How to Get Realistic Lighting on a Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

By August 14, 2012February 14th, 2013Photoshop Tutorials

Ever struggled with lighting on a picture? This tutorial will show how to add realistic lighting to your photo manipulation in Photoshop.

01. First, lets create a background that has two different light sources, color and position. For that open any picture that has some sky.

02. Open a moon picture and drag it into your sky on the left or right side.

03. Set the moon’s blend mode to Screen so it would blend in into your sky. If Sceen is not good for your moon to blend in then go ahead and try other blend modes.

04. Now create a new layer (Layer – New – Layer in the menu), set the color to yellow or orange, choose the Brush tool and brush the lower part of your sky with it. Then set the color’s blend mode to Hue.

05. Now place your model in the middle of the background. You may need to cut your model out of the picture first, so be sure to do that. Now you can see that the model doesn’t really fit on the picture. Why? It looks as it stand in front of the background not as it would be part of the picture. The problem is lighting that doesn’t reflect on the model which would reflect if she actually would stand there. As you can see, we have two lights – light blue from up and dimmer orange from below.

06. Lets start with the ligt blue lights. Take the dodge tool and lighten up all the edges where the moon would shine as if it was behind the girl.

07. Now create a new layer, take the Brush tool, set the color to light blue and brush over the parts where the blue sky would reflect – on her hair and dress from behind.

08. Now set the blue’s blend mode to Linear Dodge. Now it looks like the moon actually is behind the girl and reflecting on her hair.

09. Now create a new layer again, take the brush tool, set the color to orange and brush over the lower part of her where the orange sky would reflect. Then, again, set the brush to Linear Dodge.

10. Now it looks that the girl is actually part of the picture thanks to adding some reflections on her from the background.


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