Adding Dramatic Lighting Effects to Your Photo
With a bit of selective lightening and darkening in Photoshop, you can make a dull, lifeless photograph pop off the page.
There is nothing wrong with the original image, although the "before" picture lacks the dramatic mood that the change of lighting adds to the "after" picture. By using Photoshop to accentuate the darks and the lights, the viewer's attention is now focused directly on the couple.
Here's how to do it: First, add a new layer and fill it with 50% gray with 100% opacity. Change the layer's Blending Mode to Color Burn, which will darken the image and make it look over-saturated. Then decrease the layer's opacity to your taste. (Opacity in the range of 50% to 80% usually works well.) To create the ray of light, use a large, soft-edged, white airbrush at 2%-3% opacity and paint on the gray Color Burn layer to create a new light source.