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How to Create Beams of Light and Lens Flare in Photoshop

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Creating a Lens Flare/ Lighting Effects

This tutorial is perfect for those images that have a strong backlight, such as when you are shooting into the sun. We show you how to enhance a Lens Flare and create Lighting Effects that will make your image more interesting. These techniques only take a couple of minutes and can be used on any image with a backlight.


Use Curves Adjustment Layer

We start by changing the atmosphere Colors around the Light, bringing the black Levels up on the red and green Channels in a curves adjustment layer. This step adds a nice base for the Lighting Effects.

After creating the base we create another Curves Adjustment Layer and brighten it up. We then use a large hard edged Brush to create some flare. This is a great time to play around and place the flare wherever you want.

Next we create a Spatter Pattern on a Layer Mask of another Curves Adjustment Layer and use the Radial Blur to simulate Light streaks. This is a $500 technique that we are giving away for free.

To finish off the image we create a double Vignette, making the area around the subject lighter and darkening the edges of the image.

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