Find a full schedule of events—many free—and locations here. Some events require tickets, which can be purchased online. 

Harborfest, the annual weeklong celebration of Boston’s maritime and colonial history, returns this week with walking tours, a parade, and free live musical performances. Photo courtesy of Harborfest 

The Boston Pops Concert dress rehearsal is from 8 to 10 pm at the Hatch Shell, 47 David G. Mugar Way. The event is free and open to the public. Gates open at 5 pm. Find more details, including a list of prohibited items, here. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Arlington, and walk to the Charles River and Esplanade. 

Boston Pops at the Hatch Shell in Boston, Wednesday, July 4, 2023. Photo by Winslow Townson

Whale-watching cruises depart from One Long Wharf on the hour from 9 am to noon, with one additional cruise leaving at 2:30 pm. The running time is four hours. Admission is $55 for adults, $47 for seniors, $35 for children ages 3 to 11, and $18 for kids under 3; purchase tickets here. Take a Green Line trolley to Government Center, transfer to a Blue Line train toward Wonderland, and exit at Aquarium.

Boston Harbor Cruises has teamed up with the New England Aquarium to host whale-watching tours. Expect to see humpbacks, right whales, finbacks, and more. Photo courtesy of Boston Harbor Cruises

More information about fireworks displays in nearby towns is available here. 

The Bell and Bones Tour at King’s Chapel, 58 Tremont St., runs every half hour from 10:30 am to 4 pm, through July 7. The cost is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, students, and military, and $3 for children under 13. Tickets can be purchased online here. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley or Blue line train to Government Center. 

Lawn On D is at 420 D St., South Boston. Take a Green Line train to Park Street, transfer to an outbound Red Line train to Braintree/Ashmont, and get off at South Station. You can then walk just over a mile or take the #7 bus. 

MFA First Fridays is the first Friday of every month at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, from 6 to 9 pm. This event is 21+ and admission is $23 for students and $25 for adults. Tickets can be purchased online here, or at any MFA ticket desk. Take an MBTA Green Line E trolley to Heath Street to the MFA, or an MBTA #39 bus from Copley Square to the MFA.

On Friday, July 5, the Museum of Fine Arts hosts its monthly First Fridays, a 21+ event featuring a lively mix of art, live music, food, and cocktails. Among the exhibitions visitors can check out is Toulouse Lautrec and the Stars of Paris, on view through August 4.

The Boston Harbor Hotel’s Movies by Moonlight screening of The Parent Trap is Friday, July 5, at the Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, at dusk (approximately 8:25 pm). The event is free and open to the public. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Government Center, and walk about half a mile or transfer to the Blue Line and exit at Aquarium.

The Pirates and Patriots Tour is offered on Saturdays through July and August, and starts at 1 pm. It departs from the ArtsBoston Booth outside Faneuil Hall, at 4 South Market St., lasts 90 minutes, and covers 1.25 miles. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, $8 for children 6 to 12, and free for children under 6. Purchase tickets here. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Government Center or an Orange Line train to Haymarket. 

For fans of presidential history, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is a must. The nation’s 35th president was born in Brookline, Mass. The library and museum, featuring sweeping views of Boston Harbor, is on Columbia Point. In addition to a number of permanent exhibitions, the museum currently is hosting two special exhibitins, Freedom 7 Capsule, featuring Freedom 7, the iconic space capsule that US Navy Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. piloted on the first American manned flight into space in 1961, and JFK 100: Milestones and Mementos, which commemorates President Kennedy’s centenary and features a compelling selection of items drawn mostly from the Kennedy Library’s collections. It chronicles historic milestones in the president’s career and administration, as well as the events of his personal and family life.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is at Columbia Point, Boston. For GPS, use the address 220 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125. The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, $10 for youth ages 13-17, and free for kids 12 and under. Find directions here.

Among the special exhibitions currently on view at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library and Museum is Freedom 7 Capsule, featuring Freedom 7, the iconic space capsule that US Navy Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr., piloted on the first American manned flight into space in May 1961. 

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How To Make Your Ps4 Download Faster

PlayStation 4 is one of the fastest-selling game consoles of all time, but many first-generation consoles have a problem with their Wi-Fi card. The connection speed is typically slower than it should be, which is a problem when many games have download sizes of hundreds of gigabytes.

There are steps you can take to make games download faster on PlayStation 4. If you’re planning on downloading something like Red Dead Redemption 2, you will need the fastest speed possible. 

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How to Make Your PS4 Download Faster

Here’s how you can increase your PS4 download speed.

Use an Ethernet Cable

An Ethernet cable is typically several times faster than Wi-Fi. A hardwired connection is more stable and circumvents the faulty Wi-Fi card in many of the earliest models of the PlayStation 4. 

Move Your PlayStation Closer to The Router

Distance and interference greatly diminish the PlayStation’s Wi-Fi speed. If your PlayStation and router are in different rooms with multiple walls between them, you’ll see low speeds, sometimes less than a megabit per second. 

Place the PlayStation 4 and the router in the same room with a direct line of sight for better results. Even placing the PlayStation 4 inside a cabinet can block the connection, and its download speeds will suffer. 

Don’t Play Games While Downloading

When the PlayStation is downloading a new game or file, avoid playing anything on the console. Both single-player and multiplayer games can slow down the connection. 

Anything involving a connection to the internet or sending large amounts of data will prioritize the download, and your gaming experience might suffer too. 

Update Your PlayStation

Make sure you have the latest version of the PlayStation operating system. Sony routinely releases updates that address problems within the console. The newest version of the operating system will patch any security flaws and can also improve download speeds.

Open your PlayStation 4’s menu and navigate to Settings.

Scroll down and select System Software Update.

If an update is available, you can start it from this screen. It will also tell you if your system is already up to date.

Use Rest Mode to Download While You Aren’t Playing

Use PlayStation 4’s rest mode to download games when you aren’t actively using the console. It’s the best way to keep content up to date without sacrificing playtime. Although this setting is on by default, you might need to re-enable your PlayStation to remain connected to the Internet while in rest mode so it can continue downloading games.

Open your PlayStation 4’s menu and navigate to Settings.

Scroll down to Power Save Settings.

Select Set Features Available in Rest Mode.

Select Stay Connected to the Internet.

Doing this will allow you to continue downloading applications while PlayStation 4 is in rest mode. 

Change Your DNS Settings

DNS stands for Domain Name System. Simply, this is a collection of servers. Your PlayStation connects to your DNS automatically, but you can set specific DNS network addresses if your default connection doesn’t work. Many users have reported an increase in their download speeds when swapping to an alternate DNS.

Open your PlayStation 4’s menu and navigate to Settings.

Select Network.

Select Set Up Internet Connection.

Choose Use Wi-Fi or Use a LAN Cable. 

Select Custom.

If you choose Wi-Fi, select the Wi-Fi network you want to use, then select Automatic.

Select Do Not Specify for DHCP Host Name.

Select Manual for DNS Settings.

Enter for Primary DNS and for Secondary DNS.

Select Automatic for MTU settings.

Select Do Not Use for Proxy Server.

After entering these settings, restart your PlayStation 4 and perform an Internet speed test. It should be faster than before, as the primary and secondary DNS listed above are some of the most-used and most-recommended options for PlayStation 4 connections.

If you are downloading only a single title at a time and the download begins to slow down or stutter, you can pause the download and then resume it. If your connection weakens or drops, the PlayStation will throttle the download. Even if your connection resumes, your console may continue to use the lower speed. 

Select a download and then select Pause. 

Select the paused download and then select Resume, which forces the PlayStation to reconnect to the download server and increase the speed of that specific download. 

Ps4 Accessories That Will Make You Love Your Console More!

PS4 Accessories that will make you love your console more!

So, what are we waiting for let’s read further to know more about PS4 accessories that you should consider buying.

PlayStation 4 Accessories you must purchase:

Sony provides various gaming PS4 accessories, that you can consider buying. For you, here we list best of them. Use them to enhance your gaming experience:


If you are into virtual reality then you should buy PSVR. It allows you to play games in virtual reality. It comes with 5.7 OLED screen which gives clear and immersive 3D experience. Moreover, it comes with 360 degree vision and can deliver 120 frames per second.

PSVR is compatible with PS4 pro, PS4 slim, and PS4.  PSVR includes PS4 camera that can be used for Live broadcasting, Facial recognition, Voice commands, and Tracking.

2. Extra Dualshock 4

PS4 console comes with a single Dualshock 4 controller only. However, if you want to play with your friends, an extra Dualshock 4 controller is required. Therefore, we suggest buying PS4 bundle that comes with an extra controller. It is cost effective, using it you can play current running games without charging the controller. What you need to do is simply charge extra PS4 controller accessories and play with it.

3. PS4 vertical stand


Are you falling short of space to place your PS4? If yes, try using PS4 stand. This will make your PS4 stand vertically. You can purchase it separately from any online store. Vertical stand helps saving space and gives PS4 a different upright look. You can find different types of vertical stands for your PS4. One that can charge your controllers are the best, as they let you play without worrying about charging your controller.


5. Dualshock 4 Controller charging dock


If you have multiple Dualshock 4 controllers, charging dock is a must have accessory. Charging dock charges multiple Dualshock 4 controllers at once. So, that you do not have to worry about charging your controller in between the game. Simply swap your current Dualshock 4 controller with the charged one and resume playing.

6. PS4 camera:


8. Official license products for PS4 by SONY:

There are several products available in market that are officially licensed by Sony. Some of the accessories are T80 Racing Wheel, Playseat® Gran Turismo, and Playseat® Evolution, if you are a fan of racing games then these official licensed product will increase your gaming experience.

Also Read: Top Free Games You Can Play on Your PS4

These are some of the PlayStation 4 accessories that you can purchase and enhance your gaming experience. PS4 alone cannot provide the gaming experience you are looking for. To enjoy your PS4 to the fullest try using these accessories.

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Kunal Sharma

Why Is It So Hard For White People To Talk About Race?

Why Is It So Hard for White People to Talk about Race? A conversation with White Fragility author Robin DiAngelo, speaking at BU Monday

Robin DiAngelo, author of the New York Times best-seller White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Race.

Photo by Gabriel Solis

“I’m white—check me out, everybody,” sociologist and author Robin DiAngelo said as she launched into a talk about race at a recent higher education diversity conference.

DiAngelo has led racial justice training for corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, and educators for more than 20 years. That work inspired her to write the New York Times best seller White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Race (Beacon Press, 2023), and it’s the subject of the keynote address she’ll give Monday at BU, sponsored by the Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion office.

DiAngelo wasn’t raised to think about herself in racial terms, but she has come to understand that she moves through the world with a “most particularly white experience in a society that is profoundly separate and unequal by race.”

“People of color from a very early age have to know my reality in a way that I’m very sorry to say, I don’t have to know theirs.”

A University of Washington affiliate associate professor of education, DiAngelo came up with the term “white fragility” in 2011 to describe the way many white people respond when their assumptions about race (especially their own) are challenged—and how that response continues racial inequality.

BU Today: You write in your book that “white fragility is the inability to tolerate racial stress.” Can you talk more about that?

DiAngelo: The fragility part is meant to capture how little it takes to completely unravel us. For many white people, the mere suggestion that being white has meaning will cause umbrage—in particular, generalizing about white people will trigger umbrage.

But the impact of our umbrage is not fragile at all. It’s a weaponized defensiveness. It marshals behind it centuries of institutional power, and so the impact is quite profound. We make it so hard for people of color to talk to us about their experiences that most of the time they don’t, because it tends to get worse for them when they talk to us, rather than better.

What do you mean when you talk about the difference between people who say they’re “color-blind” and those who “color celebrate”?

My area of research is discourse analysis. That’s the critical examination of everyday narratives and how they function. In talking to white people day in and day out for years, I see two general categories of everyday white narratives that white people use as evidence that we’re not racist—color-blind and color celebrate.

Color-blind is probably number one—that’s some version of: “I was taught to treat everybody the same.” When I hear that from a white person, there’s a bubble over my head saying, “This person doesn’t understand basic socialization…this person is not self-aware.”

No one was taught to treat everyone the same.

Color celebrate is more popular with white progressives, where our evidence is some version of proximity. We’ll say things like, “I have people of color in my family,” or “I used to live in New York City,” or “I’ve been to Costa Rica.” If this is the evidence that white progressives use to establish their lack of racism, then apparently a racist could not take a trip to Costa Rica or work three cubicles down from a person of color or live in a major city.

How did you get to the point of being able to talk about what it means for you to be white?

I grew up in poverty, under patriarchy… With the feminist movement, I began to have a critical consciousness fairly early about sexism. But I had absolutely no critical consciousness about where I experienced privilege, where I actually colluded with the oppression of someone else. It wasn’t until I started working side by side with people of color in racial justice trainings at the same time that I was trying to talk to majority white groups about racism that my eyes were opened.  It was a parallel process and it was was profound.

I got a job as a diversity trainer, as we called it in the ’90s, and I had no idea what I was in for. The state of Washington Department of Social and Health Services had been sued for racial discrimination, and as part of the settlement the federal government mandated that every employee receive 16 hours of diversity training.

I applied for the job and I thought I was qualified because I was a vegetarian. How could I be a racist? I had that classic white progressive mentality. Here I get this job and I’m working side by side with people of color. They’re challenging me to the core of how I saw myself in the world. Part of being white is that I could be that far in my life—I was in my 30s and college-educated—and never before had my racial worldview been challenged.

My whole world was blown open. I was working side by side with some very strong people of color, but also going into these white workplaces trying to teach white people about racism, and the hostility was just jaw-dropping. I was very intimidated and very inarticulate in the face of it, but I hung in there. I had some amazing mentors of color who hung in there with me, and after years and years of work, it became clearer and clearer how we white people manage to claim race has no meaning in a society wholly stratified by race. Over time, I got better at laying it all out.

Then I got my PhD.  So I could apply all I’d learned; I went from practice to theory. Now, because I’m older, I have a degree of credibility that allows me to push harder.

Has your racial justice work become any easier now, the post-Obama era, as a lot of people seem to have become more aware of structural and systemic racism and inequality?

Yes. That surprised me because I thought it would be more difficult. I think this thin veneer of post racial-ness in the Obama years was just ripped off. I think a lot of white progressives were in shock, and there is a kind of urgency that I didn’t see during the Obama years. That seems to make white people more receptive. At the same time, there is more permission for explicit racism than there was. I don’t think that anyone is in denial anymore that racism exists.

You’ve said that your intention is not to make white people feel guilty and this is not about being a good person or a bad person. Can you expand a bit on that?

As long as we understand racism as individual acts of intentional meanness, we will feel defensive about any suggestion of our complicity. When we understand the systemic nature of racism, however, we understand that our complicity is inevitable. It’s actually liberating to start from that premise, because then we can turn our attention to identifying what our complicity looks like and how we might change it.

I don’t feel guilt and I do not want other white people to feel guilt. It’s a useless emotion, and we are not effective when we feel that way. Quite contrary to guilt, I have found this to be the most intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically rewarding journey I have ever embarked on.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

In her keynote address, Robin DiAngelo: What Does It Mean to Be White? on Monday, March 4, DiAngelo will explore such questions as What prevents us from moving toward greater racial equity? How does race shape the lives of white people? What makes racism so hard for white people to see? She will speak at the George Sherman Union Metcalf Hall, 775 Commonwealth Ave., from 11 am to 12:30 pm. This event is free and sponsored by the Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion office. Register here.

Photoshop Black And White Conversions – Luminosity Blend Mode

Photoshop Black and White Conversions – Luminosity Blend Mode

Written by Steve Patterson.

As we continue our journey through the many ways of converting color photos to black and white in Photoshop, we’ve so far looked at how to convert a color photo from the RGB color mode to the Grayscale color mode, how to desaturate the color in the image using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, and how to replace the original colors in the image with a black-to-white gradient using a Gradient Map.

In this tutorial, we’ll look at our fourth way of converting color photos to black and white, this time using the Luminosity layer blend mode, which deals only with the brightness values in the image, ignoring the color information. At the end of the tutorial, we’ll see how to improve on the results using a couple of additional blend modes, and how to target specific areas of the photo with a layer mask!

Here once again is the photo I’ll be using throughout these tutorials so we have an easy way of comparing the results of our black and white conversions:

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Add A New Blank Layer Below The Background Layer

The first thing we need to do with our Luminosity technique is to create a new layer. If we look in our Layers palette, we can see that with our photo newly opened in Photoshop, our document contains just one layer named Background. This is the layer our photo is sitting on:

The problem is, we need the new layer to appear below the Background layer. It’s a problem for two reasons. First, by default, Photoshop adds new layers above the currently selected layer, not below them, and second, Photoshop doesn’t allow us to place anything below the Background layer (since, after all, it’s supposed to serve as the background for the document).

Step 2: Fill The New Layer With White

We’re going to be changing the layer blend mode of the image to Luminosity, and the way the Luminosity blend mode works is that it blends the brightness values of the layer with the color of the layer (or layers) below it. At the moment though, the layer we just added below the image is blank, which means the Luminosity blend mode won’t work since it will have nothing to blend the brightness values of the image with. Let’s fill the new layer with white.

With “Layer 1” selected in the Layers palette (selected layers are highlighted in blue), go up to the Edit menu at the top of the screen and choose the Fill command:

This brings up Photoshop’s Fill dialog box, which gives us an easy way to fill the layer with a color. Set the Use option to White in the Contents section at the top of the dialog box:

Step 3: Change The Blend Mode Of The Photo Layer To Luminosity

By changing the blend mode to Luminosity, Photoshop blends only the brightness values (whites, blacks and all the shades of gray in between) with the white-filled layer below the image, effectively hiding the color and giving us a black and white version of the photo:

To bring the original color back at any time, all we need to do is change the blend mode for “Layer 0” back to Normal:

Instantly, the full color version of the photo returns:

Switch back to the Luminosity blend mode so we’re once again seeing the black and white version of the image. Up next, we’ll see how to improve our black and white conversion using two other blend modes, and how to limit the areas of the image that are affected with a layer mask!

If you find that the black and white version of your photo is either too light or too dark, we can easily lighten or darken it by combining the Luminosity blend mode with a couple of other blend modes. As we learned in the Five Essential Blend Modes For Photo Editing tutorial, Photoshop’s Screen blend mode can quickly brighten a dark image, while the Multiply blend mode is great for darkening an image that’s too bright. Let’s see how to use these two blend modes to improve our results.

Step 4: Combine Both Layers On To A New Layer

Photoshop won’t allow us to use more than one blend mode with a layer, so let’s combine our two existing layers on to a new layer above “Layer 0”. With “Layer 0” selected in the Layers palette, press Shift+Ctrl+Alt (Win) / Shift+Command+Option (Mac) to quickly combine both layers on to a new layer. You should now see a new layer named “Layer 2” sitting above the original two layers. The new layer contains a copy of our black and white image:

Step 5: Change The Blend Mode To Either Screen Or Multiply

If your black and white version is too light, change the blend mode of the new layer to Multiply:

This will instantly darken the entire photo, bringing out image detail that may have been hidden when the photo was overly bright. Unfortunately in my case, the Multiply blend mode makes the image too dark:

Let’s try lightening it. To lighten a dark image, change the blend mode of the top layer to Screen:

The entire photo now appears lighter than it was originally, although again in my case, the overall image is too bright:

One specific problem with my black and white version that I’d like to be able to fix is that the girl’s grandfather appears darker than the other two people in the photo. The Screen blend mode was able to brighten him, but since it affected the entire image, it made the rest of the photo too bright. Let’s see how we can easily target just the girl’s grandfather without brightening any other areas using a layer mask!

Step 6: Add A Layer Mask Filled With Black

Since the top layer is currently hidden from view by the layer mask, even though it’s set to the Screen blend mode and should be lightening the image, my photo appears unaffected and in its original black and white form in the document window:

Step 7: Select The Brush Tool

To brighten only the girl’s grandfather, all I need to do is paint over him with white on the layer mask. For that, I’ll need Photoshop’s Brush Tool, so I’ll select it from the Tools palette. I could also press the letter B on my keyboard to quickly select it with the shortcut:

Step 8: Paint With White On The Layer Mask

Photoshop uses the current Foreground color as the color for the brush, so press the letter D on your keyboard to quickly reset your Foreground and Background colors if needed, which will make white the Foreground color. If you look at the Foreground and Background color swatches near the bottom of the Tools palette, you should see the Foreground color swatch (top left) set to white. The Background color swatch (bottom right) will be set to black:

With the Brush Tool selected and white as the Foreground color, simply paint over any areas that you need to brighten (or darken, if your top layer is set to the Multiply blend mode). Since we’re painting on the layer mask, not the layer itself, we won’t see the white. Instead, we’ll reveal “Layer 2” in those areas, which will lighten (or darken) the areas we paint over.

You can change the size of your brush as you paint by pressing the left bracket key ( [ ) to make the brush smaller or the right bracket key ( ] ) to make it larger. We can also control the softness or hardness of the brush edges from the keyboard as we paint. Press Shift + left bracket ( [ ) to make the brush edges softer, or Shift + right bracket ( ] ) to make them harder.

Here, we can see the girl’s grandfather becoming lighter in the photo as I paint over his face and shirt:

If we look again at the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers palette, we can see the areas we’ve painted over with white. The rest of the layer where the mask is still filled with black remains hidden from view in the document:

Step 9: Lower The Layer Opacity To Fine-Tune The Results

If you find that the areas you’ve painted over are too light or dark compared with the rest of the image, simply lower the opacity of the layer to fine-tune the results. The Opacity option is directly across from the blend mode option at the top of the Layers palette. The lower you set the opacity, the more transparent the layer will become, allowing it to blend in more with the image below it.

In my case, the girl’s grandfather is too light after painting over him on the mask, so I’m going to lower my opacity down to 70% to reduce the brightness a little:

Thanks to that little bit of extra work with the Screen blend mode and a layer mask, all three people in the photo now share similar brightness levels:

Up next, we’re going to switch modes (as in “color modes”) and take our Photoshop black and white conversions into the Lab (rocket science degree and propeller hat not required)!

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