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Add warmth to a sunset or sunrise in CS4

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Warming up the sun - Use Photoshop to add that extra bit of warmth to your sunset and sunrises.

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Warm sunsets or rises are easy to create with the help of gradient maps in Photoshop.

  • Software used: Photoshop CS4
  • Time taken: 10 minutes 

Step 1: Create an adjustment layer

To start we need to create an adjustment layer which you can do by clicking on the black and white circle found at the bottom of the layers palette. You need to click on gradient map so we can add a gradual line of colours to the image.

Step 2: Change the gradient

When you open the dialog box the gradient will be set from black to white which isn't very fitting for a sunset or rise. To change this click on the gradient to open the gradient editor.

Add a gradient in

Add a gradient in Photoshop

Step 3: Pick your colours

In the editor double-click on the bottom left black square to open the colour picker. Reds, oranges and yellows work well but we chose red for the first stop. Click OK then select the bottom right white square to change the colour of the lighter areas of the image. When you click ok you'll see the gradient now has our two chosen colours (red and yellow) blended together into a gradient. Click OK and you'll see the gradient has been applied to the image.

Add a gradient in Photoshop
Add a gradient in Photoshop
Add a gradient in Photoshop

Step 4: Chage the blend mode

Something doesn't look quite right does it and that's because the blend mode needs changing. Currently, it will be set to normal but by changing it to overlay the coloured gradient will blend better with the original image. If the colours are slightly too strong you can lower the opacity to make the scene look more natural. And that's it! Simple!
Add a gradient in Photoshop Add a gradient in

Final image with gradient applied

You've read the article, now go take some fantastic images. You can then upload the pictures, plus any advice and suggestions you have into the dedicated Photo Month forum for everyone at ePHOTOzine to enjoy.

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