Skip to main content

Creative Post-Processing for Portraiture

Lesson 7 of 7

Beams of Light and Sun Flare

Jackie Jean Acosta

Creative Post-Processing for Portraiture

Jackie Jean Acosta

staff favorite

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

7. Beams of Light and Sun Flare

Lesson Info

Beams of Light and Sun Flare

The sun had already kinda hidden behind the trees. It wasn't an overcast day, but the sun had already gone down. Which is why he's kinda got this nice little grim light right behind him. Alright, so we're gonna go ahead and do that new blank glare right there. I don't want to do yellow, we're just kind of gonna do an off white color right there. And let's see. Make sure that opacity is up though, cause I was not doing it right and correct there. Again, changing the sizes. You can actually go squiggly lines too. If you wanted some big fat ones there. We're gonna go like all sorts of crazy on this one. We can always scale back. (laughs) Alright, so I'm gonna go ahead and were gonna go to Filter, Blur and there is that Motion Blur that we could do, but I feel like it would be just totally straight on him and I don't feel like that is very natural looking, so... I don't want to do that. I do use it sometimes for windows. Cause it's just more of that steady actual stream of light, but when ...

your outside and the sun is through the trees, the rays are kind of just like, sporadic. So we're gonna go to Filter, Blur, Radio Blur. We're gonna change that focus, it was center before, cause that's where we wanted it, but we're gonna change it over to the right side. We got it set to zoom. Click OK. Let's see how the squiggly has turned out. Not too bad. Click on that again. And another time. Right there, so that's kind of showing you. Filter, Blur and there was like something I totally almost forgot too, and then oh my gosh. Okay, so there is that one. So I'm excited. I actually included some light overlays for you guys as bonus material. So let me show how to use that real quick. So it would be great for you guys to actually know how to use this stuff that I'm giving you. So you're like, that's great, its a little picture. What do I do with it? Alright, so let me show you real quick. Oh yeah, wait a min. Okay. So, we've got, I've got three different sky. Skies. We've got the nice little sunburst right here, so it's got that warm light right there. Just got nice white light right there. And then we go the overhead one. So let me show you how to add this picture to your images. So that way you guys can adjust it too. So I'm gonna go ahead and, we'll go ahead and do the warm one. And this warm one, if you'll notice too there is a little bit of the, created a little bit of a lens flare there too. So I'm gonna go ahead and drag this on top of it, and we're gonna go to Edit, Free Transform. That way you can kind of adjust how strong you want the light on there. And I'm gonna go to screen mode. And there you go. So you just drag and drop the overlay on, select a screen mode for your blend mode and you are good to go. You can erase it. Erase some of it. You can add blur to it to kind of blend it a little bit more. You're good to go. Now I didn't edit free transform on the whole image so it didn't match. So there is that little line there. So go ahead and just mask or erase it in. Or erase it off, excuse me. Here we go. And now I can make the picture again. But you wanna make sure it matches, so I'm just gonna warm that up. Adds some red/yellow there. Alright, so before and after and again, these things come with this class, so I'm really excited about that. Alright. Before and after. There you go. (laughs) I'm like, I'm really there. That kind of adds a little bit of something to it. Alright and lastly, so if I wanted to add lens flare, totally forgot about touching on that earlier, but I want to touch on it now so I'm gonna go ahead and just add a new layer. And we're gonna go to Render, Lens Flare. Nevermind. Just kidding. I'm like, I'm just kidding, we're not gonna do a blank lair, we're gonna duplicate the lair. And we're gonna go now to Render, Lens Flare. There we go. It's really cool, I don't know if you guys have played with this tool at all or not, but it you go into the lens flare, you can kind of just add, usually kind of mask in that top and create my own flare. But I like the flare on the bottom it gives, if you're wanting to add that little bit of something something to it, you know. So we got that. And then there is a 35 millimeter. Kind of changes to 105. But I like that 50 millimeter because I like to keep... I like those little rings. And to make it a little bit harsh, again Filter, Blur. I'm like, this is the tools you guys are gonna walk out of. (laughs) You're like, I defiantly have that Blur tool down. I blurred it a little bit. Obviously, I'm just gonna erase it off of him. Right there. I'm erasing a little bit of that tool right there. Change that opacity. Keep some of that lens flare in there. Now technically, lens flare doesn't belong in this picture, but I wanted to share with you guys how to do it. Usually, if you're gonna add a lens flare, you wanna make sure that light source is actually coming towards the camera. So had he been looking at the camera, or even had I positioned myself where he was maybe blocking a little bit of that sun and the light was still coming in. That's how you get lens flare anyways, but if you were wanting to replicate it, you still want to make sure that sun your getting some sort of light source coming into the frame.

Class Description

Post-processing offers a ton of ways for you to dramatically change, improve, and stylize your portraits. Unfortunately, most of us get into a post-processing rut, using the same tired techniques over and over again. Professional portrait photographer Jackie Jean Acosta will help you revitalize your image editing by demonstrating some of her most impressive tricks and inspiring ideas.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use various techniques to enhance the mood and create drama.
  • Add sun flare, haze, and streams of light to your images.
  • Extract your subject from your background.

Join Jackie for this exciting journey through creative post-processing and learn to have more fun and be more experimental with the process of refining your images.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2018



This class was amazing. I loved it. I just thought she went a bit fast and sometimes didn’t say where she found the room she was using. If you have distractions around you like kids, this is something you will want to watch more than once. Or maybe clear the distractions before watching. I feel I learned a lot and it will help me bring my picture editing to the next level.


This was an excellent class. I really wanted some simple photoshop techniques to add to my portrait work and this was perfect. I learned more about masking, layers, creating extra light and balancing my images. Jackie has a great simple lesson on composite photography at the end for a beginner. If you are looking for easy and immediately applicable upgrades to your portraiture work, this is it.

Dre' Black

Shocking I'm impressed with her simple yet effective techniques. It almost makes me wonder how I didn't know all this single how simple it is, but she does a great job at teaching it and wrapping it up in a nice package.