Blend modes are one of the sweet hidden tools in photoshop. I love to use them, but I often have to just go down the list to find the look I want. I have my favorites but sometimes it can be a little hit or miss. I saw a cheat sheet over on The Daily Digi and noticed it was missing a couple of the blend modes, so I decided to make my own graphic of all of the blend modes on Photoshop CS6.
And just because I like to see different takes on the same concept, I made it in solid tan, blue, and a fun paisley by Daniellee from the Daily Digi's bonus files The Good Life. Isn't it fun to see how the paisley pattern interacts with the photo? Now, obviously, some of these looks aren't great, but remember the opacity slider. And there's always combining blend modes. But that's for another day. :)
The super basic explanation of how to use the blend modes:
Put a paper or solid color on a layer under your photo layer. On the photo, use the drop down menu for the blend modes (at the top of the layers palette) and choose the blend mode you want. Change the opacity slider (right next to the blend modes drop down menu) to get the look you want.