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How to Create a Beautiful Sunset Effect in Photoshop

Photoshop 101-301
 
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Adding a sunset effect to a photo can be done in a couple of easy steps, and makes a huge Difference in a back-lit image. First, make sure the image is lit from behind so the sun is visible. Next, create a custom Radial Gradient to mimic the sun. The gradient should go from white, to orange, to red. Then, add a Layer Mask so the sun only shows up in small circe. Blur the circle, and the sun is complete! Follow the rest of the tutorial to Color-match the image to the sunset.

Download Sunset Gradient

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Coloring the Image to Match the Sunset

After applying the sunset gradient to the photo, it is important to Color match the rest of the photo. Use a ‘Color BalanceAdjustment Layer and click on “Highlights‘ to increase red and green Levels, and to decrease blue Levels. If needed, mask in the area around the sunset for better color matching.

Add Blue to the Shadows

Blue and gold look great together, and adding Color into the Shadows of an image is a great way to introduce Complimentary Colors. To create a ‘Cross Process‘ color effect, start by making a new ‘Solid Color’ Adjustment Layer and choosing a dark blue. Change the Blend Mode to ‘Lighten‘ and it will only show up in the Shadows of your image. After creating the ‘Solid Color’ adjustment layer, it is easy to change the color. Double click on the adjustment layer and choose a new color from the color picker window.

Skills You Will Learn

  • Coloring
  • Compositing
  • Pen Tool
  • Special FX
  • Tone

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