Sometimes you head out for sunrise and unfortunately the sky doesn’t turn it on for you… I know how rude, right? Well I have a little trick to help turn your boring sunrise shot into an awesome sunrise shot your friends wish they had of got out of bed for – And they never have to know the truth!
Gradient Map in Photoshop
Here is the image I captured not too long after sunrise. Definitely not a sunrise I would generally get out of bed for. But when you travel around an hour or more to get to a location you don’t just get back in your car if the sunrise is shit and go home. You take some photos and work some Photoshop magic to transform your image later!
Gradient Map in Photoshop is an adjustment layer. You select the Gradient Map layer from the bottom new layer panel.
To change the colour/preset of the Gradient Map, you need to click the coloured line once.
The next box that pops up will be where you choose the colour/preset from. This is the Gradient Editor. You can change the preset as many times as you like by following the above step.
The preset I have chosen for this image is the blue, red + yellow preset as shown above. It’s going to look a little wild once you choose the preset you want. The next step is to change the blending mode – It will be the drop down box with the word Normal in it – Go down and choose Soft light. This is where the magic happens.
The last step is to adjust the opacity. The colour will probably be way too intense so adjust as you feel suits the individual image best. I have used 49% Opacity in this image.
If you want to remove the Gradient Map from any part of the image you can mask it out using the layer mask.
Don’t know how to use layer masks? Click here for a tutorial.
I hope this tutorial has been helpful in creating an amazing sunrise image. Make sure you play around with the different presets, opacity and blend modes.
If you liked this tutorial, I would love you to share it with your friends.
** Pin this image for later.