Thanks go out to Josie Reavely for this tutorial. See more at www.jreavely.com
Step 1: Visualise the result
The Lighting Effects filter is very versatile: you can use it both to subtly enhance the existing light in the shot and/or to simulate lighting that isn’t already there. Open up your shot and take a moment to assess what’s there already, and how you want to alter it.
Step 2: Getting started
To begin with, duplicate the background layer, renaming the new layer if you wish, to save confusion later on. To do this, right click on the background layer, click Duplicate Layer, and fill in the layer name of your choice when prompted.
Step 3: Lighting Effects palette
With the duplicate layer hidden (click the eye icon to the left of it in the Layers palette) and the background layer selected, click Filter>Render>Lighting Effects. The Lighting Effects palette will appear – note the drop-down menu from which you can select different types of light source, and the sliders to adjust the way the light looks.
Step 4: Add a spotlight
From the Light type drop-down menu, select Spotlight. To strengthen its effect, move the Intensity slider up towards the right, so it’s about three quarters of the way towards Full. To increase the ‘spill’ of this spotlight, move the Focus slider towards the right too, so it’s just below the maximum Wide end of the scale.
Step 5: Colour change
To alter the mood of this image, let’s change the colour of the spotlight we’ve added. We’ll start by adding a blue fill light, which we’ll combine with another colour later, for a funky fashion-style look. Double click the white square to the right and select your desired colour from the palette.
Step 6: Change the properties
The Properties area of the dialog box lets you customise the light further, according to the type of surfaces it’s hitting in your image, for a more realistic result. Experiment by moving the sliders around and noting the effect in the preview image, until you’ve got a look that you’re happy with.
Step 7: Pick a direction
You’ll have noticed that the light is depicted as an oval, stretched across the preview image. You can easily alter the direction and shape of this light by grabbing each of the handles surrounding it and dragging them around. The centre handle lets you reposition the light entirely, while the remaining four control the boundaries of it. Alter these if you wish, however we felt the default setting suited this image.
To be continued…