Light trails: enhance your night shots with this really simple photo editing tutorial

Light trails 20

Light trails step by step – steps 16-18

16 Add interactive lighting

Click on the Background layer. Choose Layer> New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation. Tick Colorize. Set Hue to 12 and Saturation to 34. Click on the adjustment layer’s white mask and press Ctrl/Cmd+I. Spray a white soft brush tip on the mask to reveal some of the adjustment layer’s orange tint.

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17 Create a lens flare

Choose Layer>New>Layer. Label the layer ‘Lens Flare’. Click OK. Drag the new layer to the top of the layer stack. Choose Edit>Fill Layer. Set the Contents menu to 50% Gray. Click OK. Choose Filter>Render>Lens Flare. Set Lens Type to 50-300mm Zoom. Set Brightness to 80%. Click OK.

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18 Re-position the flare

Set the Lens Flare layer’s blending mode to Overlay. This hides all the grey pixels but leaves the flare visible. Grab the Move tool and drag the flare so that it overlaps the light trail. This blending mode causes the light trails to randomly change brightness and vibrance and look more realistic.

Light trails step by step – steps 1-3
Light trails step by step – steps 4-6
Light trails step by step – steps 7-9
Light trails step by step – steps 10-12
Light trails step by step – steps 13-15
Light trails step by step – steps 16-18


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