Enhance A Sunset Photo In Photoshop

Enhance A Sunset Photo In Photoshop



well hi everyone Steve Patterson here once again from photoshop essentials comm in this video I'll show you how to enhance a sunset photo and restore those warm golden colors with Photoshop sunsets are one of the most widely photographed aspects of nature yet our photos rarely do them justice a sky once filled with rich golden hues often ends up looking cooler more muted and ultimately less interesting in this video I'll show you how to easily restore those vibrant reds oranges and yellows using a simple gradient map adjustment layer and a layer blend mode I'll be using Photoshop CC but every step is fully compatible with Photoshop cs6 be sure to check out this tutorial on our website where you'll also find my complete text version thanks for joining me and let's get started here's the image I'll be using I shot this one on a summer evening at the beach I like the image overall with the Sun setting across the water but the colors look a lot more muted than I remember let's see how to bring those colors back to life if we look in the layers panel we see the image sitting on the background layer which is currently the only layer in the document to enhance the colors in the sunset we'll use a gradient map image adjustment but rather than applying the adjustment directly to the image and making a permanent change we'll use an adjustment layer click on the new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the layers panel then choose gradient map from the list Photoshop adds a gradient map adjustment layer names it gradient map 1 and places it above the image on the background layer since the adjustment layer is separate from the image itself nothing we do with the gradient map will be permanent the original photo will always remain safe notice that after adding the gradient map adjustment layer my image now appears in black and white that's because of how gradient Maps work they let us map or assign different colors of a gradient to different tonal or brightness values in the image we can use a gradient map to assign one color to the darkest areas of an image and a different color to the lightest areas we could take it a step further and map a third color to the mid-tones or if we wanted we could map the entire tonal range of an image to a rainbow of colors and because we're working with gradients Photoshop always creates smooth transitions between the colors we've chosen so why is my image black and white well that's because by default the gradient map uses photoshop's foreground to background gradient which means it's using a gradient based on our current foreground and background colors by default the foreground color is set to black and the background color is set to white so my image has been mapped to black and white obviously that's not what we want for a sunset so let's see how to edit the gradient colors you'll find the options for the gradient map adjustment layer in Photoshop spurt ease panel the preview bar shows us our current gradient colors to edit the colors click on the bar this opens photoshop's gradient editor where we find a larger preview bar in the lower half of the dialogue box notice the two little squares below each end of the gradient these are called color stops and we use them to edit the gradient colors well let's start by changing the color on the left this is the color that's mapped to the darkest tones in the image to edit the color double click on the color stop this opens the color picker where we can select a different color let's choose a bright saturated red in the RGB section in the lower center of the color picker set the R value which stands for red to 240 set G for green 2:15 set B for blue also 2:15 then click OK to close the color picker if we look at our image we see the darker tones now appearing in red rather than black red may seem like an odd choice for the dark areas but it will look a lot better when we change the blend mode of our gradient map adjustment layer which we'll be doing in a moment next let's change the color for the lightest areas back in the gradient editor double-click on the white color stop below the right side of the gradient this reopens the color picker this time we'll choose a bright saturated yellow set the R value to 245 the G value to 220 and the B value to 10 then click OK to close the color picker if we look in the preview bar in the gradient editor we see that we now have a gradient the transitions from red on the left to yellow on the right and because Photoshop blends the two colors together we also have a nice orange in the middle which is being mapped to the mid tones in the image click OK to close out of the gradient editor and here's what the image now looks like to blend the gradient colors in with the image all we need to do is change the blend mode of the gradient map adjustment layer you'll find the blend mode option in the upper left of the layers panel by default the blend mode is set to normal click on the word normal and change the blend mode to overlay as we can see the overlay blend mode increases contrast in the image making dark areas darker and light areas lighter it also increases the color saturation the darkest areas are now a deep red the lightest areas are a vibrant yellow and the mid-tones in-between now have a warm orange glow the only problem now is that the colors are too intense let's lower the intensity so it looks more like a sunset and less like the end of the world to reduce the intensity all we need to do is lower the opacity of the adjustment layer the opacity option is directly across from the blend mode option in the layers panel keep an eye on your image as you lower the opacity to find the setting that works best in my case I'll lower it to 50% and here's my final result to compare the enhanced version of your sunset with the original image click on the visibility icon for the gradient map adjustment layer in the layers panel this temporarily turns the adjustment layer off letting you see the original image to see the enhanced version click again on the same visibility icon to turn the adjustment layer back on and there we have it that's how to easily enhance a sunset photo and restore its warm golden colors with Photoshop as always thanks for watching this video I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully you've learned something along the way and I hope to see you next time I'm Steve Patterson from photoshop essentials comm you

8 thoughts on “Enhance A Sunset Photo In Photoshop

  • July 12, 2019 at 8:47 am
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    Hi everyone, Steve here. In this video, I show you how to restore those warm reds, oranges and yellows to your sunset photos with Photoshop using a simple Gradient Map adjustment layer and a layer blend mode. You'll find a complete list of the steps in the video description. If you enjoy our videos, please help us get the word out by Liking or Sharing the video, and don't forget to subscribe to our channel for more videos! Share your thoughts or suggestions in the comments. Thanks for watching!

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  • July 12, 2019 at 8:47 am
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    Clear and concise (keep them coming) Just like your subscription PDF's I love 'em all Happy to be a member!!!

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  • July 12, 2019 at 8:47 am
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    Excellent tutorial …. thank you! No jargon, just simple, easily understood instructions for a Ps beginner like myself! 🙂

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