How To Make Dramatic Blue Shadows in Photoshop

Make Dramatic Blue Shadows in Photoshop

How To Make Dramatic Blue Shadows in Photoshop

I’m increasing see images these days with really dark blue shadowing. This gives images a really dramatic or cinematic feel to them. It almost replicates the volcanic blackening of an Icelandic landscape. I wanted to see how easily this could be recreated in Photoshop in less than 2 minutes. This technique can be used in all kinds of different scenarios. I recently went on a bit of an outing and captured a hidden waterfall so I thought I stick with the subject and explore How To Make Dramatic Blue Shadows In Photoshop.

Adding Dramatic Blue Shadows in Photoshop

If you wish to experiment with this, I would really appreciate it if you included my name (Duke McIntyre) and www.shutterevolve.com when you publish your image. If you post your published image on our Facebook page I’d be happy to check it out.


 

Cinematic Shadows 

 

Shadows are essential in Photography. They cast mood and character over any scene and help accentuate rolling landscapes. Using shadows you can also create dynamic vignettes. In this example, we use a deep dark blue shadow to darken and distract from the outer fringes of this image. By using dramatic shadows this way, we steer so much more attention and focus on our interesting subject.

-Tutorial Continued Below-
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How To Make Dramatic Blue Shadows in Photoshop

1. Select the top layer (in this instance we’re only working with one layer).

Make Dramatic Blue Shadows in Photoshop

2. Add a New Adjustment Layer by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the layers panel.

3. When the various adjustment layers appear, click on the Color Lookup option.

4. You should now see the properties panel for the Color Lookup Adjustment Layer.

5. Click on the top drop-down box to select the Color Lookup Table (LUT) that we’re going to apply.

6. From the drop-down list select FoggyNight3DL.

7. This will apply a very dark blue overlay which is often used to turn day images into night.

turn day images into night

8. We are going to mask out the Waterfall and foreground. But I don’t want the mask to be too black and white, I want a more subtle mask. So before we start building the mask, hit the Quick Mask Icon (or you can press Q).

9. Then click on the Filter menu and hover over Render.

10. The filter we will use to help build our subtle mask is Difference Clouds.

Make Dramatic Blue Shadows in Photoshop

11. After clicking on Difference Clouds, you should see a red misty overlay. 

12. Hit the Quick Mask mode icon again to disable Quick Mask mode which gives us an active selection from the filter.

13. Left-click on the Colour Lookup Adjustment Layer Mask thumbnail.

Make Dramatic Blue Shadows in Photoshop

14. Now press Crtl+H (PC) or Cmd+H (Mac) to hide the marching ants.

15. Select The Brush Tool.

16. Set the Brush Opacity to around 50%.

17. Make sure your foreground colour is set to black.

18. Now paint over the areas that you want to remove the dramatic blue shadowing from.

dramatic blue shadow

19. Hold down Alt (PC) or Option (Mac) and left-click on the layer mask thumbnail to view the mask. 

20. The mottled effect from the Difference Cloud filter gives us a soft and subtle shadow removal leaving only dramatic shadows in the outer edges of our image.

Take a look at the before and after images.

Make Dramatic Blue Shadows in Photoshop

Photo by Dylan Taylor on Unsplash


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Enter your email below and join our community of more than 100,000 photographers who have also
Subscribed to our newsletter.
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How To Make Dramatic Blue Shadows in Photoshop
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