Add a Luminous Glow to your images with Photoshop - part 1 of 1 2 3

by Mike McNamee Published 01/09/2006


Digital photography is so critical on exposure that we don't want to overexpose skin, yet we want the luminosity and glow of transparent light. Here's a beautiful technique to brighten up the highlights of your image and give their skin a luminous quality. It will essentially enhance the light ratio, increase drama and create beautiful skin! This wonderful effect is so useful, that I have an action recorded on a function key and use it regularly! The technique does have many steps, so making an action is the most practical way to apply it. I have also found it to yield consistent results with the settings described below.


Step 1: Convert your image to Lab Colour mode. (Layer>Mode>Lab Colour)

Step 2: Click on the channels palette to view and click on the lightness channel to see the black and white values of the image.

Step 3: Select all (CTRL+ A for PC, or CMD+A for mac), then copy (CTRL/ CMD+C)

Step 4: View the layers palette again and make a blank layer above your image layer.

Step 5: Paste the B&W version on that layer (CTRL/CMD+V)

Step 6: Put the layer mode in Overlay (on the layer palette below the layer tab). This will increase the contrast dramatically, blocking up the black areas.

Step 7: Blur the layer: Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur>20px (approx)

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1st Published 01/09/2006
last update 07/04/2022 09:15:46

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