Using the Fade Tool

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Add a washed-out look with Fade.



What is Fade?

The Fade toolmceclip0.jpg compresses the dynamic range of an image so that blacks are more gray and whites are less bright. This effect occurs naturally to all printed images that are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time and even old handwritten documents. Additionally, film naturally fades in many scenarios.

Where it is:


Why would you use it?


Fade is an aggressive form of negative contrast, and thus the concepts from the Contrast tool mceclip1.jpgalso apply to the Fade tool.

We experience varying levels of contrast in our daily lives, and thus we have emotional connections to varying contrast levels. Sunny days have high contrast, while dusk, dawn, and cloudy days have low contrast. Increasing fade can allow you to import some of the feelings of lower contrast images to higher contrast images.


Here, a high contrast image is calmed down with the fade tool, taking on a more relaxed or nostalgic feel.

Since many older images we have seen in our lives are naturally faded with time, the Fade tool can also give your images a vintage or nostalgic feeling similar to old images.

The feelings associated with the Fade toolmceclip1.jpg are similar to those of negative contrast:

Calm, relaxed, melancholy, tired, cold, nostalgic


Here, the Fade tool adds a calm and even tired feel to this image that was dramatically lit despite its mellow subject.

Tips & Tricks:

1. The Fade toolmceclip0.jpg is applied on top of most other tools internally, so no other tools will interact with the Fade tool. Many presets also include some fading in their look already, so the Fade tool is typically applied near the end of the editing process.
2. The Fade toolmceclip0.jpg can be effectively used to soften blown-out highlights (areas that are white when they should have detail). In the image below, the detail on the left arm is blown out. The Fade Toolmceclip0.jpg softens this substantially.


3. When a photo has a sky that is blown out and is then published against a white background, the borders of the image are hard to distinguish, as in the image below. The Fade toolmceclip0.jpg can darken the highlights a bit to solve this problem.


4. Film X presets all fade somewhat with changes to the Charactercharacter-icon.jpgcontrol. If you’re using one of these presets, try using that control instead of the Fade tool as it is more realistic.
5. Try increasing the Fade toolmceclip0.jpg and the Contrast mceclip0.jpgtool for a dynamic-yet-soft effect.



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