STEP BY STEP / Al­ter the at­mos­phere

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Cus­tomise a gra­di­ent

Go to the Lay­ers panel, click Cre­ate Ad­just­ment Layer and choose Gra­di­ent Map. Click the gra­di­ent strip, then dou­ble-click the ‘colour stop’ icon at the bot­tom left. Choose a pur­ple (#472084) and click OK. Now open the colour stop icon op­po­site and choose a yel­low (#FFD200).

2 Ad­just the colours

Re­duce the opac­ity of the layer to 25%. Click Cre­ate Ad­just­ment Layer and choose Solid Color. Se­lect a pur­ple tone (#320227) and click OK. Set the layer’s Blend­ing Mode to Ex­clu­sion. Add a Color Bal­ance Ad­just­ment Layer with ex­tra red and yel­low in the mid­tones and high­lights.

3 Paint a flare

Click Cre­ate New Layer and set the Blend­ing Mode to Lin­ear Dodge (Add). Next, grab the Brush tool, rightclick, and set Hard­ness to 0. Set the fore­ground colour to a green­ish tone (#696310 here) then, us­ing a fairly large brush size, click once to add the flare.

4 Darken the edges

Add a new layer, set Blend­ing Mode to Lin­ear Dodge (Add), choose a brown (#695310), paint a cou­ple of spots to add to the flare ef­fect. Click Cre­ate Ad­just­ment Layer, choose Curves and drag down to darken. Paint over the flare with the Brush tool to hide the dark­en­ing ef­fect.

5 Add a burst

Add a Thresh­old ad­just­ment layer set to 120, merge all lay­ers (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+Alt+E), delete the Thresh­old layer and high­light the new layer. Go Fil­ter>Blur>Gaus­sian Blur, Amount 10. Go Fil­ter>Blur>Ra­dial Blur, Amount 100, Method: Zoom, po­si­tion the blur on the flare.

6 Blend the ef­fect

Change the Blend­ing Mode to Screen, then lower the opac­ity to tone the ef­fect down. Click the Add Layer Mask icon then grab the Brush tool. Set the colour to black and hit 4 for 40% opac­ity then paint to grad­u­ally tone down the blur ef­fect so that it stays sub­tle.

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