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Create Light Leaks and Lomo Effects Using Actions in Photoshop

Posted on 1 October, 2014  in Wedding Video

Creating light leaks and Lomo effects using Photoshop isn’t as hard as you may think. And what’s even better is that you can get a ton of the resources needed to achieve it free too! Yes, that’s right- there’s free light leaks resources out there just waiting for your experiments.

Who doesn’t love the retro shading effects of a lens flare, Lomo effect or well placed light leak. While the days of film camera creating them at the inopportune moment are over, you can still create this sometimes glamorous retro look intentionally- exactly how you want it.

Getting started creating a light leak action.

Boot up your Photoshop program, and make sure you have both the image you want to great the effect in and the Lomo or light leak template you want to use to create the effect to hand unless you’d prefer to use the actions option. Start your transformation by using the Windows>Actions option, or simply pressing (Alt+ F9) to open the Actions option. Now we’re ready to go.More info here!

From the ‘actions’ panel.

Click on the ‘new action’ option on the action panel. It will probably help to title the photo action. Now you can begin tinkering with effects to suit what you’re hoping to achieve. Start by adding a curve. This should trace the rough outline of how you’d like the effect to layer across the picture.

From there, add a gradient. The gradient option is found from the ‘dill or adjustment layer’ menu option. You can create a basic Light leak/Lomo effect using the hex code colour Fc2c2c and the angle -100. Otherwise, you can customise these choices to suit as you get more advanced. In general, however, you don’t need to tinker with too many of the gradient options besides colour. and angle. Once you’re happy, change the layer style to screen, check http://news.filehippo.com/2014/09/customise-text-photoshop/ and reduce the opacity. Start at around 90%, although you’re free to adjust it to suit. Your light leak effect is almost done.

Yes, that’s right -you’re almost done.

For ease, we highly recommend grouping the two adjustment layers you have now created, and naming them something easy you will be able to identify with. Perhaps ‘effects’? Once you’re happy with your light leak action, you can click the ‘stop’ function. You’ve now created your action!

Running the created light leak action.

The action you have created will be available for use on any photo. You can add it to any photo you choose, and experiment with different colour combinations to bring to life the perfect Lomo or lens light leak effect for the task.

lomo effects

The quick and dirty method.

You don’t actually have to create an action to get a basic light leak effect, although it’s no where near as customisable. Instead, you can layer your base photo with a chosen light leak resource photo. Again, change the blend mode of the light leak photo layer to ‘screen’ and then play with your transform tool (Ctrl+T or Edit > Free Transform) to align the leak perfectly with the base photo for the effect you want. You can, of course, alter the transparency of the layer or layer up more then one free light leak resource to create the ultimate perfect photo.

Whichever method you choose, you’ll be creating Photoshop light leaks like a pro- enjoy!

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