In this quick tutorial you will learn how to use gradients to add dramatic lighting effects to your photo’s.
The image used for this tutorial is from a chicago buildings set available to download HERE
Once you have your image open click on the Gradient tool on the left side of your screen.
At the top of your screen the Gradient settings will appear. Click on the Gradient box shown above.
Now in the Gradient Editor choose the three-colour preset circled above. We will tweak the red and the yellow colours a little, so first click on the central slider then on the Color box.
Type in the colour ‘ff0054′ then click OK.
Next click on the far right slider to change the yellow colour.
Type in the colour ‘fffdcd’.
Now you can close the Gradient Editor. Change the gradient to Radial, the Mode to Screen, and the Opacity to 90%.
You are now ready to create your gradient. Click in the top left of the image where you want your light source to begin, then drag the cursor to the bottom right of the image.
Next we will boost the light at the top left corner of the image by adding another gradient. Click on the Adjustment layer button at the bottom of the layers panel and choose Gradient
Open the Gradient Editor and choose the second preset. Change the colour to the same yellow that you used for the first gradient ‘fffdcd’.
Set the Style to Linear, the Angle to 125, the Scale to 100%, and tick the Reverse box.
In the layers panel change the gradient layer’s blending mode to Screen and it’s Opacity to 90%.
Now we will add another Gradient adjustment layer to darken the bottom right of the image.
Use the same gradient preset as before but change the colour to black this time. Set the style to Linear, the Angle to -60, the Scale to 100%, and tick the Reverse button.
Set the layer’s blending mode to Overlay, and it’s Opacity to 80%
Finally, we will add a lens flare
Click on the New Layer button to add a new layer above your gradient layers.
Use the Paint Bucket tool to fill the layer with black.
Next go to Filter>Render>Lens Flare. Choose the first setting, with the brightness set to 100%, and use the preview box to drag the lens fare to the same position that the first gradient was placed.
Change the lens flare’s blending mode to Screen
If necessary you can use the transform tool to reposition the lens flare layer so that it lines up with the first gradient.
Then duplicate the lens flare layer to strengthen it
And here is the final outcome.