Photoshop Creative Design Tip For a Background Lighting Effect

Sometimes the best visual photoshop effects are just stumbled on by pure accident, and are the result of hours of experimentation and creative ‘ ad-libing’.

Here’s a very simple but effective background lighting trick I found from using image layers.

This was the effect for a local map of the area. It looks better than a plain old image.


Why not add a sunset effect to an arctic scene like this.

Here’s the method I used, although there are alternative ways of getting the same effect with colour filters and the like.

This method is achieved by creating 2 layers, one coloured background image for the lighting effect, and your image or picture you want to add the effect to.

Step 1: Find a Background Image.

Choose a suitable image with a lighting effect, like the one below. This will create a warm, red glow to a picture, that could be used for a night time sunset effect.

Add the image as a photoshop layer. This is actually a night time shot of London with the use of long exposure from car headlights.  I have added a warm colour filter over the top to enhance the warm magenta glow effect.

 Step 2: Add Your Image.

This example takes a picturesque photo of reindeer’s in their arctic environment.

The layers should look like this in Photoshop, with the lighting effect image below the reindeer picture.

Step 3: The Magic Effect

So, now all you do is apply some opacity to your top layer. In this example it’s the reindeer picture, I added 70% opacity. This allows the colour rich image to show through and produces a merging effect.

 Step 4: The Final Result




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