How to Add a Nice Sunray Effect Using Photoshop

Nothing makes me forget that winter is just starting and I'm basically going to be uncomfortably cold for the next five months like a nice photo of somewhere warm with sun rays peeking through. This fun tutorial will show you a relatively quick and effective way to add sunrays to a photograph.

Coming to you from Blake Rudis of f64 Academy, this video shows a quick method for adding sunrays that naturally peek through foliage or whatever you please. The method is particularly useful as it relies on masking the effect into the highlights, which is of course where you would naturally expect to see such rays; this helps to increase the believability of the effect, integrating it into the image instead of plastering rays on top of the photo. Because of this, it works best for photos where the sun is either directly in front of the camera or just off to the side. An additional tip: highlights are often warmer than shadows, so experiment with adding a hue/saturation adjustment to the effect and introducing a little more yellow and orange. As with most added effects, the biggest key to making it believable is erring on the side of subtlety; less is more! 

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Pedro Pulido's picture

As an alternative, try Luminar.. it can create sunrays and is intelligent enough the identify obstacles and place the sun behind them. and stop paying monthly fees! :)