Add A Sunset To A Photo

By | 19/10/2022

In this tutorial we are going to make a beautiful golden hr, like you would see at sunrise or sunset.

You can apply this technique to whatsoever photo. You can employ an overcast solar day, to add a sunrise or dusk, or you tin use a photos where the sunrise didn’t quite hit and really make information technology smooth. We volition use two examples here.

Permit’due south beginning with this aeriform I shot in Greatcoat May NJ.

Make sure y’all image is an viii-Bit RGB image nether Prototype>Way


Right click on the name in the Layers console and choose, Convert to Smart Object. This gives Flexibility  by making the filter a Smart Filter.

I made the smart object on a re-create of the background, this is entirely optional.


Cull Filter>Render>Lighting Effects

Under presets, choose 2 O’Clock Spotlight


Position the hotspot over the sun. If the sun isn’t visible in the paradigm, place the hotsport where the sun would be. Drag on the 4 points to change the size and shape of the lighting oval. Elevate inside the oval to move and outside the oval to rotate.

(I encompass this in more depth in the video and the previous few tutorials if you need more basic educational activity).

These are my preliminary settings. Pay special attention to the Hotspot slider.


In the Lighting furnishings, there are ii areas. The top set of adjustments are for the hotspot, or the low-cal itself.

The bottom set up of adjustments is for the ambient, or overall lighting outside the oval.

There are 2 colour swatches, the top one changes the color of the lit expanse (Low-cal colour), the bottom 1 changes the residuum of the colour on the epitome .


Click on the bottom color picker (colorize) to change the ambient light.

Choose a warm orange color and increase the Intensity to 1.27

Click ok

Y’all volition encounter how nosotros are starting to see a nice golden color of the epitome.


Click on the tiptop color picker, the color one.

Nosotros desire a nice gilded colour of the low-cal source,

If y’all motion your curser over the photograph, it will change to an eyedropper. Click to sample a overnice aureate yellow colour.


Arrange the settings so there is a prissy residuum between the light and a dainty ambient glow.

Hither are the settings I used.

and the result, a realistic looking golden early morn glow.


Let’s look at some other instance, I have something different to testify you lot on this one. Correct click on the name and choose
Catechumen To Smart Object. (You will come across why before long).


Choose Filter>Render>Lighting Effects

The previous settings will announced (its a sticky setting)

Position the hotspot over the dominicus.

If you like, you can alter the settings, like we did in the previous instance. I turned upwards the ambience slider but a little bit, everything else is identical to the last settings.


At present we are going to occlude some of the color in the areas that aren’t facing the sun.

What that ways, is we will turn downwards the gilded color in some areas, just not completely remove it.

When y’all look at the Smart Filter, you volition run into a white box. This is a mask, click on it. (This is why nosotros made a smart object at the outset).

If we pigment with blackness, nosotros tin can paint away the filter.


Choose a soft edged brush (B primal)

Select 50% Grayness as the foreground color.

With the Filter Mask selected (the white rectangle) paint over the areas of the photo that should get less orange color. Information technology’due south subtle, just it will give you an actress layer of realism.


Now we are going to make the highlights popular. This will add some nice definition to the photo.

We are going to Contrivance the rim lighting… you will meet what I mean.

Create a new Layer and brand sure it’s on top.

Change the blending mode to Overlay by clicking and changing “Normal”


With a soft castor selected, change the foreground to a slight yellowish off white.

Lower brush opacity to xxx%.


Paint on the edges that are catching the light, This will enhance the highlights and really brand information technology pop. Because nosotros have turned up the sun, we also demand to turn upwardly those highlight areas.

For me, this is an enjoyable step. It tin have a lilliputian time, but you are at present creating a unique piece of fine art.

And the outcome, See the overnice sunrise and find the frontward facing edges of the boats on the left. Meet how the dodging made it pop. See more on Contrivance and Burn here.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful.

Part 4 is adding a axle of sunlight to a Landscape photo.

Encounter it here