Create a Dreamy Photo Effect
Skill Level: Intermediate
Give a dreamy look to your photos using adjustment layers and gradients in Photoshop.
First open up your photo in Photoshop. I have used a free stock photo that can be downloaded here.
Add a new layer, fill it with black, and go to Filter>Render>Lens Flare.
Choose the first Lens Type, set the Brightness to 150%, and position it where you want it to appear in your photo.
Next set the Lens Flare layer’s blending mode to Screen, and set its Opacity to 60%.
Now add another new layer and set it to Overlay at 60% Opacity.
You can use this tutorial to paint in some bokeh, or download a bokeh texture online.
Next add a Solid Color adjustment layer.
Choose a purple colour like the one above, and set the layer’s blending mode to Screen and its Opacity to 60%.
Then add another Solid Color layer using a lemon yellow, and set the layers blending to Soft Light, and its Opacity to 60%.
Next add a Gradient adjustment layer using brown fading to transparent, set to Linear, 90 degrees and 150%.
Set the layers blending mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 50%.
Then add another gradient layer using white to transparent, this time tick the Reverse box so the white fades down from the top of the photo.
Set the layers blending mode to Soft Light.
You can add another bokeh layer to finish it off, if necessary.
Here’s how your layers panel should end up looking.
Below are a couple more examples of this effect applied to different photos.
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