Painting Light in Photoshop


Hi David,
the Photoshop process looks very interesting. Could you expplain me better what do you mean by “light painting”?
Do you actually add a brightness/contrast layer and create a mask using brush with low hardness?
Many Thanks

Paolo Fang, November 15, 2013

Hello Paolo,
The process I refer to as ‘light painting’ is a multitude of adjustment layers stacked on top of each other. I have many different approaches to color correction that I use depending on the image. Yes, I do use the paint brush with a low opacity to paint on a mask in order to add or subtract the given effect. I primarily use Exposure and Levels for the actual ‘light painting’. I would like to use Curves but Photoshop does not yet support curves in 32 bit images. One trick I often use is when I am looking to add light to my scene I will overexpose the scene concentrating on a mid-range area and get that area to the point I like and then paint out the effect where I have blown out the image too much.

Thank you for your comment.

David Hamel, November 15, 2013

Thank you so much for the giving me a shout out in your article!! I love your step by step images! Great work!!

Aaron Blaise, November 19, 2014