Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
If you work with studio lighting, then you know taht you're able to create a wide variety of different effects for any subject you're photographing. Simply by adjusting the size, position, and number of lights you're using. We can create similar effects in Photoshop, utilizing the Lighting Effects filter. Let's take a look at how we can use this filter to add a dramatic effect to a photo. I'll start off by creating a copy of my Background Image layer. So, I drag the thumbnail for that Background layer down to the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel.
And then, with that background copy created, I'll go to the Filter menu and choose Render followed by Lighting Effects. That will bring up our Lighting Effects controls. And we can start off by taking a look at the various presets. On the Options bar, you'll see that the Presets popup offers us a variety of different options to choose from. Now, with the Lighting Effects filter, we're able to add multiple lights of multiple types. And then, adjust the settings for each of those individual lights to change the effect for the image. But let's start off just by taking a look at some of the wide variety of options we have available from the presets that are already included. You can see that we have colored whites versus white lights. Multiple lights, in some cases, spotlights versus flood lights. A wide variety of different options that could be used for all sorts of different creative effects.
For this particular image, I think the Soft Spotlight effect is going to work out quite nicely. As far as giving us a bit of an eerie and almost scary effect for this already rather interesting image. On the Options bar, you'll see that we have options to add a spotlight, a flood of light, as well as sunlight. And then, over on the Properties panel, we can adjust the color, the intensity, the size of the hot spot, as well as the overall colorization of the light itself, the exposure setting. We have a variety of different effects that we can apply and adjust, and that includes adjusting multiple individual lights.
So, for example, I'll add another light, in this case, a point light. And I can Click and Drag within the image to move that light source around. I can also adjust the intensity using the Dial control around the bulls eye. Keep in mind, I can also adjust the lighting effect using the Properties panel, over on the right-hand side. With this particular light source, there's not a whole lot of options. We don't have a directional setting for the light. We can simply adjust the size, the location, and the intensity of that light source.
In this case though, I think I won't include this particular light source. Because one light is going to produce a little bit more dramatic effect for this image. So on the Lights panel, over on the right-hand side, I'll select the light that I want to get rid of, that's the Point light. And then, click the Trashcan button in order to remove that light from the stack. And then, I can set about focusing my attention on the single light source, fine-tuning the overall settings. Once again, we can adjust the intensity of that light source using the dial in the center. We can also adjust the height and width in effect.
I'll go ahead and grab one of the handles here in over on the left-hand side, and I'm able to rotate that light source, of course. I can also go down to the other axis, I can move that light source around, I can adjust the size of the hot spot. And I can also adjust the overall angle, so I can rotate that light source around, if I'd like. And then, move the light into a position that I think is going to be most appropriate. Here, I think I'll cast a light across the tree a little bit illuminating that eye. So, not putting the light directly on the eye but having a cast across, and kind of giving us that scary look for the eye in the tree here.
But again, overall in the Properties panel, we're also able to adjust the settings. I can change the type of light that I'm working with, I can add a color influence to that lighting if I'd like to. Perhaps, a little bit of an orange glow here might work pretty well. So, I'll go ahead and click OK to accept that color from the Color Picker. I can adjust the size of the overall hot spot, as well as the intensity of the light source. And I can adjust the gloss and metallic quality of the illumination source as well. And so, as you can see, most of the adjustments for this light sources are available directly on the image. I can fine-tune the overall effect working directly on the image. But of course, I can also use that Properties panel over on the right. So, you may want to use a preset as a good starting point so that you can explore some various creative possibilities.
And then, you can add or remove your own light sources and fine-tune each of those individual light sources as you see fit for the final image. Once you're happy with the overall result though, you can simply click the OK button up on the Options bar, and that lighting effect will be applied to the image. You can see that the effect is reflected in my Background Copy layer. If I want to tone down the effect, I can reduce the overall opacity. But in this case, I think I'll leave that Opacity at 100% because I like the dramatic effect that this lighting is producing for the image.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
180 Video lessons · 76468 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 94658 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 62108 Viewers
103 Video lessons · 31484 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.