In this tutorial I will show you two very simple ways to add lightning to photos or just
create it in general. This will be a really quick and easy tutorial for anyone.
First download this picture or grab a picture you like
Open it up in photoshop and now we will start putting the lightning in the picture.
The first way I will show you is to use the gradient tool and difference clouds.
First grab your rectangle marquee tool
I am going to use this to make a selection around the area I want to add the lightning to.
So select the area in the picture where you want to add a lightning bolt
Create a new layer above your picture
Select your gradient tool from your tools palette
With these settings
Also make sure the mode is set to normal, the opacity is 100%, dither is checked, and transparency is checked.
Now take your gradient tool and drag from left to right or vice versa with a slight
angle within your selection
Then go to filter>>render>>difference clouds
Now you should see a slight outline of the bolt
Next we want to invert the lightning by hitting ctrl+i on your keyboard
Hit ctrl+L to bring up the levels tool
Take your middle arrow all the way to the right and your left arrow as much to the right as you want to get your desired effect
Set your lightning layer’s blending mode to screen
There should be a bolt of lightning similar to this
As you can see the top of the lightning and the bottom have a straight line across from our selection so I will take a soft eraser brush to clean that up.
The next method I will show you is even easier.
Use your rectangle marquee tool again and just highlight the top left of the clouds down to about the middle of the picture
Go to filter>>render>>clouds
Then filter>>render>>difference clouds
Invert it again and use your levels
Set the blending mode to screen and clean it up with a soft brush again
I used the burn tool to darken the areas on the building that the lightning is touching.
That is it here is my final outcome