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Photoshop tutorial: How to fake/enhance dreamy light

20091029_1243Alright, with the theme for Monthly Makers being “Saga” (check out the presentation here) I thought I would teach you all one of my special techniques to make pictures dreamier – and more fairytale-like. It’s REALLY easy, and just requires some kind of editing software where you can use layers, change opacity and use a gradient tool.

It works best on pictures that are shot facing towards a light source, but can work when you had the light source from the side as well. The secret to this is actually looking at the picture a little bit and see where it would make sense for there to be more light.

So I started with this picture of a horse! If you look at the shadows and the faint halo on the horses mane you can figure out that the light is coming from the side/slightly behind the horse. Also, if you took the picture recently (this one is like 6 years old haha) you can just think about where the sun was. Keep that in mind when doing this.


Step 1: Make a layer


Make an empty new layer. In Photoshop it’s this little paper icon in the bottom right corner of the Layer panel or Ctrl + Shift + N.

Step 2: Select gradient tool


When you have your new layer, just go over to the left bar and pick Gradient Tool. (Or press G.)

Step 3: Select gradient


Select the second option of the different gradients, foreground to transparent, and select the circular gradient.

Step 4: Set forground colour


Set foreground colour to white by clicking the top square and selecting white. (Or pressing the tiny black and white squares above the bigger squares and then pressing the arrows to the right of them, making them black and white and then swapping places between them.)

Step 5: Place Gradient


With your Gradient Tool active, press down in the middle of the light source/where you want the middle of your gradient and drag the mouse out to where you want it to end. You could say that it’s finished here really,  but I think it’s a bit odd looking still.

Step 6: Transform!


Press Ctrl + T or Edit > Free Transform and change the shape of the gradient a little bit. In this case I prefer it to be a bit taller and a little bit wider, so that’s what I change and then proceed to move it a bit further up in the picture (using your keyboard arrows or pressing “V” to get the Moving Tool – the first one in the toolbar to the left).

Remember that the gradient only reaches as far as your canvas, so if you want to move it around it will cut off abruptly where the canvas did. If you want one that’s free to move around as you want, create a smaller gradient circle that fits on the canvas and then transform it however you want.


And then it looks something like this.

Step 7: Change opacity! (Optional)


Sometimes you don’t have to do this, but I’m gonna explain how to do it anyway. In Photoshop you do that at the top right of the Layer panel, and I suppose Gimp and similar programs look pretty much the same. How much you want to decrease the opacity really depends on the picture, so play around with it. I actually liked it at full opacity on this one.

Step 8: Add a Curve layer (Optional)


To enhance it further we’re gonna adjust the picture with Curves. You can create a Curve layer in a few different ways, and if you don’t have an adjustment panel you can just go Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves in the top bar.

Step 8.1: Adjust the Curves layer

This is really a question of personal preference, but I like to add a little bit of contrast to the picture and lighten the light parts even more to blend the gradient into the picture.Untitled-1

To adjust curves you only press the location of the “straight curve” you want to move around and drag it to where you want it. The top right corner controls the light parts and the bottom left controls the dark parts. I mostly add and adjust points that are a quarter from the ends and not the actual ends of the curve. To make the dark darker you pull it downwards, and to make the light lighter you drag it upwards! Pretty simple!
Here’s how it looks after that.


Another thing that increases that dreamy feel for me is making the light warmer. I do this using the same curve, but switch to the curve controlling blue. When you decrease the blue in this curve, you make it more yellow. I’ve known exactly why this is at one point but I don’t anymore, so you’re just gonna have to trust me!

So in the second picture here you can see that I’ve dragged the blue down at the top of the curve, but changed it back to “normal” in the darker parts to make them less yellow. This means only the light parts of the picture are warmer, but the darker parts are kind of the same.


It looks something like that and I would say that you’re done!

Finished result!


Here’s before and after!

I’ve used this so much – and overused it a million times haha. It’s better to keep it soft and barely there than overdone really, even if I didn’t in this example… But yeah, that’s my little tutorial! I hope it wasn’t too confusing!

Other pictures where I’ve used this technique:

Lost Memories by Jessica Andersdotter, double exposure. 20141116_0374-copy_27486104396_o _dsc0622-copy_27460298865_o 20150123_2793-copy_26684076764_o



DIY & Crafts

easy crafting: painting fawns and antlers

This blog post is sponsored by Creativ Company.

Okay, so I love antlers. And although I like to make things based on my own idea I also like customising things and doing some easy crafting.

Easy crafting: painted paper deer head, fawns and antlersSo when I found some papier-mâché sculptures (??? idk what to call them) I kind of fell in love! I could paint them whatever way I wanted! It would be fun AND super stylish. Yes, stylish. I’m very stylish in general.

Anyway, I got some antlers, two deer/fawns and a deer head! Easy crafting: painted paper deer head, fawns and antlersStarted by painting the antlers white, because I was thinking of making them white at first. So that’s why I painted them white. Because that’s what I wanted. It makes sense, really, I don’t know why I’m still explaining it. Easy crafting: painted paper deer head, fawns and antlersBut then I changed my mind and made them GOLDEN.  Easy crafting: painted paper deer head, fawns and antlersAnd then I moved on to the head! Not a real head. A paper head. (Gonna start calling rude people paper heads now.)Easy crafting: painted paper deer head, fawns and antlersSo I got some paint and started! Easy crafting: painted paper deer head, fawns and antlersI also worked on these tiny little deer and painted them brown. Was kinda struggling with getting the right shade of brown! Harder than I thought.Easy crafting: painted paper deer head, fawns and antlersBut when I was happy with the shade of brown I painted tiny little dots on them to make them cuter. Dots make everything cuter. Easy crafting: painted paper deer head, fawns and antlersAnd then I made the big one white with golden triangles! It all took a few hours (painting it white took the longest) and it got dark, but eventually I finished!

Easy crafting: painted paper deer head, fawns and antlersAnd this is how it turned out!Easy crafting: painted paper deer headThe deer head got golden triangles, dots and some golden horns! Easy crafting: painted paper deer headEasy crafting: painted paper deer headTried hanging it on the wall in my bedroom but it kind of blended in with the wallpaper so I might put it in one of the darker rooms!

Easy crafting: painted paper fawnsThe tiny little fawns are adorable! Just gonna use them as decorations standing around. Perfect for Lumos to knock down. He knocks everything down. Silly little cat.Easy crafting: painted paper antlersAnd the horns! What do I do with horns? I was thinking I’d hang them on the wall in some way. Easy crafting: painted paper antlers

But I couldn’t quite figure out how to do it withoug a million nails so for now they’re stood in this brass cup with some flowers. Like some kind of absurd bouquet.

You can find the paper antlers, fawns and deer head on Creativ Company’s website.

DIY & Crafts

marbled eggs

My excitement for decorating for Easter started after Halloween (not kidding) and I was thinking that I was going to start planning early so that I could make a lot of my own decorations and just have fun. Such excitement! And then I had a rough couple of months, went to Spain and then all of a sudden Easter is here. Rude and unfortunate. And of course amazing, because that means it’s spring!

Anyway, this means that I haven’t done as much Easter decorating and creating as I would’ve wanted to, but I did manage to squeeze in some Easter crafts with my sister a few days ago! The ever so trendy nail polish marbled eggs.
20160322_4363We picked a couple of (a bit too old, which I don’t think was that great) nail polishes and started. 20160322_4367
Before we started we built tiny drying stations for them from sponges and needles!20160322_4368We blew out the eggs (tutorial on that here) and poured lukewarm water into a bowl we were comfortable with UTTERLY DESTROYING BECAUSE NAIL POLISH EVERYWHERE. Something like that. 20160322_4387
And then you were supposed to pour some nail polish into the water and make patterns in it with a stick. But parts of it just stuck to the stick if you weren’t really careful. I don’t know what we did wrong.. :(

We started rolling the egg around the surface anyway. Had to try. 20160322_4383It turned out alright (this is the bad side haha) so we continued!20160322_4395It was so much fun! I wanted to marble everything after. 20160322_4399So I decided I was gonna marble the styrofoam eggs I bought in Spain too. I hadn’t decided what to do with them before, I just bought them for Easter. 20160322_4392It was pretty unpredictable and some of them got a bit too covered, but they look cool anyway. 20160322_4408And when you had a few it didn’t really matter anyway!20160322_4417Like it looks good! It’s more three dimensional than I thought it would be, they’re not smooth so I don’t know if that was something we did wrong or not but it’s fine. I’ll show them in our branch some other day!


DIY & Crafts

christmas wreath

I’ve made a Christmas Wreath for our door!  20151214_6455
20151214_6457It’s all really easy! I used this base, some wire, two birds and some green moss! (Though I don’t think it’s actual moss but I don’t know what the other one is called.) 20151219_6300And then I just fastened the moss to the base with the wire until it covered it all, added the two little birds and then hung it on our door!

Super easy and 100% Christmas.