Technique 34. Spotlight Effect

Technique #34. Spotlight Effect

This technique couldn't be much simpler, yet has so many possibilities. It uses only one filter: Lighting Effects.

key concepts:


Step One.

Press Command-J (PC: Control-J) to duplicate the Background layer.

Step Two.

From the Filter menu, choose Render>Lighting Effects. There are a ton of options in the dialog (almost an overwhelming amount), but we're only going to change one setting: change the Style to Flashlight. Make sure the Preview checkbox on the left side of the dialog is turned on. Then, in the preview window, click-and-drag on the center dot of the lighting circle to change its position, and click-and-drag on the handles on the circle to change its size. Although you can also experiment with the Properties settings, for this time, just click OK.

That's it! In only two steps, you've added a pretty nice dramatic lighting effect. Since you applied the filter to a copy of the Background layer, you can lower the opacity of the top layer to lessen the effect (not shown).


Here, I changed the blend mode of the filtered layer to Multiply.

Variation 1

In this case, I put the blend mode back to Normal and noticed that the filter introduced a slight hot spot on her face, so I added a layer mask (by clicking on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette) and used the Brush tool (B) to paint on it with black to hide that area of the filtered photo, eliminating the hot spot.

Variation 2

Here, the filtered layer was duplicated and its blend mode changed to Multiply, with the opacity lowered to 60%.

Variation 3

In this example, I added a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, turned on the Colorize checkbox at the bottom right of the dialog, and experimented with the Hue slider.

Variation 4

Of course, this doesn't only work with portraits! Here's a before and after of another photo where I used this same Flashlight lighting effect (and used a layer mask to lessen the effects of the filter in the edges of the flower)

Before adding the spotlight effect

After adding the spotlight effect

Photoshop Finishing Touches
Photoshop Finishing Touches
ISBN: 0321441664
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 129
Authors: Dave Cross

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