Processing Light Trails Images using layers in Photoshop
In the video tutorial below, we’re going to look at processing light trails images using Photoshop. We have already seen in an earlier blog post how to create light trails in photos. So, if you don’t have any images suitable for editing yet, do try the ideas that you can find there. You will probably find that one single exposure doesn’t quite give you enough interest (unless you’ve been very lucky!). You rarely get a fantastic blend of trails from traffic going both ways within a few seconds. So, it is often better to stack images to create a busier looking scene with more light trails. It is very simple to do this in Photoshop. All you need to do is bring your images in as layers and change the blend mode for each of them to “lighten” instead of “normal”. This will take all the pixels from the other layers that are brighter than your base image and add them. Unfortunately, this can often have side effects such as messing up your sky. So, you need to learn how to mask out areas you don’t want. The video tutorial below will show you how to overcome some of the problems that can occur when processing light trails images in Photoshop. You will see a step by step guide to how to take your images from Lightroom into Photoshop for editing. There are also some bonus tips for giving extra colour to the sky, particularly if you have areas that are too bright and plain.
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© Joe Lenton, 2016