Creative landscape photography editing: turning day to night! (2023)


This video is part 2 of my recent trip to Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland. In the last video I said I needed an image of the castle at night, but due to opening times it is difficult to get such a shot. Instead I resorted to some creative editing. This video is the result...

Subscribe for weekly videos about photography, Scotland, history, travel and the occasional random rant from yours truly!

Follow me:

Music from:


Hi everybody.

Welcome back to the channel.

If you watched the last video, the one down at Colleen Castle, then you would have seen that finish that with me haven't if they'll go back and do the edit.

Uh, basically, I was trying to convert a daytime short to an eight-time shot.

If you haven't seen that I'll leave a link below, you can or up there somewhere, um, you can go watch that video find out why I was doing that I'm going to take you through the process that I adopted when I was trying to do that, edit I don't pretend to be any sort of creative retoucher or editor.

So, um, if there's anything in this that you think I could have done better, please leave me a comment because I do want to improve the final edit.

If I possibly can I picked one image, just one otherwise, the video would have lasted for a long time.

So I've picked one image and we're going to just work it from the raw file all the way through to the final edit I do in stages.

Each time using smart filters, so I can go back and change things as and when I don't.

Normally add things to manages, um, I, kind of I, don't really have a problem with cloning things out that I feel is maybe distracting, but I tend not to add things to images.

It's, just a personal preference.

I don't think, there's any particular, um reason for it.

But in this particular video you'll, see towards the end I kind of got the feeling that there was something missing.

And it was something that was never going to be there in the first place.

So I do actually add one element to the final photograph, actually, no I don't have to add two things.

So sit back and grab a cup of tea or coffee or something and watch how uh did they say that I'll talk you through each stage before I'm going to follow somebody did actually comment on the last video and asked if I'd be using any artificial intelligence to do this, uh, I think it's fair to say that I don't, even think I'm using any real intelligence to do so bear with me I'm, not an expert right here.

We have the raw file, uh imported into four shop.

And this is what I'm going to be working with this was pretty much straight from the camera there's, not been anything done to this.

My first task was to create four background layer copies because I wanted to convert all them to Smart filters and apply a different effect to each layer to do that.

All I did was drag the background down to the new layer icon and released it and created the background copy I did that four times, and each time I labeled the layer with what it was I was going to do in that particular one.

So the first one I do is a night conversion I'll show you this for all the layers, but I'll go through it with this first one.

So because I wanted it as a smart object, so that I could then apply smart filters, I had to convert that to a Smart object.

And the benefit of using smart filters and objects is that you can go back and re-adjust things as time goes on.

So as I got further into the edit, if I decide that the the night time conversion, for instance, isn't quite good enough.

Then I can go all the way back to that layer and make some sort of adjustments.


So, yeah, to convert something to a Smart object, it's filter and then convert for smart filters click that you get a little warning.

And um, there you go this little icon here tells you that you're now, working with a smart object to apply a smart filter to it.

You go to image adjustment.

And on this case, I'm going to apply a color lookup.

You've got these pre-loaded lot files, which come with Photoshop and I'm going to use this one Moonlight, select that hit OK and boom, you have a very Rough and Ready night from day.

Conversion there's, obviously a lot not quite right with that and that's what I'm going to do as I walk through the rest of the layers.

But that was how I generated the original Universal data, Knight conversion.

What I'll do is I'll, get rid of that because I've already done all this and it's going to be a lot quicker.

If I just show you the files that I generated as I was going through them here.

We have the data Knight conversion on the second layer, I applied, a fog, a lot I, don't know, if you noticed in that drop down list, there was one called foggy night, I applied that and I really just wanted that to apply to this area here around about where the castle was, you know, the part that's, most distant from you, the viewer and I added that there it's quite a subtle effect, I've actually I've got it running at 15 opacity.

So the vast majority of the felt, uh effect is being removed again, but I wanted that to just give it a little bit more atmosphere.

I also needed a little bit of haze there.

Because when I came in The Next Step, which was trying to make it look as though the windows were actually lit.

And there was some activity inside the castle.

I wanted some Haze because I wanted that light to spill out a little bit more beyond the level of the window.

If you just paint in the window, it looks very Photoshop for the windows.

All I did was created another background, layer copy, converted it to a Smart filter again.

And this time I didn't apply a lot I applied a series of filters, mainly working with the color, the brightness and the Vibrance and I generated those.

You can see here if I drop down the menu, there's the Vibrance and brightness contrast.

So I did that I once I've done that the whole effect looked horrendous.

If I'm brutally honest so I applied a layer mask and inverted it.

So everything was gone, and then simply using a hard paintbrush.

So I had the hardness right up to 100 I just did the size of the the brush and adjusted the opacity and flow up to 100 and simply painted in the areas where I wanted the lights to appear on in the castle once I've done that I changed to a softened a softer brush.

So I took it down about maybe 10 percent something like that and uh, adjusted the opacity and flowed down to about 10 as well, simply painted in where I thought, the light from these lights would be hitting the trees and the foliage the underside of the castle wall, uh, spelling on the trees onto the Rocks Etc.

And if I zoom in a little bit I can let you see the effect that had, and it was that.

So by toggling that on and off, you can see where I've painted.

And it really was just a simple matter of painting in here, thinking that the light here would Splash onto the trees.

And under here, backlighting these bushes from that there and a little bit here so very subtle, but um, it.

It really helped the overall effect.

I felt the next stage was I wanted to introduce some lights.

Some fire lights, some campfire type things down here.

And amongst the um the caves because I figured that's where the the smuggles would be working.

And again, as you can see here, I click on a fourth background, copy I created what I thought would be the color of a fire light.

So if I disconnect disable the layer mask for a second that's, the kind of color that I ended up generating I thought that would be the appropriate light for the firelight, but it's, obviously very good.

It shouldn't, very not accurate.

So I decided I would have a fire run about here.

Probably in behind the rocks and another down here, probably in front of the cave, I simply painted and the areas that I thought would be picking up the light using a lot about knowledge of the inverse, Square law.

So I started off a very low opacity and flow and a very soft brush and painted in the far extremities of where I thought, the the light from the fire would get again.

Whenever there's a boulder excluding, the shadow of the boulder Etc taking it around the background, but not the side of the boulder because that wouldn't be catching the light.

If the light source was here.

Similarly foot up here behind the the side of the Rocks were in darkness.

But the light was spilling up on the side of the the caves here in under this foliage I took a lot of trial and error.

But in the end I ended up with that.

Um, it looked at first quite overpowering.

So I played around a little bit with the the shadows and highlights to make it look a bit more natural.

And for a while I thought that was that was the end of the edit I left it through there too.

And as always I stuck on the frame to say, right, that's me finish with the edit, but um, in retrospect, when I came back to it, a few days later, I decided that there was one or two things I needed done to it.


It didn't quite look like the final image for one I felt as if the colors were a little bit too saturated for an evening photograph.

So I redid the the Moonlight lot on a separate layer, and that kind of dropped the darkness, even more it made.

It look a bit darker.

It dropped some of the saturation in these trees Etc.

But obviously I do need the flames to be saturated.

So again, on a layer mask, I painted in the areas where I didn't want that new effect to appear and basically left the lamps in the castle, and where the the fires were going to be I left them Untouched by that new effect, wasn't happy still I decided we needed a moon I thought, okay, we'll add something.

And for that simply all I did was created a blank layer, got a white ink on the paintbrush and literally just painted in I mean, as you can see in the top corner there using the blend death options, I managed to hide it behind the leaves I'll, just zoom in a little bit let you see that.

So yeah, using the blend diff.

It was possible to hide it behind the leaves and that again, gave it just a little bit more depth made it? Look as if it was there was something more than just a simple conversion going on finally I decided that we really needed a fire or something down here.

You could argue that the fire here is hidden by these, uh bushes.

And the Rocks.

This one's a lot more open.

So you really need something to show what is the source of that light? Um, no, I do have some old damages of campfires from when I've been away camping or whatever but round sort through lots of files and try and find something that fitted.

The bill I just went straight to Adobe stock and downloaded a campfire image placed it into the photograph again, I used a little bit of, uh, blend depth to try and merge it with the background to keep some of the lighter items, still visible while adding, um, the fire in.

But that was essentially it wasn't still closing quite happy with the Hue saturation.

So I, again, I adjusted, the saturation very slightly.

You can see the sky if you'll keep an eye on the sky here you can see that that was the original.

This is the Hue saturation adjustment, again, I didn't, really want that adjustment to affect the fires so I painted out on the layer mask, the areas around the fire.

So that wasn't affected by that.

Finally I felt as if the fires weren't quite bright enough, they needed to be a little bit brighter.

And so using a simple levels adjustment I increased the brightness in the whole image, put in a negative layer mask.

So everything was blacked out.

And then just simply painted in the areas where I wanted the brighter light to appear and I was there.

And that was it that was the that was the steps that I took to generate that final image.

What do you think did it work? Uh, is it a better way of doing it? I, literally made this up as I went along.

So the almost certainly I'm much easier or much quicker way of doing it.

Do you like the final? Look? What do you think foreign foreign? What do you think of the final edit? Uh, did it work? Does it need tweaked in any way? Um, leave your comments below it's, not something I'm going to be doing enough water as I said that just specifically needed an eight-time shot of that scene, which is why I did a, but uh, yeah, if you like that kind of video, let me know I can always attempt other ones in the future in the meantime thanks for watching I'll, catch you.

Next one just bye.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg O'Connell

Last Updated: 21/08/2023

Views: 5429

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg O'Connell

Birthday: 1992-01-10

Address: Suite 517 2436 Jefferey Pass, Shanitaside, UT 27519

Phone: +2614651609714

Job: Education Developer

Hobby: Cooking, Gambling, Pottery, Shooting, Baseball, Singing, Snowboarding

Introduction: My name is Greg O'Connell, I am a delightful, colorful, talented, kind, lively, modern, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.