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Brilliant Photoshop Tutorial On How To Turn Day To Night

Ever take a photo during the daytime and wish it was at night? Some of you may shake your head, but it there are legitimate times in commercial and editorial projects where this is completely necessary in order to fulfill client/creative requirements. Glyn Dewis has put together this effective and straightforward Photoshop tutorial on how to do just that. Read below to download the original file and try it out yourself!

According to Glyn:

In this episode I show you how using Photoshop you can turn a day scene in to a night scene PLUS how to add in street lighting. 

Download the file used in this video and practice:

Sometimes we are given a situation where we need a night shot of a location, but do not have the proper weather or time in the schedule to capture it. This is where a tutorial like this could come in handy.

Glyn's idea of adding the light in the alleyway is a great trick, but most importantly, you should take note of the color grading and modifying exposure in the highlights and mid tones in order to truly capture the essence of night.

Have any of you tried doing something like this in post production before? I know I've had to do it in post production with video and it is not easy but sometimes very necessary. Post your examples below!

Make sure to follow Glyn Dewis and his youtube page:

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Jim Holmes's picture

Editorial projects that need this? Not if one is honest in the reporting.
Creative purposes, yes. But never for editorial images. Lying this way is still lying.

Douglas Sonders's picture

Creative editorial. Not photojournalism. I've done magazine work that required composites to tell a story. Apologies for not making that clear

Jason Ranalli's picture

It's interesting because they do this in the movies quite frequently. I can't tell you how many movies I have seen where they clearly shot the scene in the middle of the day but color graded it, used filters, etc to make it look like night-time. If you think about it, the moonlight essentially has the same shadow structure as a mid-day sun...but just much less intense against what is in the shadows of that same light.

Brian Reese's picture

Just watched Caddyshack the other day and when Bill Murray is tracking down the gofer at "night" it is clearly day time. Same with Clash of the Titans (80's version). But the reason for shooting in daytime or brightly lit shots with gear is because shooting at night is very difficult to retain detail and proper exposure. Especially if you don't have the gear. Most scenes ever shot that are supposed to be night aren't necessarily "night"... they are decently well lit to begin with then graded/filtered down.

Jason Ranalli's picture

Another one is a nighttime surfing scene in Point Break....oldie but a goodie :)

John Flury's picture

I used a similar technique to convert a bright daylight shot of the Sinai desert to a night scene. Drawing in light in post-production often looks fake and my own example bellow is no exception. In Glyn Dewis' example he created soft looking light on the wall from a hard light source and his light from the doorway didn't fall off away from the light source. But adding detailed shadows, fall-off, reflective light bouncing off the floor and wall etc. would have made this a 2-3 hour tutorial...

james johnson's picture

Nice work. I can see this working as a bit of illustration.

Yeah, just like all the compositing tutorials, if you were to do it for a high-end professional job, it would take hours (possibly days) to get it to a point that looks like it is real, not just real enough to fool the eye. But as a bit of illustration, it works quite well.

Jason Ranalli's picture

Agreed...but man it's 90% of the way there. Nice work!!

Josean Rosario's picture

Wow thank you this helped a lot because I kinda knew what to do to make it night but this really solidified what I was thinking

Jennifer Kelley's picture

Thanks for the tip! I'm using this technique on the headlights of a car I shot over the weekend.

Andy Shrestha's picture

did you guys watch the Adobe MAX? they have a better way for day to night now. hehe :D