Bring Your Night Pictures to Life with These Editing Tricks

ba sunset

There are many reasons why I love editing in Photoshop.  One of them is to have fun being creative.  In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to take an average silhouette sunset picture, to a lively and colorful picture in just a few simple steps.

First, lets start with camera settings.  This picture was taken (in RAW format) at: 20.0 sec;   f/8;   ISO 1000 using an 11-16mm wide angle lens set at 11mm.

When you open it up in Camera Raw, you have many editing opportunities to adjust the settings.  For the above picture, I used the settings below.  There is no “right or wrong” settings here – it’s up to your personal preference.  For this picture I wanted a bright and funky look so I kicked up the saturation and contrast.  If I was going for a more realistic look, I would tone it down.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 4.02.57 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 4.11.30 PM

This is how my picture looked after making those adjustments.  I thought it looked okay but I knew it was missing something.  I knew exactly what it needed to make it really pop.  I opened it up in Photoshop and using MCP Actions – Summer Solstice, applied “Color Carnival” to the sky at 58%.  Yes – this is what I had in mind!

For the final touch I added a few stars using a default “star” brush and adjusted the size to 300.  I created a new layer, set the foreground color to white and added a handful of stars.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 4.20.45 PM

Finally, I ran the “Just Right Sharp” action which makes it the perfect size for sharing with all of my friends on social media.

Aug 10 Starsa copy

Jenny Carter is a portrait and landscape photographer based out of Dallas, Texas. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.

MCP Actions

Write for MCP! This post was written by a MCP Guest Blogger. If you would like to write a photo editing tutorial, blueprint using MCP Products, or photography tips on the MCP Actions Blog, check out our Guest Writers Wanted page for details.

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