Creating a "Background Glow" in Photoshop


I see this effect a lot in websites and feel envious because I'm like King Kong with boxing gloves on trying to operate Photoshop sometimes.

[URL removed because it was removed and replaced with delicious snacks]

Check this URL out, they have a brownish header background, but there is a slight white-ish glow/blur in the middle behind the actual photo. Can someone summarize or point me to a tutorial of how to achieve this in Photoshop?

4/13/2014 12:12:00 AM

Accepted Answer

Since the links to my original post went down, I'll reproduce the steps here:

  1. Create a new document, I created a new 1000 by 250 pixel document.
  2. Double click the background layer to unlock it, fill it with your desired color. I filled mine with #342f29

  3. Create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N in Windows)

  4. Set your forground color to your "glow" color. I used #8f8170
  5. Select the Gradient Tool. Note: It may be hidden underneath your Paint Bucket Tool.
  6. Select the Radial Gradient option from the toolbar.
  7. Set your gradient to "Foreground To Transparent"

  8. Drag your gradient wherever you want the glow to be. I wanted mine to have a "sunset" effect, so, I click and dragged from the bottom, to the top.

Optional: Additional Glows & Texture

  1. Create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N in Windows)
  2. Select your secondary glow color (could be the same as the first). I wanted something really subtle, so I chose #403b34
  3. Changes your gradient type to Linear. Keep the gradient set to "Foreground to Transparent"

  4. Drag out your gradient as desired. I just made it go from bottom to top.

  5. Let's add some texture. Create a new layer.

  6. Fill it with White (#ffffff)
  7. Filter >> Noise >> Add Noise...

  8. Press OK

  9. Set the layer blending to "Darken"
  10. Lower the opacity to your liking. I chose 5%

PS. I love the analogy "I'm like King Kong with boxing gloves on trying to operate Photoshop sometimes."

4/12/2014 11:06:00 PM

Have a play with Lighting Effects. They can be found in Filter > Render > Lighting Effects.

Looks like the one featured on your link was done with an 'Omni' light or, perhaps, a gradient fill.

Regarding gradient fills: You can choose a radial one and move the central point of it by dragging it around on your document. Have a play about with it and let us know how it goes.