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Help with editing lighthouse rays..


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Hi Damien,


I have a particular image I took of Byron Bay lighthouse at night..  I managed to capture the 'light rays' from the lighthouse, but I cannot for the life of me, work out how to accentuate them..  I could go down the fake route, but would like to use what I shot..  Any ideas??  (Completely unedited JPG attached - but I shoot RAW).



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Well ... I assume you'd have to double-process the raw file.

  • Once as normal
  • Once for the sky only, with REALLY aggressive contrast, so the beam stands out.

Then combine them as layers in PS.

But the trouble is, such aggressive contrast would almost certainly bring out some pretty nasty noise.  A dark blue sky will usually harbour noise, and the risk of exaggerating it would be great.

So try it, but you might find that the "faking it" route is better.

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Thanks for that - I didn't get chance to have a play with it last night (working :( ) ...  but will see if I can apply your PSD edit to my RAW file...  Will let you know. 

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Pulling my hair out with it..  At first I had the idea of perhaps (somehow) copying the adjustments layers from your jpg copy, over to my raw file - googled if it was possible - apparently it is but no joy in that department..!!

Studied your adjustment layers one by one to attempt to replicate them - spent hours and lost interest due to frustration  ..!!  LOL

What I would like to ask - the lines of the light rays that blur out towards the ends - are they all seperate lines or have you managed to radiate them out from a central point from the light on the lighthouse?  


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They're five separate lines, on five separate layers, which I then merged into the Smart Object you see in the PSD.

You should have sung out before now!!!!  I wanted to share the PSD to make it faster for you, not to bog you down for hours.

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OK - my latest attempt...  created the light beams with the polygonal lasso tool.. Filled them with a gradient and added a Gaussian blur..   Does it work????

Byron Bay20170507_0059.jpg

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