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How to make effect of sunset


Retired Administrator
There may be several ways to do this. What I have here is my quick take on it - a basic guide to help start you on your way. With this guide, play around with the layer settings and opactities to get a look you like.

Pay attention and take note of the visible contents in my layer palette so you'll know what's on it and whatever effects applied.....

Here's the image I've worked on....

The first step is to duplicate the background image and isolate the image subject from the background using the pen tool. Press CTRL+SHIFT+I to inverse the selection then apply a mask on the layer to hide the background....

One way to create a glow effect is use a large size, soft edge brush with white or preferred sunset red as your foreground color. Make your original background image and masked image visible, create a new layer between these two layers, and click a spot where you want your sun to be. The circle outline is the brush size I used. I've lowered the opacity of the layer as shown.

I added a Contrast/Brightness adjustment layer to the backgound to brighten it a bit and add a bit of contrast.

In the following, you have a choice to use the original background or a different one. I dragged in a new background.....

I duplicated the sunglow layer created earlier and moved it to as the topmost layer and lowered the opacity.

A Color Adjustment layer was added to the masked surfer image to color correct it with added red on mids and highs to simulate the ambient light of the new background.


For effects , I added a lens flare (In MENU>FILTERS>RENDER>LENS FLARE). Create a new layer as shown, fill with 50% gray. Run the lens flare filter and play around with the settings. When done, set the layer mode to MULTIPLY

Finally, I duplicated the masked surfer layer, moved it up on top of the lens flare layer and grouped/clipped these 2 together as shown. Doing this, gives an added effect which I find good...LOL.

There you have it..... a basic run through. Hope this starts you off......

Others have different ways. Just wait for their take on this and added assistance.........


Retired Administrator
The mountainside facing away from the sun should be darker most especially the ones closest to foreground.

Maybe for an image like that , I'd create a 3 layer mask selections for the sky, mountain range and skier in snow. You may have a wider variety of options to play around with adding effects , layer modes/opacities and maybe clipped groups.

just my 2 sens......

Tom Mann

If you want the effect to simulate colors more likely to be seen in photos of the mountains, you probably should select another color for the veiling flare. The only time you ever come close to seeing the red color that you selected is under relatively uncommon conditions called, "alpenglow". OTOH, it looks very much like much more commonly encountered horribly faded Ektachrome slides from 50 years ago, e.g.:
http://www.slideliquidators.com/2013/01/page/3/ (the Ansco and other brands of slide film fade differently from Ektachrome)
...or just go to Google Images and enter {faded ektachrome}

Tom M