Lighting adjustments





I photographed this little house at Brookgreen Gardens recently in midday light.  The flowers that frame the scene were quite bright and the house darker than I wanted. In just a few minutes I created the image I had in mind, highlighting the house.

Open Image and crop if desired

Add new layer – create new layer icon on Layers pallet next to garbage can

Edit – Fill – 50% gray and change the Blending Mode to Overlay

Clicked on the brush and using black and white paint on the 50% gray layer I darkened around the edges and brightened the house.


Very simple and non-destructive on its own layer!

2 thoughts on “Lighting

  1. Susan,

    I enjoy your great photo manipulation tips. In the instructions below, after using the 50% gray and changing the Blending Mode to Overlay, did you click on “enter” or finalize that in any way? Then you mention clicking on the brush and using black and white paint on the 50% gray layer. Where do you find the black and white paint?

    I would certainly appreciate your help.

    Thanks, Ray

    Ray Chilton 314 Indian Bayou Houston, Texas 77057

    • Hi Ray, glad you asked for clarification… my blog gives very brief instructions but I teach in person in depth. Glad to help you though.
      On the blank layer you hit Edit – Fill – 50% gray. Then change the blend mode of that layer to Overlay. The dropdown is on the Layers palette and usually says normal. This does not affect your image layer. The brush can be accessed by hitting the B on your keyboard. You will see two small overlapping squares at the bottom of the Tools palette. You can set them to black and white by pressing D. The top left square is the color referred to as Foreground and will be used for painting. If you want to other color, press X and they will switch. On the top toolbar of your workspace you can adjust the opacity… I generally use less than 10% and add the brightness and darkness gradually.

      Hope you find success with these details. Susan

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