How to Create a Spotlight in Photoshop

By Tony Smith

i Photo by: Walter A. Smith

Adobe Photoshop provides a great way to adjust photos by creating lighting effects. You can make subtle lighting changes, or add a bright spotlight for a more dramatic look. You can add digital lighting in six easy steps, but there are infinite variations you can create by experimenting with the program. This tutorial will give you the basis for creating all sorts of natural looking lighting.

Step 1

Open your photo in Adobe Photoshop.

Step 2

Go to the "Window" menu and select "Layers" to bring up the layers palette. Create a new layer.

Step 3

Switch the foreground and background colors.

Step 4

Select the "Gradient" tool. Click the button at the top of the screen for "Radial Gradient."

Step 5

Pick the spot, in the new layer, where you want your brightest area then click and drag across the screen to your darkest area. Drag longer for more evenly spread out lighting, shorter for more dramatic lighting.

Step 6

Set your new layer to "Soft Light" for a more subtle change. Choose "Hard Light" for a brighter spotlight.