Rim Lighting: simple Photoshop effects to enhance your landscapes

Rim Lighting: simple Photoshop effects to enhance your landscapes

In this Photoshop tutorial how to use a few simple Photoshop effects to recreate the look of rim lighting in your landscapes.

Rim Lighting: simple Photoshop effects to enhance your landscapes

Let’s face it: not all of us who like to shoot landscape photography have the opportunity to visit our favourite photo locations over and over again to capture the scene in perfect conditions.

If you fall into this category, you don’t have to let your images suffer. In the tutorial below we’ll show you how to use a few simple Photoshop effects that mimics the effect of sunlight caught on rocks.

How to create a rim lighting effect in Photoshop

How to create a rim lighting effect in Photoshop: step 1

01 SELECT THE ROCKS
Open your start image. Right-click the Background layer and choose Duplicate Layer>OK. With the Lasso tool, make a selection around the outer edge of the rock. Choose Layer>New>Layer via Copy.

Reselect the ‘Background Copy’ layer and repeat the process to select the inner edge of the rock door and copy it to a new layer.

 

How to create a rim lighting effect in Photoshop: step 2

02 CREATE A GRADIENT
Select the outer rock layer. Choose Layer>Layer Style>Gradient Overlay. Click the gradient, click New and set colour stops as follows: R195 G180 B165 at 0%, R230 G190 B140 at 40%, R215 G155 B75 at 55%, R215 G155 B75 at 70%, R0 G0 B0 at 100%.

Adjust Midpoint between the last two stops to 75% (all others are 50%). Set a 100% Opacity stop at 0% and a 0% Opacity stop at 100%. Click OK.

 

How to create a rim lighting effect in Photoshop: step 3

03 ADD THE GRADIENT
Select Reverse and Align With Layer, set Angle to -4, Scale to 130%. Set Opacity to 100 and Blend Mode to Vivid Light. Click Blending Options and set the Opacity to 65%. Click OK.

Right-click the Style in Layers Panel, choose Copy Layer Style. Right-click second rock layer and choose Paste Layer Style.

Add a mask to each layer and paint with a soft brush and black paint to remove glow beyond the rock edge.

 

How to create a rim lighting effect in Photoshop: step 4

04 FINE-TUNE THE IMAGE
Choose Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves and drag down on the curve so Input is 160 and Output 80. Add a black to white linear gradient to the mask to target the sky. Set layer Opacity to 50%.

Choose Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Color Balance. Target the Midtones and set Cyan/Red -50, Yellow/Blue +70.

Select the Layer Mask, fill it with black and paint with a soft brush and white paint to make the water blue. Set layer Opacity to 20%.

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