Make a night of it
James Paterson transforms a daytime scene to night – complete with starry sky and glowing windows – with Photoshop toning and layer tricks
Transform a daytime scene to night with toning and layer tricks
This effect will appeal if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I wish this day would just end!” Using simple Photoshop skills we can transform a sunny daytime scene to deepest, darkest night.
The purist would argue that this is a pointless exercise. Why not just go back after dark with a tripod and capture the scene? Of course, this would be the best thing to do (not only would it be more realistic, it would also probably take less time). But there could be any number of reasons why this wouldn’t be possible. Perhaps you won’t be able to return at night, which was the case here – our visit to the Cuban town of Trinidad was just a quick half-day stop-off.
Besides, there are plenty of transferable skills on demand here that will hold you in good stead for all kinds of Photoshop projects. If you’re new to Photoshop then the techniques described opposite will introduce many fundamental features, such as layer masks, adjustment layers and toning. We’ll use masks to drop in a star-studded sky, then adjust the tones for a night-time hue. Finally, we’ll add in bright highlights to give the windows an inviting glow. These are all tools you can use to transport your own scenes, whatever they may be. In this case we’ve changed the time of day, but equally you could use this technique to transport a person or object to a completely new place.