Dramatic Lighting: how to create stylish portraits using simple Photoshop effects

Dramatic Lighting: how to create stylish, on-trend portraits using simple Photoshop effects

How to create dramatic lighting in Photoshop: steps 7-12

How to create dramatic lighting in Photoshop: step 7

07 Fine-tune the selection
When you’ve improved the edge around the hair, set Contrast +9, Shift Edge -8. Go to the Output Options and check Decontaminate Colors, then set Amount 70%. Choose Output to: New Layer with Layer Mask, then hit OK. Go to Window>Layers to access the Layers Panel.

 

How to create dramatic lighting in Photoshop: step 8

08 Position in the middle
Press Cmd/Ctrl+T to enter Transform Mode, then drag inside the bounding box to reposition the baby in the centre of the frame. Hold Shift and drag the corner of the box to resize slightly larger, and drag outside to rotate. When you’re happy with the position, hit Enter to apply.

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How to create dramatic lighting in Photoshop: step 9

09 Choose background colours
Hold Cmd/Ctrl and click the Create New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel to add a layer below the cut-out baby. Grab the Gradient Tool, then click the foreground colour and set it to white. Next, click the background colour and choose a dark blue tone (we’ve used R:66, G:76, B:119).

 

How to create dramatic lighting in Photoshop: step 10

10 Make a gradient
Go to the Gradient Options and click the Gradient Preset dropdown. Choose the first preset, Foreground to Background. To the right of the preset dropdown, click the second Gradient Style icon – Radial Gradient, then drag a line outwards from the baby’s head to make the gradient.

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How to create dramatic lighting in Photoshop: step 11

11 Retouch the face
Click the Create New Layer icon, then grab the Spot Healing Brush tool. Check Sample All Layers, then paint with the tool to remove blemishes. Switch to the Clone tool and again set Sample: All Layers, then Alt-click to sample sources and clone to remove the highlight under the chin.

 

How to create dramatic lighting in Photoshop: step 12

12 Copy and change mode
Press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E to merge a copy of all the layers. Rename it Dodge Burn, then right- click it and choose Duplicate Layer. Set Destination Document: New, and hit OK. Now go to Mode: Lab Color, then go to Window> Channels to access the Channels Panel and click the Lightness Channel.

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