Photoshopping Sunrays with Curves

Sometimes you only get a fleeting second of light and you’ll have to grab what you can with the camera you having your hands.

The story behind this photo is that we were walking to a limestone pavement to capture photos of trees growing out of rocks when one of the clouds opened and let the sun shine through for what was only a few fleeting seconds. This is the image I grabbed.

Luckily I did have a 2 stop neutral density grand filter on the camera so could protect the highlights to some extent but as you will see in this video the foreground is pretty much black and the sky is almost burnt out.

In this full length tutorial I take you through the steps to rescue something from this grab shot, starting from the raw file in Adobe Lightroom and working 2-in Photoshop with luminosity masks and curves layers to lighten the darks and enhance contrast.

Instant Vintage Effects in Lightroom

Age your photos in seconds!

I’ve tried using “bought” LIGHTROOM presets many times and they all seem to have one thing in common…

The secret behind most lightroom presets....
They use Tone Curves to add colours to your photos! 

This makes perfect sense to any seasoned Photoshopper or Lightroom expert – but I guessed that most photographers don’t know about this. So here’s a video explaining how you do it – a quick “how to” guide so you can start making your own toned presets for free!