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How To Create a SUN GLOW Effect in Photoshop – SUN FLARE Tutorial

September 9, 2019


Welcome back to another very exciting tutorial
here at the PhotoshopTrainingChannel.com. My name is Jesus Ramirez and you can find
me in Instagram @JRfromPTC. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how
to create Sun Flares in Photoshop. If this is your first time at the Photoshop
Training Channel, don’t forget to click on that Subscribe button. The effect that we’re going to create in this
video is that Sun Glow Effect that is really popular in portrait photography. It’s a stylized effect that warms up the image
and makes it more interesting. Like anything else in Photoshop, there is
a lot of ways of achieving this result. For this effect, I prefer to use a Gradient
Fill Layer because it allows me to work non-destructively and it gives me a lot of control as to how
the glow looks. Also, adjustment layers don’t add too much
to the file size of the final Photoshop file, so I prefer to use adjustment layers instead
of pixel layers whenever I can. But, best of all, if we create a Glow Effect
using the Gradient Fill Adjustment layer, we can save it as a preset and use it again
whenever we like. Okay, let’s get started with this tutorial. I’ll be using an Adobe Stock image. There’s a link to it right below in the description. You can download the free watermarked preview
if you like or you can use your own image to follow along. The first step is to create a Gradient Fill
Layer. Go into the New Adjustment Layer icon in the
Layers panel and select Gradient. And we’re going to get a gradient that goes
from foreground color to transparent. That is the default option. If you don’t see that, you can click on this
gear icon and select Reset Gradients and press OK. The Foreground to Transparent Color is this
one here. You can click on it and then select Radial,
and this is the result that you get. You can, then, click on the Gradient to bring
up the Gradient Editor and you can make adjustments. The color stops at the bottom control the
color. The color stops on top control the opacity. This is a little counter-intuitive. This top left opacity stop, the black one,
represents 100% Opacity; the white one represents 0% Opacity. That can be a little confusing because, with
layer masks, black hides and white reveals. This color stop is the opposite. Anyway, the top ones control opacity. The bottom ones control color. Currently, this one’s set to black and so
is the one on the right. You can double click on the color stop to
bring up the Color Picker and select a different color. I’m going to select white, then I’m going
to press OK. Then, I’m going to double-click on this color
stop and select a light yellow; something like that and press OK. I’m going to press OK once again and OK a
third time. Now, this is the result and we’re going to
change the Blending Mode of this layer to Hard Light. The change won’t be dramatic, but this is
the Blending Mode that we want. I’m going to double-click on the Gradient
Fill thumbnail to bring up the Gradient Fill window once again. I can, then, click and drag on the canvas
and move that around. I can adjust the scale to make my glow smaller
or larger. I can come into the gradient and continue
adjusting it. I’m going to click and drag the yellow color
stop to the left to make the glow more yellow. If you’d like to, you can adjust the opacity
stops to show more of those colors or maybe less by bringing this one to the left. For now, I’m just going to keep this one all
the way to the right, and the black one, I’m going to move slightly to the right. I want that center of the circle to be pure
white and not have any transparency. I think the yellow maybe a little too strong
so I’m going to double-click on the color stop to bring up the Color Picker and I’m
going to make this yellow just a little bit lighter. Then I can click and drag and position it
accordingly. The scale might be a little too much. I’m going to bring that down and I can place
it anywhere I want, right in-between the trees is where this looks a little more realistic. For now, I’m just going to place it right
about here where we had it and I’m going to press OK. That’s before and that’s after. To make this a little more realistic, I’m
going to click on the background layer and create a Selective Color Adjustment Layer. This is going to allow us to give color to
this image so that the glow feels more natural. In the Selective Color Adjustment Layer, I’m
going to select Neutrals. I’m going to add a little bit of yellow to
them and reduce cyan to get red; that’s before and after. This sort of warms up the image a little bit,
allowing for the glow to look more realistic. At this point, you can make further adjustments
to refine the glow. I’m going to double-click on the Gradient
Fill thumbnail, then double click on the gradient, to bring up the Gradient Editor, and I can
actually add a third color to make things a little more interesting. So, if I just click on the empty space on
the gradient, I can create a black color swatch. I can double click on it and make that one
red, then press OK. I can then fine-tune this color stops to determine
how much red I want. If I want a really stylized effect, I can
drag the yellow stop to the left so we get a little more red on the outer edges of the
glow. I’m going to press OK, press OK once again,
and now I can adjust the Selective Color Adjustment Layer to include more red, so I’m going to
go into the cyan and reduce it even further. And also going to the blacks and reduce the
cyan there as well. Notice how the shadows are going to catch
some of that red, making this image a little more realistic. This is before and that’s after. One of the reasons I like using this technique
is that Photoshop allows me to save this Gradient Fill as a swatch to use at a later time. If I double-click on the Gradient Fill thumbnail,
click on this down pointing arrow, I can click on this gear icon and select New Gradient. I can call it Sun Flare and press OK. And here it is at the bottom of the list,
so, if I were to cancel this, delete this Gradient Fill layer, and start from scratch
with a New Gradient Fill Layer, I can select that preset from the list. I’m going to click on that, then go to Style,
Radial, and here it is once again. I can adjust the scale and make it really
small or make it really large and click and drag this to the edge of the canvas. I can, of course, edit it, so maybe I can
remove the red color stop, so only have the yellow, or remove the yellow color stop and
only keep the white one. I’m going to press Ctrl Z to undo, that’s
Command Z on the Mac, and I’m going to press OK and I can continue adjusting this glow
any way I want. If we only keep the yellow glow, we would
have to adjust the Selective Color Adjustment Layer. So, we can just click on the Reset button
and go into the Neutrals, add a little bit of yellow. Go into the blacks, add a little bit of yellow
and reduce the cyan just a tiny bit, just to warm it up a little bit. And don’t forget to change the Blending Mode
of the Gradient Fill Layer to Hard Light. And that’s it for this tutorial. I hope that you enjoyed it and that you learned
something new. Don’t forget to click on that Subscribe button
and share this video with a friend. Thank you for watching and I’ll talk to you
again soon.

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