How to Create a Sunset Effect in Photoshop?

I wrote a similar tutorial back in 2012 (yes, 6 years ago). Today, I received an email that the tutorial is looking old. The screenshots I provided were only 600 pixels wide which was enough for the screens that we used to use six years ago. But, they aren’t enough now. So, here I am writing a new tutorial on how to create a sunset effect in Photoshop.

Before we go, I want to show you the final and initial photo.





So, let’s begin. It’s only two steps tutorial

Step 1 – Apply the Gradient Map

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map


In the Property panel, click on the color box. If the property panel does not open by default, manually open it by going to Window > Properties.


Gradient Editor should be opened now.

In the gradient editor, first, click on the bottom left handlebar (1) that I have shown below. Then click on the color (2).


In the HEX value, write #dc0f0f. Press OK.

This will convert all the highlights in your image (bright areas) into red color. I know that it’s looking messy but hold on for a few more seconds. We’ll fix it.


In the gradient editor, click on the bottom right handlebar (1) and then on the color (2). I have provided a screenshot below for your reference.



Write #ffe402 in the HEX value. Press OK.

The photo is looking a bit better now, right? We’ll make it even better.


Time to change the blend mode to Overlay.

Open the Layer Panel by going to Window > Layers or by pressing F7. Change the blend mode to Overlay.


Now, the beauty should start appearing. Here’s my photo after changing the blend mode to Overlay.


Step 2 – Darken the image

I believe that the image is a bit bright. Let’s darken it.

Go to Layers > New Adjustment Layer > Levels. In the Preset, choose “Midtones darker”.


Forget about all those lengthy YouTube videos to create sunset effect in Photoshop. It’s really this simple. Just a 2 steps tutorial.

Here you go with the final image one more time.


That’s all.

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