Chapter 1 | Introduction 1 Videos (3:07m)
  • 01 - What is Luminance Blending?
    In this introduction, Aaron explains the concept of Luminance Blending and talks about every thing this tutorial will cover.
Chapter 2 | Tools & Techniques 3 Videos (1:27h)
  • 01 - Blend If
    Learn how to use Blend If to make any Layer appear only in the highlights, midtones, or shadows of another.
  • 02 - Apply Image
    Make natural-looking edits and adjustments using Apply Image to create Layer Masks with amazing detail.
  • 03 - Channels
    Perfect for precise adjustments, Channels allow you to make detailed selections using the color and contrast information in a photo.
Chapter 3 | Examples 4 Videos (1:47h)
  • 01 - Add a Sky
    Aaron teaches how to add a sky to an image using the Blend If Sliders method of Luminosity Blending.
  • 02 - Smart Dodge & Burn
    Learn how to dodge and burn using the Apply Image method of Luminosity Blending.
  • 03 - Create Light Rays
    Follow Aaron as he demonstrates how to add light rays to an image using the Channel method of Luminosity Blending.
  • 04 - Matching Color for Composites
    Learn how powerful Luminosity Blending can be when compositing an image, as Aaron teaches the entire process of placing a subject in a brand new background.
Catalog  >  PRO Tutorials  >  Photoshop Tutorials  >  Advanced Lighting & Coloring in Photoshop

Advanced Lighting & Coloring in Photoshop

Get complete control over the highlights, midtones, and shadows of any photo for perfect color toning, lighting effects, exposure adjustments, and seamless composites. This is the best way to edit photos in Photoshop!

Up your editing game and avoid that ‘Photoshopped’ look with Luminance Blending.

8 Video Tutorials|9 Sample Images|Instructor: Aaron Nace

Starting at $8.25/month – Unlimited Streaming
$49.99/once – Instant Download

AFTER

BEFORE

Natural Dodge & Burn


Enhance the highlights and shadows of a portrait to add realistic shape and definition.

Lighting, Coloring & Compositing

CREATE PERFECT COMPOSITE IMAGES

ORIGINAL

What is Luminosity Blending?

Luminosity Blending allows you to blend Layers and effects into only the highlights or shadows of an image. You can lighten the dark areas of a portrait without affecting the highlights, add stylistic color by coloring the highlights and shadows independently, and even make composites look seamless by matching the light and color between multiple photos.

Blending Options in Photoshop

There are a variety of tools in Photoshop that allow you to blend Layers and images together. Whether you’re looking to add a new sky into a landscape or you want professional-grade dodging and burning on a portrait, this tutorial breaks down how Luminosity Blending can improve any photo.

Tools for Compositing

The key to a believable composite image is matching the light and color between photos. We walk you through multiple compositing examples where we demonstrate how to match the lighting and the color, making it appear as though elements from two photos were all captured in the same scene.

ADD REALISTIC LIGHTING

ORIGINAL

Highlights & Shadows

Light and shadow are the defining features of any photograph. We show you multiple tools and techniques that allow you to edit those areas of light and dark independently – carefully sculpting your edits for a more professional finish.

Dodge & Burn

Learn how to enhance the highlights and darken the shadows of a portrait to add stunning shape and definition. Dodging and burning is an essential retouching skill and we show you how to get the most professional results possible.

Light Effects

Learn how to fix the exposure of an image to bring out details that were lost, match the lighting between two scenes in a composite, and even create realistic light rays from scratch. Adjust lighting and create beautiful lighting effects with Luminosity Blending in Photoshop.

IMPROVE EXPOSURE

ORIGINAL

Precision & Control

The fastest way to achieve professional-looking results in Photoshop is to avoid tools that make large, crude selections and adjustments. We show you how to make pixel-perfect selections and Layer Masks that will help your edits look more natural than ever.

Advanced Masking

The more detailed you can make a Layer Mask, the better the edit will be. We show you how to use the information from an image and apply it to a Layer Mask for photorealistic edits and adjustments.

Adjust Exposure

Brighten shadows, enhance highlights, and bring out the details. Master the techniques of Luminosity Blending and learn to fix the exposure of any image.

Precision & Control

AFTER

BEFORE

Creative Coloring


Color the highlights and shadows of an image independently to create a look that’s all your own.

CREATE SEAMLESS COMPOSITES

ORIGINAL

Coloring

Creative coloring can often be the most fun part of editing a photo. Add deep blues into the shadows of a photo and vibrant yellows into the highlights or even blend three, four, or five colors to create a unique look that’s all your own.

Color Matching

Have you ever tried to place a person into a new background and you can’t quite get the colors to match? Learn how to add and remove color casts to realistically place any person or object into a new environment.

Sky Replacement

Have you ever taken what you thought was the perfect landscape photo but the sky was washed out and overexposed? Luminosity Blending can help! Replace any sky easily and accurately to make your landscape images even more impressive.

RECOVER SHADOW INFORMATION

ORIGINAL

Blend If

If you haven’t used Blend If before, prepare to meet your new favorite tool in Photoshop. Blend If allows you to blend a layer into the highlights, midtones, and shadows of another. Whether you’re fixing exposure, coloring, or compositing, this tool is useful in nearly any situation.

Apply Image

At its most basic level, Apply Image creates a copy of your entire image on a new layer. While it may seem simple, it’s a tool that has a wide variety of applications and near unlimited depth. Learn everything there is to know about how Apply Image works and how to use it to create precision edits.

Channels

Channels are one of the most accurate selection tools in Photoshop, allowing you to make a selection based off of the color and contrast in a photo. Learn how to use Channels in combination with Adjustment Layers to make precision edits to any photo.

Class Instructor

Aaron Nace

PHLEARN Founder – Class Instructor

Aaron Nace is a photographer, Photoshop artist and founder of PHLEARN. He is the #1 Photoshop instructor in the world with millions of YouTube subscribers.

View More Classes by Aaron Nace

Reviews

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    You are my Boss my Guru … I have learn and fine tuned so many aspect of advance Photoshop from you .. Great Teacher .. Great Tutorials and above all Great Person … Thank You Aaron …

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Excellent tutorial.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Thanks, another great tutorial – makes things a lot easier.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    More one instrumental tutorial! Thank you Aaron Nace! These techniques, besides perfecting the treatment of images, save time of discovery with your exceptional didactics. Congratulations!

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Awesome techniques to elevate one’s skills to the next level. Thanks A-Aron and phenomenal team. Every darn thing you do is epic, Nace.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Wonderful as usual. I learned so much. Thank you.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    A great tutorial where I learned a lot. THX

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    My first day and this was my first tutorial and loved it! thank you for your honest simple and clear explanation!

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Very good tutoria, liked the part with lightrays

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Very good tutorial. Discovered some really easy ways to improve my work. Everything is explained very well, doesn´t matter what´s your photoshop skills. Thanks!

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Such powerful tools for everyday work! Thank you

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    AMAZING AS ALWAYS

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    Great as always, very helpful 🙂

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Very Informative! I definitely appreciated learning all the Dodging and Burning. I can always count on Phlearn to explain things in a way that I get, and if I have to go slower, I just back peddle or pause until mine is ready with Aaron’s (Which only happened a few times). I liked how after explaining what it is with Apply Image, etc, the end had several examples for us to work along with Aaron, to see how this tool could be used. Thanks again Phlearn!

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    I LOVE THIS TUTORIAL!! It goes right in line with the Blending Mode, and Color toning tutorials that i’m Really trying to understand and fit into my workflow. PHLEARN.com has changed my photography and graphic design capabilities!!!!

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    Really loved this tutorial, beginning to end, was a great refresher. Thanks, guys.

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    Excellent! The theme development is excellent. Simple to more Complex , one step at a time. Great teaching technique. Anyone can learn from this tutorial.

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    One thing that makes your training so compelling is that we feel like being in there, in the studio with you, and not in a classroom or in front of a screen. It’s really fun to learn in this way. Excellent work you doing.

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    Asa traditional painter/illustrator using photoshop I approached the digital medium as a painter. Your tutorials showed me its another medium and am excited about incorporating these tecniches in my work. Well done!!! Dminuto

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Wow, great tutorial! Can’t thank you enough! By the way, I just learned recently that when you are in the lens flare dialog, you can hold Option (alt) and click in the little image area and you can type in specific x-y coordinates where you want your lens flare. So, you can get super specific where the lens flare falls.

  21. Rated 5 out of 5

    Another winning tutorial. I have been experimenting a lot with luminosity blending as a result of some previous Phlearn tutorials. This really helped to consolidate the ideas and introduced some interesting new ideas. Great stuff as always (Y)

  22. Rated 5 out of 5

    Powerful tutorial with a fantastic collection of information that recall and update some great techniques from former tutorials and adds more tools on our photoshop repertoire. Thanks Phlearn, thanks Aaron.

  23. Rated 5 out of 5
  24. Rated 5 out of 5

    AMAZING tutorial, solves many questions i had. thank you !

  25. Rated 5 out of 5

    What a great tutorial! I’ve always wanted to know how to do all this effects to an image. If you want to know and learn, this is the tutorial!! Great one!

  26. Rated 5 out of 5

    Lens flare is created when the light hits the various layers of glass in your lens, so it wouldn’t make sense for the lens flare to be behind the transom, would it?

    Aaron Nace – Class Instructor
    Technically no, but in this case we are using the lens flare to add a little of visual interest to the image. Thanks!
  27. Rated 5 out of 5

    I appreciate how Aaron repeats the tricky parts or new ideas. I also like that the tutorials combine several techniques and show the benefits of each.

  28. Rated 5 out of 5

    Nice background !

FAQ

This tutorial includes 9 Sample Images & 8 video tutorials. Download the sample images and assets at the top of the page.

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