Photoshop Tip: Studio Lighting After-the-Fact

How to Use the Digital Darkroom to Simulate Studio Lighting

by Jim Zuckerman

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© Jim Zuckerman
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Itís impossible to carry studio lighting with me as I travel, and yet there are many portraits I take that could benefit from the creative application of directional spotlights and other types of lighting that enhance and dramatize a subject.

Photoshop has an excellent lighting effects dialog box that allows me to simulate studio lighting after-the-fact, and itís quite realistic. In many cases, it is indistinguishable from lighting that would be used in a studio with thousands of dollars of equipment.

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© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved
The pair of photos accompanying this article shows what applying a spotlight on the model can do. This looks like the narrow beam of light when a snoot or barn doors is placed over a strobe head. Notice how the background has been darkened and how all the attention is focused on the modelís face.

This young lady is a Javanese bride I photographed in Indonesia. The white flowers coming down from her headpiece are hand-woven live flowers.


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Article by Jim Zuckerman. To learn more about photography, explore the many online photography and Photoshop classes offered here at BetterPhoto.com.