How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

Leaking light into your images might sound like something bad, or a technical mistake, but it can actually really give your images style and impact.

How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

When used properly, light leaks add a new dimension to photographs. Done wrong, however, and you could end up with your main subject obscured by a big blob of light! For this reason, many now chose to insert lighting effect artificially in post-production rather than chancing it in-camera.

Here, we look at five actions from ThemeKeeper Market to help you add light leaks to your images in Adobe Photoshop, and tutorials to help you make your own.

6 Lomo Actions

With 6 options to choose from, plus an additional vignette option, these actions will add a retro glow to any photograph.

How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

Soft Lomo Action

Lomo… but soft! Get a dreamy, soft light with warm red tones when you download this action.

How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

Slomo – Smart Lomo Actions for Photoshop

This download includes a set of five lomo actions designed to non-destructively add great light-leak effects to your images.

How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

Lomo Leaks Photoshop Action

Lomo Leaks add a gorgeous pop of saturated light to your pictures.  Choose from different styles and colours to get your perfect look. We’ll take a closer look at this one shortly.

How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

Lomo Image Effect Actions

With two options, Lomo Image Effect Actions lets you add a retro feel and colouring to your images. Adjust the effect intensity to give your images a definitive style.

How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

Hot to Use Light Leak Actions

Let’s take a look at Lomo Leaks Photoshop Action, to see how it runs and what exactly it does to your images.

How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

Once you’ve installed your action, hit play and a box will appear asking you to make a selection. Go to the Light Leaks folder that came with the action download and choose which light leak you’d like to try. This is Light Leak 1:

How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

After running the action, you’ll see it’s produced a set of layers.

How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

There’s a Colour Fill layer which adds a matte cast to your image. The Black and White layer puts a little more contrast and punchiness back into your shadows and the darker areas of your image. Layer 1 is a duplicate of the background image, with the Blending Mode set to Screen, which lightens it. You can mask out some of these changes if they don’t look right with your image.

Here’s another example of how light leaks can brighten up a shot. This is the original image:

How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

And here it is after adding a light leak:

How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

 DIY Post-Production Light Flares

Light flares, lens flares, and color effects are fun and easy to do in Photoshop and Lightroom. Here are a few free tutorials to get you started:

  • How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

    Quick Tip: Create Light Leaks and Lomo Effects Using Actions in Photoshop

    In this quick tip tutorial, we will explain how to create light leaks and lomo effects for you photos using actions in Photoshop. Let’s get started!
  • How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

    15 Free Photoshop Light Leak Actions and Overlays

    Create a vintage light leak effect in this tutorial using these one-click effects in Adobe Photoshop.
  • How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

    How to Make a Light Leak Lightroom Preset

    Give your modern images a vintage, filmic light leak style with this Adobe Photoshop Lightroom tutorial.
  • How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)

    How to Shoot Your Own Lens Flares

    In this tutorial, we are going to examine how to create your own custom light leaks and flare footage to use in your projects. We will combine this process…