Sunday, January 13, 2019

Creating Light Leaks in Photoshop

A little while ago I saw some light leak photos my photographer-daughter, Jamie, did using color negative film in an old Nikon F2 mostly on her Instagram feed. She would flash the roll part way through by opening the camera back slightly to let some light streaks seep in. This started me thinking about ways I could produce similar effects using overlays in Photoshop. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew, I was creating an entirely new set of Light Leak Photoshop Overlays and preparing to market them through MCP Actions, where my other overlay packs are sold.

One thing I learned rather after a lot of experimenting was that I needed to create different versions of the light leak overlays to be used for both light and dark images. I also needed to create some flat, overall color blurs to help harmonize the multiple image overlays.

The portrait below was created by stacking two overlays. One overlay was a blurred, colored image of 35mm film, and the other was one of my standard light leak overlays on black.  (See the overlay samples further below.)  The background on this image was very dark, so I used overlays that required a Photoshop layer mode change of "Screen".


This image of the wedding couple is one of the more typical application of light leak overlays.  It is a combination of three overlays.  Two of them are against black and their Photoshop layer modes were changed to "Screen". The third overlays was a lighter, overall color blur to help harmonize the transition of colors of the original image and the light leak overlays.


Below are some typical samples of the light leak overlays I created. Those with a heavy black area are intended to be use in Photoshop "Screen" mode, while the more overall colored images can be used in Soft Light, Hard Light, and sometimes in other layer modes depending upon the image that is being altered. The actual colors of the light leaks can also be altered by combining them with a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer.


The photo below shows the effect of the light leaks when working with a very light original image. This is a combination of three, stacked light leak images with a predominately white photo of the bride and groom. 



The photo overlay of the 35mm film was intentionally scratched and then streaked with light leaks to provide a grittier look. There is only one other light leak layer providing the red streak along the left side of the image.


I am creating the light leak overlays in a variety of colors to help them harmonize with the colors in the images receiving the treatment.  However, as I mentioned about, it is easy to alter the colors of the light leaks by combining them with an altered Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer in Photoshop.


One of the chief advantages of creating light leaks this way is the amount of control you have over the composition. The photo below combines three light leak overlays, two in Screen mode and one in Soft Light layer mode. By adding a layer mask over the light leak, you can paint out any areas of the leak that don't work. Here, for instance, I removed some of the light leak from the model's face.


I have a couple of more weeks to go for creating some more light leak images, and then putting the package together, with samples for MCP Actions.  I will also be recording an instructional video on how to use the overlays. I will be announcing here on the blog when the Light Leaks package is ready. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

First sunrise of 2019 with a Nikon Z7 and Fuji X-H1

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Wishing you all the best for the coming year.

This is the first sunrise of 2019 taken at Delray Beach, Fl. The first photo below was taken with the Nikon Z7 and 24-70mm zoom lens set to 24mm.

The darker exposure in the bottom photo was because I bracketed down to capture more detail in the area around the sun. Luckily the seagull flew by for a few frames. This image was taken with a Fuji X-H1 and 10-24mm zoom set to 12mm (18mm equivalent).