Magically Transform Dull Photos by Painting with Light in Photoshop (VIDEO)

All outdoor photographers have experienced the dilemma of coming upon a scene that would make a stunning image, were it not for the dull light. But all is not lost, as you’ll see in the video below, demonstrating how to magically transform a flat photo by painting with light in Photoshop.

Photographer Colin Smith of Photoshop Cafe is one of our favorite image-editing instructors, with a real knack for simplifying seemingly complicated tasks. In this very helpful tutorial, he walks you through the process of transforming a dull photograph into a vibrant image with dynamic sunlight, highlights, and shadows.

Smith begins with a multi-shot panorama he shot it Atlanta. It looks pretty good— until you see the magical transformation that results from his Photoshop light-painting technique. He walks you through every step of the way, so you can easily transform your good images into great ones with a few simple steps.

You’ll pick up some time saving keystroke shortcuts, learn what you need to know about blending modes and opacity settings, see how to select the best brush tool for the job, and much, much more. So check out the video and get busy.

You can find more great image-editing tips on Smith’s YouTube channel. And be sure to check out the recent tutorial we posted, explaining how to fine-tune composition in Lightroom while editing landscape images.