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How to Make an Easy Glow Effect in Photoshop

For this tutorial, we are using a ladybug photo from the Plus Hub.

 

Step 1: Open your image


 

In Photoshop, open the image you chose to work with.

Open image in Photoshop

 

Step 2: Make a smart object layer


Right-click on top of its thumbnail and choose create smart object. This will allow you to apply filters and other modifications non-destructively and preserve the original image making the applied filters smart filters.

Convert to smar object in Photoshop

 

A small icon should appear on the bottom right portion of the thumbnail indicating that your object is now a smart object.

Smart object in Photoshop

 

Step 3: Blur the background


To blur the background of your photo, go to filter > blur > gaussian blur.

Gaussian blur in Photoshop

 

And use a 15 pixel radius.

Gaussian blur settings in Photoshop

 

Step 4: Change the blending mode 


In the bottom-right side of the thumbnail (smart filters), double-click the small icon to open the blending options window and change it to soft light.

Soft light in Photoshop

 

You can also use other modes like overlay.

Overlay in Photoshop

 

This is how lighten worked with our image.

Lighten in Photoshop

 

And here it is when using darken.

Darken in Photoshop

 

And finally with hard light. Play around with different blending modes combinations to achieve various effects.

Hard light in Photoshop

 

You can also change the opacity.

 

Step 5: Add more layers and effects


Duplicate your smart object (command/control + J).

Duplicate layer in Photoshop

 

Use a blending mode on the duplicate (we used hue).

Hue in Photoshop

 

And also apply a blending mode to the smart object if you want (we used luminosity).

Luminosity in Photoshop

 

You can achieve different results by mixing and matching blending modes.

Easy Glow in Photoshop

 

If you liked this tutorial make sure to check out our guides on perspective cropping in Photoshop and using the spot healing brush in Photoshop.

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