How to Create a Sunset Effect in Photoshop

On this video tutorial Aaron Nace from Phlearn demonstrates how to create a realistic looking sunset effect in Photoshop.

Nace starts by creating a custom gradient (radial gradient) and mask it just where we want it to be viable and than he adds a color balance adjustment layer to add some reds and oranges to the images and finally he adds some blues to give the image a really nice color tone.

Nace uses a backlit portrait – this is very important – otherwise it might be confusing to the person looking at the image – even if he is not consciously aware of this. To create the gradient you will need 3 colors – white – orange and red (instead of the typical 2 color gradient). You can actually download this gradient for free from here. You can choose the specific type of gradient shape – for the sun – choose a round one from the top gradient menu.

The next steps take care of blending the gradient by masking and choosing screen as the blend mode (and than add a Gaussian blur to the mask). This is it as far as the sunset effect – the rest of the video as we noted shows how to add and change the colors of the image itself to make the sunset look more believable.

This isn’t the first time we look at creating subset (and sunrise) in Photoshop. Several weeks ago we published “How To Create a More Impacting Sunrise/Sunset Photos in Photoshop” with photographer Jimmy McIntyre.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section (and you can find a lot more Phlearn videos on our special Phlearn subsection).


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