Jan 07, 2013

How to Make Amazing Highlights in Photoshop

Adding Highlights

In order to make the existing highlights in this image stand out even more, first we make the lights and midtones of the image darker using a levels adjustment layer. After that we use our channels to select out our highlights and paint white over the selection on a new layer. Duplicating this layer adds even more highlights which can be made visible or invisible using a layer mask.

Lightening the Background

Since the background ended up darker than the original image, we paint white over the affected area and use layer blending modes to make it look just the way we want.


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  • user image

    Very cool – I’m definitely going to try this. I think this would make a very cool series of my friends along a wall. Any chance you got the word on what the goop was? I’m guessing it’s something like runny paste made of corn starch and warm water.

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    Simon Dein

    Hey guys 🙂 So cool to have my image featured at phlearn! The goo is vaseline as you guessed…so I guess i now owe you a phlearn-pro…

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    Waseef Akhtar

    wow. After years of playing with PS, I still get confused when it comes to highlighting images. I get confused in choosing the Curves, Levels or Color Range. I mean every image speaks differently and selecting it out is different in all. Any tips I should get to make the work easy and better for myself?

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    Eddie Sebastian

    Fantastic episode, Aaron. Been away for a bit, glad to be back. 🙂 Have a lot of catching up to do.

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    Sami Lane

    awesome as always, but i wish to learn how to get that white skin look, i searched everywhere, no one knows it ! please do a video on that it would help soooooooooooo much

  • user image

    I’d love to see a video on how to achieve the white image that you had before you started highlighting it. Been searching for a couple of years. Thanks.