Jun 07, 2012

Amazing Light Leaks and Lens Flares

How to Transform Your SOOC Shot

Today’s episode is focused on how to change your photos from ordinary to remarkable using a few easy tips. The first thing we’ll do is bring some more information into the Highlights using a technique I covered in another episode this week. Its a great way to add color into the Highlights as well. This is done using a Curves Adjustment Layer bringing down the Exposure. Then click on the Layer Mask and go to image- Apply Image and lower the Opacity. Its a great way to bring back detail and gives you a lot of control on how much.

Adding Color

Next I’m going to color the Shadows using a red Color on Lighten blend more. You can choose any Color to start off with and change your Hue and Saturation afterwards. This is great for a Vintage effect. The same can be done for the highlights using the Darken Blend Mode.

Curves are also great for changing up the Color Tones in your highlights and Shadows. Playing around with each different Channel creates really cool effects.

Creating Light Leaks

Light leaks can be done very easily using Radial Gradients. These can also be colored using Curves and can give great Lighting Effects to change up the image! This gives you more control than something like instagram.

Lens Flare

These can be easily done using a Filter, but the best way to make sure they look right is placing them in an area that has Light, to mimc how they would happen naturally. First thing to do is make a layer filled with black. Then go to FilterRenderLens Flare. Click in the general area you decided on and select the Brightness. You can then change your blend mode on the layer to Screen, and that will allow you to edit the layers underneath or move it around if you want. Blurring it can also help make it look more natural.

Final Touches

To finish up the photo I’m going to paint in some Colors on top and change the layer to Color Burn Blend Mode. Changing up the Lights and darks using Levels will change it up a little more and add some more color. You can also Colorize the entire image using a Hue Saturation layer and then lower the Opacity to bring everything together.

Texture Contest

Don’t forget to get your submissions in to win a Free Texture pack!

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      Sebastian Ortiz

      I, as well. Not sure why it changed, yesterdays episode was great, the day before just like this one… not sure what’s going on…. Episodes content are great tho’! … I just noticed this video is a Vimeo video, that could quite possibly be the issue.

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    Sebastian Ortiz

    Great episode, Aaron. Have a safe trip to NC. 🙂

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    Mojo Jojo



    Where’s the HD baby?

    Have a safe trip!!!

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    Loved this tutorial Arron as I just tried to create some light leaks and effects in camera last weekend. This image is 100% SOOC with no photoshop enhancement just a subtle color balance adjustment and thats it. The haze, and the lightleak was all done in camera.

    First not saying this image is great or anything but wanted to share how. If you goto Target or art supply or where ever look for costume jewlery or find little prisms, colored glass or anyhting that will let light through and you can create some some cool effects right in camera. This was my first time trying this and I think for this I used a small bracelet with little green plastic balls.

    I basically dangled it in front of the lens. I shot wide open at 2.8 and its a hit or miss so take plenty of images and try different angles and placements. Of course you wont have the control you get with Photoshop EFX, but for less than $10 you have some more tools to get creative with. I think it was Fashion photog Lindsey Alder that suggested putting different things in front of the lens foir various effects. In hindsight I would have been more careful with the placement as I became to enamoured with the effect and covered my subjects face far too often. Live and learn.

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    Aaron Nace

    We will be posting Vimeo HD videos, Youtube videos process in about half the time, so we have been posting them until the Vimeo videos are complete, but we can wait until they are done to post, thanks for letting me know. 

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    Hey Aaron, did you know they also make decaf coffee now too…? I guess you do by now as you’ve seriously calmed down. Man you were hyper way back in them olden days, Still a cool vid though!