Beginner Tutorial: Creating Lightning with Photoshop

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

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