Dusk Lighitng After the Fact with Photoshop

Dusk Lighting can be achieved in several ways; one of the easiest is to take photographs and then add the dusk lighting with Photoshop. Photoshop, and many other image editing applications, are capable of adding in dusk lighting effects, although the process and techniques may differ slightly.

Learning how to perfect the dusk lighting effects will help to make your photos stand out and become much more professional. It's essential that you take time to master this skill so that you can tastefully add the technique to your photos without it being too over powering.

Step 1: Loading the Image

If you don't already have a suitable landscape photograph, then you can find one on many of the stock photo websites. Once you have a suitable photo, it's very easy to open it in Photoshop. Simply load Photoshop and then open your image by clicking File, Open and selecting the chosen image.

Step 2: Duplicating Layers

Your image will have a single background layer when it's first opened. You now need to duplicate the background layer so that you can adjust colors of the image without causing any harm to the original image. The new layer can be renamed to "BW layer" if you wish.

Step 3: Desaturating the Image

Desaturate the image by clicking on Image, Adjustments, Desaturate. Or, alternatively simply press Control (CTRL), Shift and U. This will convert your image to black and white. Now, adjust the brightness and contrast of the image by clicking Image, Adjustments, Brightness/Contrast. Then, lighten the image slightly.

Step 4: Applying Gaussian Blur

Click Filters, Blur, Gaussian Blur. Set the blur radius to 2px for a mild blur. Click OK and wait for the blur to be applied to the image.

Step 5: Blending Mode

Change the blending mode of the black and white layer to overlay mode; also change the opacity to 50%. This will make the image look slightly surreal. Experiment with different settings to get a unique and interesting result. It is however important to ensure that you don't overdo things because this can make your site look amateurish if you're not careful. The opacity will make the blur much less noticeable.

At this stage, the image should already have dusk lighting which starts to appear, however, there are still a few things that you can do to improve the image.

Step 6: Adding Pink Tones

Create a new layer by clicking Layers, New Layer. This layer can then be renamed to make it much easier to find. In this new layer, fill it using a bright pink color which you might find in sunsets. The eraser tool can then be used to remove parts of the pink color which you don't want to be there. Removing some sections of pink will make your image look much more realistic.

In this new layer, the blending mode should be set to Color and a 20% opacity.

Step 7: Enhancements

That's the end of the basic dusk lighting effect, although it is possible to enhance it by adding a setting sun and glow in the rest of the photo.

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