Skip to main content

photo & video

Night Photography Post Processing Techniques

Lesson 8 of 11

Light Painting: And Layering

Tim Cooper

Night Photography Post Processing Techniques

Tim Cooper

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

8. Light Painting: And Layering

Lesson Info

Light Painting: And Layering

So this is kind of my bread and butter. This is one of my favorite things to do at night. To go out and photograph. I love including the night sky but what I really love is light painting, objects along with that night sky and here's a classic example of, of a light painting scenario. Once again I don't have enough time to run through the entire scene and light paint you know, everything here. You can see this bridge is enormous and my exposure's only about a minute or two and so I have to light paint all the way back into here plus all of these bridge towers plus up in here, so there's a lot to paint, a lot goin' on. So once again I just make multiple exposures and I'll use that light and blending mode to put it all together. Alright, so, we take these three images and what we will do is we'll go to Photo, Edit In, Open as Layers in Photoshop. And now that our images are loaded up here we're just gonna go through that scene, step again. Click on the top layer, click on the bottom laye...

r and I'll go from normal and change that to Lighten. And voila, all of the light is parts of this frame, as you can see the light is parts of here, the lighter parts down here they all come together in the final frame. Now, I'm kind of liking that but there's a lot of things I don't like about it. Number one, I want this sky to be a different hue than the rest of the image and so we can see here that everything has kinda got that pink orange kind of feel. So I'm gonna, go to this image and let's just look at that sky. Notice how this sky has got some orange and blue in it and then, this sky is mostly orange. Let's see if we can't fix this up a little bit back in Lightroom. I'm gonna close out of this and I do this fairly often. If I don't get it exactly right in Lightroom the first time I don't mind stepping back out of Photoshop and returning to Lightroom to fix it. In this case what I'm gonna do is go to my Develop module on this first image and this image has got the better sky. So I'm gonna take my temperature and I'm gonna cool that off a little bit. Make it somewhat more blue. Alright, now if you all can see that's got a little bit more blue in it and I think that'll make a nice contrast with the warmer bridge. Alright, so we select those three images. Now I've got a bluer sky and then these are quite orange and I'll grab these three and go Photo, Edit In, Open as Layers in Photoshop.

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

Student Work

Related Classes


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.