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Night Photography Post Processing Techniques

Lesson 11 of 11

Full Moon: Adjusting Layer Elements

Tim Cooper

Night Photography Post Processing Techniques

Tim Cooper

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Lesson Info

11. Full Moon: Adjusting Layer Elements

Lesson Info

Full Moon: Adjusting Layer Elements

Now of course it looks very fake, and we have to ask ourselves why does it look fake. Because until we can answer that question, we can't figure out how to fix it. Well, number one there's a black edge around it. Okay. Number two, the moon is actually darker than the white area around it. That doesn't look real. The moon is always gonna be brighter and the thing surrounding it is gonna be equally as bright, or a little bit darker. So that looks fake. So let's take care of those things one at a time. Number one, we'll create a curves adjustment layer and just clip it to that moon. So I'm gonna click right on here, and clip it to the moon, and I'm gonna lift the bottom part of this up. And what that's going to do, is start to brighten up the moon, the shadow part of the moon, but it leaves the brightest part alone. What that's doing is it's lowering the contrast, and it's also making it much brighter feeling. Already you can see the big change. That looks much better there. I'll leave th...

at there for now. Okay. Now, the other thing I'm gonna do, is maybe make the moon a little bit more round, shall we say? So it looks a little flattened out, and that's probably just because of the atmosphere that it was going through. So I'm gonna grab my circular marquee tool and put my mouse roughly in the center of the moon, and hold down my alt key and my shift while I drag a selection out. That will give me a nice round edge. I just used my up and down arrow to move that. At any point, you could always go up and transform your selection. So, if I wanted to make it a little bit bigger, I could do that. Which I think I'm going to do. And hit return. And now what I'll do, is I'll create a mask on that layer itself. So you can see what happened here, by making that round selection, and then creating the mask, I have just created that mask right there. Now the moon itself is a little bit smaller than that bright area, so there's several different things I can do at this point. I think probably the easiest thing would be to click on this layer and hit command t to transform, and hold my shift and alt key down, and make the moon just a little bit bigger so that it bypasses that white corona. So now at this point, it's bigger than the actual white in the sky around it, and therefore we're getting the more realistic look. Now, I do not like making my moon a lot bigger, and I think that it somehow just tends to look fake. This was shot with a wide angle lens, I can kind of tell that moon looks a little bit fake. But for the case of ease, that would be the easiest way to do it. If I wanted to do it another way, what I could do would be to command click on-- whoops. Command click on this layer right here that loads the selection and then hit command i which is invert. Now, everything but the moon is selected. And if I was to create another layer here by going down to this new layer, what I could do would be to take my clone stamp tool, and I could alt click and just drag some color. Is that coming out there? Am I in the wrong layer? Let's see here. What have I done. Stamp, normal opacity, 100%. Current layer, ah. It's at current layer. So I'm gonna choose all layers. So I alt click, and you can start to see how-- nope, that's not gonna do it either. Alright. So let's go back, and take that layer off, and let's try it on this layer. And this is one of the reasons that I do this up front. Because I often get confused with these little selections and exactly where they are at the time. Alright. So, what we're gonna do for the final part of this, is we are going to take all of these layers, and blend them together, merge them together, using that command alt shift e. Except I'm gonna throw out that moon layer, for starters. So select that layer and this layer, control alt shift and e, and that puts one big layer on here. So now all we have is the moon, and that bottom layer. Now, if I go onto this layer, I will be able to grab that color and bring it over into here. So, I alt click on the moon to get that selection, command shift i, and now on this bottom layer, I should be able to blend that in just a little bit better. Take a little bit from there, it's coming out a little bit dark and I'm not quite sure why, so I'm gonna use a lighter opacity of about 20%. That's not quite working. Alright, so in this case I think the best way would be, if I had more time I would certainly figure that one out for you guys but I think in this case, the easiest thing to do would be to take this moon and hit command t and just make it a touch bigger than the white itself. And once we make it somewhat bigger, we'll then readdress our adjustment layer up here, just to make sure it's just a touch brighter but still showing some detail in that moon and you get a slightly more satisfactory moon rather than just a bright white spot. Alright. So just a way to finagle your moon a little bit to make things a little bit more realistic. So, I hope that helped you guys out and I hope you found as much enjoyment out of working with night photography as I have, and thanks again for joining.

Class Description

Taking photos at night presents some obvious problems. Shadows, underexposure, blurring and lack of light can all conspire to ruin a perfectly lovely scene. But good Adobe® Photoshop® and Adobe® Lightroom® post-processing techniques can take a deeply flawed night image and give it new life. In this class, night photography expert Tim Cooper will show you how to deal with common night photography issues through image deconstruction, Blend Modes, layers and masks, color fill layers and other retouching tools.


Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe Photoshop CC 2018

Ratings and Reviews

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John Fletcher

I'd recommend this course to someone who is completely new to night/star photography and photoshop. There are some good, easy processing tips in here to pull off some nice effects. I was really hoping this was going to go into some more detail and talk about processing tips for dealing with high ISO grain and whatnot in images that is pretty much a given when doing night photography. Unfortunately, there was nothing in here about dealing with this. It's more just compositing techniques.

a Creativelive Student

Perfect class for mainly LR users needing to use PS to do some more editing. Tim explains his steps very well. There is no fluff. Just all good tips.

Jean Hilmes

Truly great tips on taking nigh photography.