Daytime to Dusk: Photoshop Tutorial

This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop’s adjustment layers to turn a daytime photo into a dusk/night time image. This is purely a colouring effect.

Created on PS CS5, there should be no problems following this tutorial on all the CS editions, and even earlier versions of Photoshop.

Dusk Effect


Lighthouse Photo from

Step 1

Open the Lighthouse photo

We do not need so much of the foreground, so select the Crop tool and crop the image to its full width and down to about 2000 pixels from the top

Cropped Image

Duplicate the background layer

Name the new layer BaseImage

Step 2

Now we will start to add adjustment layers – all of the settings recommended for each layer may need to be adapted to your particular image.

To add an adjustment layer, click on the icon at the bottom of the layers palette and select the required adjustment as shown below:

Adjustment Layers

Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer and apply the following settings:


Step 3

Add a Photo Filter adjustment layer and apply the following settings:

Photo Filter

Step 4

Add a Curves adjustment layer and apply the following settings:


Step 5

Add a Selective Color adjustment layer and apply the following settings:

Selective Color

Step 6

Add a Color Balance adjustment layer and apply the following settings (note: adjustments are only made to the Midtones on this layer):

Color Balance

Step 7

Add a Levels adjustment layer and apply the following settings:


Here is the final effect, the before and after and before and after on another image:




This effect should work on any image, but as previously mentioned, you may need to amend the settings on the adjustment layers for your chosen photo.

The steps taken in this tutorial can be recorded as a Photoshop Action, or the layers can be grouped to form a colouring PSD.

This Zip file contains both Action and PSD for the Dusk effect.


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  • Image Masking

    Great job you have done, excellent tutorial it is. Thanks for sharing with us !!