Photoshop: Morning Glow photo effect

by Nadeem SMB

Photoshop retouching effects, filters, blending modes and photo filtersPreface: As most of you know by now, lighting can have a dramatic effect on a photograph. For naturally lighted scenes, the look and feel of the photo can change and transform as the hours pass throughout the day. This is one of those tutorials that is rather obvious, but often overlooked -- while at the same time, enlightening. Thanks to Nadeem for sending this one in ...

Morning Glow Photoshop Tutorial

You can make an ordinary photo become dramatic and interesting by simulating light from a particular time of day. Follow this Photoshop tutorial to learn how to create a soft morning glow effect with just two layers.

Before and After Morning Glow Photoshop Tutorial

Before and after example of MORNING GLOW
above, left is the image that will be used for this Photoshop tutorial.

Press the Create a new layer button in the Layers pallet Step 1: Open an image

First, open a photo into Photoshop. To do this, open the File menu and select Open. If you do not have a photo to work on, you may download the photo used in this tutorial and open it into Photoshop.

Step 2: Create a new layer

Press the Create a new layer button in the Layers pallet. Then change the blending mode of Layer 1 to Screen.

Add a GradientStep 3: Add a Gradient

First, set the foreground color to white. You can do this quickly by pressing d and then x.

Now select the Gradient tool from the toolbar on the left. Select the radial gradient option (default is linear). Drag a line from one point to another to create a glow. You may undo and retry until you get the glow that looks natural in the photo.

Add a Photo Filter Step 4: Add a Photo Filter

Now we're going to add a Photo Filter adjustment layer.
To do this, go to
Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter.
Use the default settings but set the density to 100%.

add a Photo Filter adjustment layer

Change the blending mode to Overlay Step 5: Change the blending mode

Change the blending mode to Overlay and reduce the opacity if desired.

As you can see from the results, your photo has now taken on the glow of the morning sun. Adjusting the Opacity of the overlay will control how much of the glow you want present in the photo.


Final Results

move your mouse over the image

Morning Glow Photoshop Effects - more examples

his example is slightly over exposed

The technique works well with interior shots as well.

glow effect for interior shot

Nadeem MB

Thanks to Nadeem for sending us this Photoshop Tutorial. See more of his work and tutorials at

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