Use light burst as a stand-alone effect for a background, or use to emphasise a foreground feature such as a cut-out portrait photo or abstract design.

Step 1

Open up a new image in Photoshop with a white background. It should be roughly 500 x 400 pixels for the purposes of this tutorial.

Step 2

Go to Layer > New > Layer, and click Ok.

Step 3

Select the floodfill bucket and fill the image with a shade of grey, it doesn’t matter which.

Step 4

Go to Filter > Render > Clouds, and then Image > Adjustments > Auto Levels.

Light Burst Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

Step 5

Then go to Filter > Artistic > Plastic Wrap and change the settings to 20, 15, 15 and click Ok.

Light Burst Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

Step 6

Again, go to Image > Adjustments > Auto Levels.

Step 7

Go to Filter > Blur > Radical Blur. Change the Amount to 75, the Blur Method to Zoom, and move the blur centre using your mouse (click and drag), till it’s on the middle of the left hand side:

Light Burst Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

Step 8

To smooth your image out a bit, repeat step 7. Then go to Filter > Render > Lighting Effects. Match your settings to mine below:

Light Burst Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

Step 9

If you like, just finish there by colourising your image (see my colourising tutorial if you don’t know how). You will end up with an image something like this:

Light Burst Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

Step 10

Or….go to Filter > Texture > Craquelure, and make the settings 2, 10, 10. Then colourise. Your image will look something like this:

Light Burst Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

Step 11

Alternatively, you can also go to Layer > Duplicate Layer. Then right-click your new layer, choose Blending Options and change the opacity to 57%. The final look is this:

Light Burst Photoshop Tutorial