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Adding an ethereal glow

From: Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters

Video: Adding an ethereal glow

When you'd like to add a netherial glow or just a softening sort of effect to an image, there's a very simple technique you can use to achieve the result. In this photo, for example, I have a scene that I stumbled upon at the base of a tree, someone had added a fairy princess and some other objects to the tree and I thought it was an interesting scene so I photographed it and I thought it might be more interesting if we add a little bit of a dreamy glow to the image. To create the effect I'll start off by creating a background copy layer, so I'll drag the thumbnail from my background image layer.

Adding an ethereal glow

When you'd like to add a netherial glow or just a softening sort of effect to an image, there's a very simple technique you can use to achieve the result. In this photo, for example, I have a scene that I stumbled upon at the base of a tree, someone had added a fairy princess and some other objects to the tree and I thought it was an interesting scene so I photographed it and I thought it might be more interesting if we add a little bit of a dreamy glow to the image. To create the effect I'll start off by creating a background copy layer, so I'll drag the thumbnail from my background image layer.

Down to the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the layers panel. I'll then go to the Filter menu, and choose Blur, followed by Gaussian blur, and I'll just apply a very basic blur effect to the image. I'll use a relatively small radius. I don't need a very strong effect. I just need enough of a blur, that I can create a little bit of a halo type of effect in the image. Notice that as we blur the image, we start to expand all of the objects. We're essentially spreading out all the tones and colors around the objects that have those tones and colors.

So you can see that we've got that blooming effect. In fact, the crown, for example, on this princess is moving outward as it softens up. This looks to be reasonably good setting and so, I'll go ahead and click OK. Of course, at the moment, I've simply blurred the image, so it just appears as an outer focus image, not an image that has an ethereal glow per se. And so I need to reveal the original sharp details in the image. And those details can be found on my background image layer. If I want to reveal them completely of course, I could turn off the visibility for my Background Copy layer, but in this case I want to partially reveal this blur effect.

In essence I want to be able to see through this blur effect to the underlying image. And so with the background copy layer active on the Layers panel, I'll go to the top right of the Layers panel and click on the Opacity Control, and then reduce the value for opacity. At a 0% opacity, we're not seeing the blurred layer at all, so we're only seeing the sharp version of the image. And if I increase the opacity to 100%, of course, I'm only seeing the blurred version. So I want somewhere in between, just enough to give me a nice sort of hazy and ethereal glow in the image, in this case right around 50 or 60% seems to be a good value.

I can toggle the visibility of the background copy layer off and then on to get a better sense of the effect but, as you can see with just a couple of quick and easy steps we're able to produce a very nice ethereal glow effect in our image.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters
Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters

40 video lessons · 3358 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 
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  1. 1m 24s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
  2. 16m 23s
    1. Adding a single filter
      3m 21s
    2. Using the Filter Gallery
      4m 51s
    3. Using Smart Filters
      4m 2s
    4. A flexible filter workflow
      4m 9s
  3. 36m 0s
    1. Creating an ethereal effect with Clarity
      2m 13s
    2. Creating a black-and-white interpretation of an image
      3m 12s
    3. Adding a monochromatic tint effect
      2m 27s
    4. Using a gradient map preset
      2m 42s
    5. Creating a gradient map preset
      7m 48s
    6. Adding a vignette
      3m 17s
    7. Adding film grain
      5m 25s
    8. Oversharpening
      3m 17s
    9. HDR tone mapping
      5m 39s
  4. 37m 47s
    1. Creating a filtered edge effect
      4m 6s
    2. Producing a dreamy look with Surface Blur
      3m 4s
    3. Iris Blur with a twist
      4m 32s
    4. The Tilt-Shift blur effect
      3m 52s
    5. Creating an oil paint effect
      4m 36s
    6. Adding selective motion blur
      4m 36s
    7. Adding lens flare
      5m 21s
    8. Adding a lighting effect
      5m 6s
    9. Adding an ethereal glow
      2m 34s
  5. 24m 21s
    1. Applying a wild curve
      3m 1s
    2. Playing with blend modes
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a painterly effect with Find Edges
      2m 41s
    4. Creating a sketch effect
      5m 26s
    5. Crystallizing pixels
      3m 6s
    6. Getting extreme with Mezzotint
      3m 42s
    7. The Solarize filter
      2m 25s
  6. 38m 38s
    1. Smearing with Liquify
      7m 0s
    2. Going fish-eye with Polar Coordinates
      3m 38s
    3. Using the Spherize and Pinch filters
      3m 18s
    4. Using the Ripple, Twirl, Wave, and ZigZag filters
      5m 45s
    5. Getting blocky with Mosaic
      2m 44s
    6. Creating huge pixels with Pointilize
      3m 0s
    7. Creating tiles
      3m 42s
    8. Creating blocks with Extrude
      4m 29s
    9. Mapping the image with Trace Contour
      2m 44s
    10. Creating a stylized wind-blown effect
      2m 18s

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