Aug 29, 2013

Enhance a Beautiful Sunset in Photoshop

Lighting for Sunset Sunrise and sunset are both amazing times to own a camera. Take advantage of this light as often as you can. There is a reason that it is called “golden hour”. It will turn your photos into gold.

If you want the sun to set behind your subject in your photo, you may want to add a supplemental light source or reflector to keep your subject’s face out of shadow. In this example we use a Paul C Buff Einstein camera left with a large white umbrella and 1/2 CTO gels to color it. The head was powered with a Vagabond Mini. The reason to use CTO gels in this case is to warm the light coming from the strobe to match the color temperature of the sun.

In this episode we cover:

  • Adding Detail in Shadow – You will learn a great way to add detail and brightness to an image while not affecting the highlight range. You can also color this light to more closely match the sunset color.
  • Remove a Subject – Learn how to combine multiple exposures together quickly to remove a subject and even match exposure.
  • Add Light Flare – Add just enough light flare to make the image more painterly-like, but not enough to make your subject throw up from the “Too Much Lens Flare” effect.

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    Sarp Abdullah Gültemiz

    Have a nice work
    Congratulations on your lessons is a joy to watch

  • user image

    whats the diffrence between using apply image to only affect the shadows and using blend if to have it only affect the shadows?

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      Jordan Tarrant

      In my experience ‘Apply image’ tends to be smoother than ‘Blend-if’. What I mean is that the gradients tend to be more natural with more tones in between.

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      Leszek Frankowski

      Well, in this case they’re almost the same. Using Blend If with one half of the slider set to white and the other to black produces almost the same result as Apply Image.
      You can then use Levels/Curves on the mask to produce the same result as moving the second half of the Blend If slider.

      For Blend If it can be easier to specify which levels of lightness will be affected but I think the main difference is in what you can do after applying the initial effect.

      With Apply Image you can for example blur the mask, something that you can’t do with Blend If.
      On the other hand, you can combine a layer mask with Blend If to specify which shadows get affected and how much.
      Sure, you can also paint on the Apply Image mask but if you don’t like the effect you have to start from scratch and use Apply Image again, while with Blend If it’s easier to undo changes to only one part of the mask.

      All in all, in most cases, they’re both good and you can even use both at the same time.

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    steve docwra

    Thank you Aaron, another fantastic tutorial, can’t believe how much better my images look in such a short space of time.

  • user image

    Another amazing tutorial – my mind is spinning with new information and ideas having watched it! I now have a dedicated Phlearn notebook for jotting down all the new info.

    I have not come across many websites with so much information included. Phlearn is up there with David Hobby’s ‘Strobist’ when it comes to sharing knowledge.

    Anyone else agree?

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    Lars Christiansen

    One of my favorite episodes so far! Amazing what can be achieved in such a short time of editing…

  • user image

    Again, you KNEW exactly what I needed to learn…I mean Phlearn…in any case I was trying to create this effect last night and struggled because I had missed this episode. Just goes to show I need to not miss a single day! All I can say is “thank you” for another great tutorial that I will use over and over again.