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Imitating Zeus - How to Create Lightning for Your Photographs

Wanna see those lightnings in your photographs the cheaper and easier way? There's no need to wait for a thunderstorm to capture one, simply follow these steps to see lightnings in an entire roll.

Yes, lightnings in an entire roll! But, we need to create one or probably a lot of them.

You need Adobe Photoshop for this tutorial. If you don’t have one installed in your computer, I can email you some lightnings. But, since you don’t want yours to be like other Lomographers’ lighting, you must try doing your own.

Create a new Photoshop Layer. I recommend using small file with low resolution because you cannot achieve the effects in larger.

Press letter “D” on your keyboard to set the foreground and background colors to the default Black and White respectively.
Click the GRADIENT tool (Shortcut: “G”), then drag your mouse from left to right of your layer.

On the navigator bar at the top, select FILTER →> RENDER →> DIFFERENCE CLOUDS. You won’t notice anything that looks like lightning yet. Inverse the Difference Clouds by pressing CTRL+I, now there are some vein-like white lines on the layer.

Adjust the levels by going to IMAGE —> ADJUSTMENTS —> LEVELS (Shortcut: CTRL+L) and drag the black leftmost triangle to the right, until you are satisfied by how you lightning look. You can also adjust the center triangle for better result.

Create a new layer above your lightning, by clicking the “Create a New Layer” at the bottom of the Layers palette. Click on your foreground color, which is currently black.

Then, select any colors that you like by clicking and dragging the cursor. Click “OK.”

Fill the new layer with the color you selected by pressing ALT+BACKSPACE in your Keyboard and set the layer to OVERLAY

Go back to your lightning layer. Click the BRUSH tool (Shortcut: “B”) and Press D to set your for ground color to black. Now, “clean” your thunder by brushing on those unwanted veins and areas.

Save your files and open it full screen. Turn off the lights and shoot an entire roll. rewind and reload the film for doubles.

Shoot outdoor using wide lenses on buildings to achieve a “realistic” effect. The Difference Clouds filter gives you different textures every time you apply it on a layer. Combine it to different gradient directions and you will surely have lightning storms.

written by icuresick

54 comments

  1. chethong

    chethong

    For a moment, I thought you were going to make Revolog run of of business :) Nice article!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. boredbone

    boredbone

    ayus. the many things you can do with double exposures.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. ripsta

    ripsta

    cool!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. stonerfairy

    stonerfairy

    AWESOME!! I really gonna tryy this!!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. nazz_jb

    nazz_jb

    it's digital manipulation, if someone post this kind of photos and win a rumble, i'm gonna quit lomography. :p

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. ripsta

    ripsta

    i agree with @nazz_jb

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  7. faisal_aziz

    faisal_aziz

    once you go analogue, dont ever make a room for digital editing.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  8. nazz_jb

    nazz_jb

    i know it's double exposure after you shoot the effects, but still it's using photoshop... sorry for my words.. :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  9. icuresick

    icuresick

    Oh common people. It's probably the same technique Revolog did to their film. Be open minded.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  10. icuresick

    icuresick

    *Oh come on. Sarreh.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  11. faisal_aziz

    faisal_aziz

    w

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  12. projectsnap

    projectsnap

    Cool! LSI approved this tipster right? Everything we do already has some digital manipulation in one way or another. If you want to go full analogue better develop and print your own pictures. welcome to the modern age.
    Hope this technique win a rumble.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  13. boobert

    boobert

    Great Tipster, photoshop or not, still a great tipster!
    keep it up @icuresick!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  14. b0rn2b1ush

    b0rn2b1ush

    it's a tip... don't try it if you don't like it. @icuresick, sadya yung typo mo no? hahahaha...

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  15. nicolas_noir

    nicolas_noir

    I don't think I'll be trying this, only because it's not an effect I seek! But this definitely beats buying the revlog film, which is probably created in a similar way. I personally don't see this as digital manipulation, or at least no more than suzielomolitz illustration techniques which everyone loves!

    The analogue solution would be pretty tricky! You could find some slides of lightning (or make some) and expose your film of choice with a slide duplicator! Or just take some photos of some lightning then double the roll! Tricky stuff!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  16. superlighter

    superlighter

    still no clouds at the horizon! in the past we had some competitions involving the use of monitors for double exposures, for example, "snaps with your favorite artist" or similar. so I do not see what the problem is! throughout the history of photography the greatest photographers have used every method to make their pictures unique and personal. 80 years ago there were no computers or television monitors, I'm sure that if there were people like Man Ray would have used without problem! The fact is, what is the point if all of us now do the photos with lightning?

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  17. boredbone

    boredbone

    agree with @superlighter

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  18. superkulisap

    superkulisap

    I agree with @superlighter . @nazz_jb it doesn't mean that if somebody used photoshop on their photos then the photo is digital. On this case, photoshop was not used in the post processing. However, photoshop was used as a "subject" to his photos. It's like the technique "through the viewfinder". Shooting something through the viefinder of a Digital SLR using your LC-A is pure analog, isn't it? this one's the same. It just so happened that the "viewfinder" on this technique was photoshop. Therefore, the shot was not digitally edited. I still respect your thoughts on this and I respect whatever decision you'll make in the future in case this tipster wins the rumble :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  19. superkulisap

    superkulisap

    and besides, just what @projectsnap said, this has been approved by LSI so it would be up to the reader if they will use it or not =p

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  20. cruzron

    cruzron

    @all - we're not advocating the use of digital manipulation or photoshop. what the tipster basically 'tips' you about is that you can shoot a whole roll for doubles of something you like. in this case its a digitally made lightning strike. it doesnt have to be confined to just that or things done in photoshop.

    you can shoot a whole roll with swatches of wallpaper, a rusty surface or basically anything else for textures with doubles in mind. its all about the idea of superimposing the initial exposure (the lightning) with the 2nd exposure (whatever you want to shoot)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  21. sharkmaine

    Amidst all the comments, all I can say is that -- this is but an awesome tipster!! nice one @icuresick, can't wait to try it! OH-SUM.
    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  22. cruzron

    cruzron

    raming backer ni cusi. hahahaha

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  23. superkulisap

    superkulisap

    @cruzron tama. haha haba ng hair eh LOL

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  24. ilfrusta

    ilfrusta

    For those who criticize the "digital manipulation": I completely disagree, there's nothing unfair in @icuresick technique. It's just like photographing a TV screen or a lamp in a dark room...this is Lomography, mates!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  25. saidseni

    saidseni

    When I start reading, I thought it was about editing the pictures in Photoshop and I don't think those articles should be published here (but I have nothing against people doing it, of course!!). But when I read all the article, there is nothing wrong, is like that competition of doing doubles with your computer screen.
    What I don't understand is how come people who scan (digitalizar in portuguese) pictures to upload here still say things like "Oh, I hate digital!". It makes me laugh, don't want to offend but it is ridiculous! @icuresick: I also had some of this reactions once and I just got under the impression that people don't even read the article carefully. Good job!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  26. disasterarea

    disasterarea

    I would've preferred if the tipster talked about how to create convincing lighting strikes using double exposures than using a photoshop. This is technique is using photoshop to create a false imperfection which I dont really agree with, and with no believable source for the lightning strikes, they look out of place on a sunny day. IMO if the source image was a stormy day then they would've suited the image.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  27. disasterarea

    disasterarea

    ...remind me to post my "how best to post process your Xpro's in Apple Aperture" sometime!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  28. disasterarea

    disasterarea

    just re-read the article and missed the "Save your files and open it full screen. Turn off the lights and shoot an entire roll. rewind and reload the film for doubles." and obviously now feeling a bit guilty for my post.

    I think if you'd explained this better at the start of the article rather than waiting until the 2nd to last paragraph where by this point me and everybody else had already skipped to the comments, you wouldn't have got the same outrage.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  29. rtmoratin

    rtmoratin

    I want to be like @icuresick someday. :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  30. natalieerachel

    natalieerachel

    I think this is a cool tipster, it's the same as other tipsters about writing on computer screens, I don't see how it's wrong. The Revlog film looks almost exactly the same anyway...

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  31. ahleng90

    ahleng90

    this tipster is just as if we shoot from tv/movie for double exposure..rememberrr the tipster and the rumble about double exposure with moviess???so whats the different?if you dont want to shoot from the screen maybe you can print it out as a mask perhaps?just like our Diana Queen,Satomi did..as for me..its quite a good idea.. :D

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  32. nazz_jb

    nazz_jb

    sorry for causing a storm here... my thousand apologies to everyone & @icuresick.
    to @projectsnap, i am full analogue, i developed my own negative/slide and prints with enlarger (colour or b&w) i dodge & burn with my own hands, i love the feeling of being purist.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  33. projectsnap

    projectsnap

    @nazz_jb good for you then. Let's just agree to disagree and leave it at that. no more unnecessary negativity. let's be open-minded, yeah?

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  34. nazz_jb

    nazz_jb

    :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  35. feelux

    feelux

    Good one, @icuresick!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  36. icuresick

    icuresick

    Thank you guys! I made this because I was inspired by Revolog films, but find them too expensive. 7Euros for 12 shots I think. I have no intentions to give Revolog a run for their money, this is just like doing a DIY Redscaled films instead of buying from the online store.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  37. veato

    veato

    Nothing wrong with this. If you took an analogue photo then imported into PS for editing then sure that would be against the principles of lomo somewhat. Creating a texture and photographing it in my opinion is perfectly fine regardless of how that texture was created.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  38. jt13

    jt13

    if you wanted to do it in the most analog way, get a black piece of paper, cut out lightning, make a light box, put the paper over top, and shoot that, same basic principle
    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  39. shoujoai

    shoujoai

    cool, perlin noise! I once implemented the algorithm for generating these pictures :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  40. mafiosa

    mafiosa

    Great tipster. Thanks for sharing.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  41. angelalette

    angelalette

    thunder bolt..:) amazing cusi
    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  42. mitchyslick

    Did you guys see the Lomo article in How magazine a few issues back? Jim Krause got some pretty cool shots by adding typography to his images using this same method. Besides, Rule 10. http://www.lomography.com/about/the-ten-golden-rules#10
    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  43. ihave2pillows

    ihave2pillows

    Funny how this struck a nerve here. Perhaps we do need to ask ourselves, why use film?

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  44. reiga

    reiga

    why? why?

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  45. wonderdude

    wonderdude

    Are single-exposure analog photos of digital images still Lomo?

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  46. icuresick

    icuresick

    Why what? @reiga

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  47. bombetator

    bombetator

    To anyone who's got a 100% analogue lifestyle, you may write your hate mail to icuresick and tie it to the foot of a pigeon and release it. You may also write it on a piece of paper and slide it into an empty bottle, seal it with a cork and let it float on the ocean. Otherwise, just keep your fingers to yourself coz this is one hell of a cool tipster! ;)
    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  48. reiga

    reiga

    why revolog film so damn expensive..haha, and why we think so much..just shoot

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  49. iamlca

    iamlca

    I agree with @nazz_jb, @faisal_aziz. I am just a newbie. This maybe a tip and thanks for sharing, but what has happened to happy accidents in lomography if you try to edit or have an inkling to do it just because you want to show something that is not there??? @cruzron, you say that you are not advocating, why agree in posting an article that tackles the use of photoshop? Who knows, maybe the next winner used photoshop or something? Just like that guy who used his iPhone and won an award, i think that also made a fiasco here. The line between shooting in film and editing is becoming thin so I don't know, that's just my 2 cents. peace. cám ơn!
    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  50. icuresick

    icuresick

    @iamlca I did not place the lightning that I created using photoshop directly to the photos. I shot the lightnings using my camera, then reused the film to shoot again outdoor. Lomography is not all about happy accidents. Most of the time it's experiment.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  51. iamlca

    iamlca

    i see... okay dude. Don't think, just shoot!
    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  52. badjuju

    badjuju

    Great tip! Thanks for sharing :)

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  53. renenob

    renenob

    dont think just shoot is miss leading as everyone things about his or her craft. lomography is still cerebral

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  54. renenob

    renenob

    *misleading

    over 2 years ago · report as spam