Dynamic lighting isn’t new – far from it. The 16th-century Baroque art movement saw artists such as Giovanni Baglione use chiaroscuro (Italian for light and dark) to add a sense of depth, atmosphere, and emotion to their work. But such lighting effects aren’t limited to paint on canvas – it has appeared throughout the history of cinema, from the film noir era of the 1940s, right up to modern neo-noir, as practised by Quentin Tarantino.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how the same lighting principles can be applied to your photo manipulations. You’ll start by assembling stock images, then harmonising their colour and tone with some non-destructive adjustment layers. Finally, we’ll use some clever masking and painting techniques can really add another dimension.

You can download the images that Mark Mayers has used for the tutorial for free: the landscape and clouds are both from Stock.xchng (bit.ly/8n8JyP and bit.ly/5OZdB4 respectively), while the model was created by *Faestock on deviantArt, and can be downloaded here. Be sure to read the licensing requirements for the images you download.


Adobe Photoshop  

Time to complete

2 hours

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