I'm Amy Kingsford and today I have a fun photo technique to share with you that I learned recently and I'm looking forward to playing around with in my Autumn photos.
I've always loved the look of lens flare, but am rarely able to capture this effect with the lens in my Nikon P520. So I've often turned to premade flare and actions to create this effect in my photos.
But did you know that there is a filter available in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements that will create lens flare for you?
Let me introduce you to this tool if you are not already familiar and show you a simple trick that will give you more control over the size, color and opacity of the flares you create with this tool.
NOTE: For the best results, you may want to pair this effect with photos that are back lit or have a visible source of light.
1. First you'll open your photo in Photoshop, duplicate it and make any basic edits you wish to make.
2. Next you'll go to Filter--> Render--> Lens Flare. Here you can control the position, brightness and the type of lens flare you want to recreate.
3. Play around with these settings until you are happy with the result you see in the preview and click ok.
4. Now you should see the lens flare effect applied to your photo, but you might also notice that the effect is now locked to your photo. If you are happy with the effect then you are good to go, but if you want to be able to customize the effect a bit more go ahead and undo the effect.
IMPORTANT: Even if you know from the start that you want to be able to customize your results, you'll still want to apply the effect directly to your photo and then undo it--read on to find out why.
5. Next create a new layer above your photo and fill it with black.
6. Now go to Filter and at the very top of the list of filters you should see the last filter you applied Lens Flare. Click on it to apply the exact same settings you just applied to your photo to your new fill layer.
7. Now apply the Screen blending mode to this layer and you should see the same result that you saw earlier when the effect was applied directly to your photo, only now you are able to customize your results.
8. Maybe you'd like your lens flare to be a different color, or perhaps more vibrant. You can now adjust the Hue and Saturation of your lens flare.
9. Or maybe you'd like to tone down the effect by changing the opacity or by adding a bit more blur to your flare. I changed my opacity to 65% and added a Gaussian Blur to my lens flare layer.
10. Or maybe you'd even like to reposition or remove part of your flare to better suit your photo. I ended up using a soft brush with my foreground color set to black to paint directly on my flare layer to remove parts of the flare that I felt were distracting.
And there are countless other changes you could make if you wanted to.
Here are my final results. Though the changes may seem subtle, having the ability to tweak things here and there with your lens flare really can make a huge difference!
I hope you have as much fun playing around with this effect as I have. And don't forget to join Lisa tomorrow to learn another new technique!