Anything Photoshop or Photography

USING A COLOR FILL ADJUSTMENT LAYER AS A SUBTLE SPOTLIGHT EFFECT

Image of Philippine Ground Orchids from the Big Island in Hawaii
This week I am combining a couple older blog tips written a while back but are still very useful. This technique I frequently use in my everyday post-processing and it is especially useful for directing a viewer’s eye subtlety.

I am using this orchid image as an example of how you can use a Color Fill Adjustment Layer as a subtle spotlight to direct the eye in the image but with a color vignette feel. I processed this image using the free Adobe Texture Pro Panel (it was called Russell Brown’s Paper Texture Panel – check out my blog Russell Brown’s Paper Texture Panel – A Real Winner!). Flypaper’s Apple Blush Texture (included with the panel) was set to Hard Light Blend Mode at 71% Opacity and gave the image a very greenish look but with that great canvas texture.  The Muscatel Texture (also included) was added next and set to Overlay Blend Mode at 29% Opacity to slightly darken the image and add some orange tones. Since I felt like the green was still a little overwhelming, a Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer was added – a royal blue color was selected and set to 54% Opacity. In the Adjustment Layer’s white Layer Mask, a very soft large brush was set to 15% opacity and with black set as the color, the blue color was gently painted off some of the orchids to give the subtle spotlight effect, from the light green image tones underneath, that will direct the eye. Try setting the Adjustment Layer to different blend modes – I tried Saturation set to a low opacity and it looked great on this image also. This is a cool little trick if you need to draw the eye into a certain part of an image and works very well with flower images. I also like adding my own colors into an image.

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This next example came from one of my longer posts called How to Use a Solid Color Adjustment Layer which contains steps on actually applying some beautiful color to an image. One of the sections is called “Use Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer to Add Some Localized Ambient Light to an Image” and does basically the same thing as the flower example.
Image of Porch in Savannah, Georgia, with Ambient Light from Solid Color Fill Adjustment LayerHere is a great example how using a Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer direct your eye in an image. This image of a porch in Savannah, Georgia, was taken in bright sunlight but it did not have that real translucent golden-hour feel to it. To get the warm fall look, a Selective Color Adjustment Layer was applied changing the Reds, Yellows, Greens, Neutrals and Blacks. In Viveza 2 the flowers were sharpened and saturation by adding control points. Next the Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer was added using the bright golden color #e7e148 and a black mask – just the leaves, flowers and gold fence tips were painted and set to Soft Light at 57% layer opacity. The layer mask was filled with black and only the leaves and flowers were painted back, thus directing the lighting effect to those areas. The final steps added a Levels Adjustment Layer for contrast and another Selective Color Adjustment Layer for a little more Yellow tone. The Solid Color Adjustment Layer added a very subtle effect to draw the eye towards the hanging flowers.

I hope this blog gave you something new to try by adding a spotlight or ambient effect to your images. I think I will use the Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layers more – the steps from my older blog (linked above) are still quite useful for adding great color into an image. Have a great week!…..Digital Lady Syd

3 responses

  1. Ann Mackay

    The effect on the porch photograph is lovely – and very atmospheric. Did you see that Humble Bundle has a good offer at the moment – A ‘natural and digital painting kit’ which includes Rebelle 3. Rebelle 3 appears to give some wonderful watercolour wet-in-wet effects. I’m buying that one for sure! 🙂

    03/07/2020 at 1:34 pm

  2. I have an earlier Rebelle version – do not use it much although some of my friends really like it. I will be interested in what you think! Thanks for the heads up!

    03/07/2020 at 1:49 pm

  3. Thank you for sharing this one with us! It’s always interesting to earn something new.

    03/25/2020 at 6:11 am

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