This quick and easy tutorial on how to use our Sunshine Overlays by Tom Grill will help you take a blah photo and give that extra something it needs to sparkle. When I took this pic, it was the subject matter that caught my eye, but the sky at the time wasn’t all that spectacular. No worries, though, because our Sunshine Overlays will bring this photo back to life in a snap.
Here is the original shot.
CAMERA SETTINGS FOR THIS IMAGE:
ISO800, Speed of 1/1600, focal length of 25mm, aperture of f/5.6
Camera used: Panasonic GH4 with Olympus 25 1.8
It’s a nice photo (I particularly like the shrubbery), but it’s definitely missing the “wow” factor. The sky’s blown out on the right and overall the image is just … meh. After opening the image in Lightroom and cropping, I used Auto Best Guess Lightroom Preset to adjust the White Balance. To bring back that missing detail in the sky I decreased the Highlights by 100% and up the Clarity by +42 to get everything a bit crisper.
Right away you can see the difference in the sky and the scene looks a lot more like I remember it did when taking the shot. To clean up the photo more, I boosted Dehaze to +30 and Noise Reduction in Luminance to 57. Then I applied the Light Sky Preset to enhance the blue and used Light Warm Color Popper to warm up the light a bit in preparation for the Sunshine Overlay in Photoshop. Finally I did some Dodge and Burn with the brush to accent some of the highlights and shadows.
Next, I exported image to Photoshop, and went to the File drop down menu and selected Place Embeded. From the Sunshine Overlays file, I chose the Sunshine Overlay Corner_Burst 01 Hard Light and applied it to the image. (You may choose to create a duplicate background layer to work on so you can revert to the original layer if necessary).
After rendering, I adjusted the overlay to line up perfectly with both the sky line and angle of the natural light. In the Blending Options menu on the right, I then changed the selection from Normal to Hard Light and reduce the opacity to 27% to create a very realistic look.
And now we have our final image, which looks much more interesting than the original. The Sunshine Overlay accentuates the shadows and highlights in the greenery perfectly, while creating a dramatic sky and a dynamic photo.