After-Before Friday is an event which allows photographers to share their processed images, and, if they choose, their post-processing steps. On the first Friday of the month, all participants have the opportunity to edit the same photo in the “One Photo Focus” challenge.
As soon as I opened up the image I knew that I wanted to create a warm sunset scene (this proved easier said than done, but I was happy with the result in the end). These were my main steps, excluding a few basic tonal adjustments in Camera Raw and Lightroom:
1/ First off, I opened the image in Photoshop, duplicated the background layer, and converted it to a Smart Object. I then applied a Camera Raw Filter to bring out some texture in the sky. Using highlight luminosity masks (Jimmy McIntyre has a great set of Photoshop actions which can be downloaded for free) I created a layer mask to ensure that only the sky was visible.
2/ Next I created a new blank layer, filled it with black, and applied a lens flare filter (Filter > Render > Lens Flare > Movie Prime) – this would become my sun.
3/ I applied a Camera Raw filter on top of that, to increase the warmth and brightness of the layer. I changed the blend mode of the layer to screen, added a layer mask, and voilá; I had my sun.
4/ I used a duplicate layer with a different layer mask and a lower opacity to add the sunlight on the water.
5/ The scene was still missing some of the warmth that one would associate with a real sunset – so I added an orange Gradient adjustment layer, which I set to 17% opacity and colour blend mode. Then I added a new layer, filled it with orange, and set to it soft light blend mode. I added layer masks to both layers to concentrate the effect on the sky.
6/ I then added a curves adjustment layer to darken the image.
7/ I merged all the layers and applied a final Camera Raw Filter, where I used a Radial Filter to lighten the shadows around the boat.
8/ A couple touch ups using the Clone Stamp Tool, and I had my final image.
I had fun editing this image – it really pushed the boundaries of my Photoshop skills!
I hope you enjoyed my edit, and gained some tips along the way. I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the final image.