How to add a glowing ball of light to your photos
I’ve seen this effect in many wedding and engagement shoots and its probably one of my favourites, which is the glowing ball or orb of light in your photo. The idea is to fake golden light in Photoshop but this has extended to using other colours like purple or red. This tutorial will teach you how to create this look and for convenience, I have included the gradients I created in Photoshop at the bottom of the page for you to download and use. I have also created the black and white version of the light orb.
I recommend starting with an image that you have already made your desired colour enhancements – such as adding a vintage effect.
- Open your image in Photoshop
- Duplicate the layer (Layer > Duplicate Layer)
- Add a Gradient Overlay (Layer > Layer Style > Gradient Overlay)
This menu is where all the magic happens and I’ll explain which setting you’ll need to adjust.
I will cover installing the gradients and explaining the gradient overlay function.
- Blend Mode: Select Hard Light
- Opacity: This you can adjust based on how your image looks (opacity will make the orb either more transparent or solid in colour)
- Gradient: To load the gradients, click the black arrow to show the gradient drop-down list. Then click the arrow to the top right of the gradient list. Select the “Load Gradients…” option and locate the gradients you downloaded from your computer. Once you have loaded them, they should appear at the bottom of the list with the rest of the default gradients. Select one of the colour gradients that you just loaded.
- Style: Select Radial – as we want a round shape.
- Angle: This can remain at 90 degrees. Should you wish to increase your coverage, you can play with it and try moving it around through to 180 degrees. Linear is another option from this list you can use.
- Scale: This will change how large your orb is and how much the edges feather (blend out). Adjust this based on your image.
Once you have selected your gradient, you should see it appear on your image right away. Drag the orb around your image and position it where you think it looks best. Make your adjustments to the opacity and scale where necessary and click OK and you’re done!
Here is my final image (I have blurred the top and bottom of this particular image).