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by Wendi E. M. Scarth.


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Early Morning
Light Shafts GIMP


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Early Morning Shafts Of Light
Intermediate Plus

Shafts Of Light GIMP
Shafts Of Light GIMP
Colourise Filter Example
Hue-Saturation Example

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This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to create an enchanted shafts of light photo conversion. To work along, you are welcome to download the Start Images I am working with HereUnzip the file and open the Start Images onto GIMP’s workspace.

You can quickly Undo a step at any time by pressing Ctrl then Z. Alternatively, click a previous Undo History snapshot - Windows then Dockable Dialogues then click Undo History. In addition, to Zoom in (or Zoom out) of your image; from the top menu, choose View then select a Zoom Tool from the subsequent drop-down list.

Resize Images
The Eraser Tool
Beginner Tutorials
Understand Layers
Layer Two Images
The Free Select Tool
Understand Blend Modes
Launch GIMP & Organise Its Workspace & Palettes

Ensure the Layers and the Undo History Palettes are visible, and then drag them into position over your workspace - (Windows then Dockable Dialogues - then click Layers and Undo History).

Open your Start Images onto GIMP’s workspace. 

Now, Maximise the Forest Image. And arrange your workspace so you can see all of the photograph. As illustrated below.

Ensure the Foreground Colour is set to Solid White.

Then create a New Transparent Layer, above the Forest Image, and name the New Layer something like Sun Rays.

Free Select Tool For Beginners Tutorial
Now, working on the Sun Rays Layer, and using the Free Select Tool, draw the following (through the trees), light shaft selections.

Free Select Tool Settings

Then from the Toolbox, activate the Bucket Fill Tool. (Ensure the Foreground Colour is still set to Solid White).

Bucket Fill Tool Settings

Now, (still working on the Sun Rays Layer), left-click inside the Selection Marquee to fill the Sun Rays with Solid White - as demonstrated below.

From the top menu, choose Select then choose None.

It’s a good time to save your Layered Image as a

Now, from the Toolbox, activate the Eraser Tool.

And to begin with, set the following attributes into the Tool Options box.

Then, very slowly, begin to remove the sun rays’ hardness - as demonstrated below.

Increase the Eraser Tool’s Opacity to around 25%, and slowly turn the shafts of light translucent.

Deactivate the Eraser Tool by, for example, activating the Move Tool.

Now, from the top menu, choose Filters then choose Blur then choose Gaussian Blur. From the subsequent dialogue box, set a Blur Radius of around 25%, or experiment, and then click OK.

Layer Opacity Note
You can further reduce the light shafts’ Opacity by reducing the Sun Rays Layer’s Opacity slider - as demonstrated below.

Duplicate Layer Tip
To intensify the light shafts, you can Duplicate the Light Shafts Layer.

Copy & Paste the Stag Image onto your Layered Image. Drag the Layer to the centre of the Layers Palette, and resize and reposition the Stag to your liking using the
Scale And Move Tools - as demonstrated below.

It’s a good time to save your Layered Image as a

When you are happy with your Light Shafts and Stag Positions, from the top menu, choose Image then choose Flatten Image.

Now, to add a “sun glow”: - from the top menu, choose Filters then choose Light and Shadow then choose Supernova. From the subsequent dialogue box, set the following Colour White attributes, then drag the nova to the following position, (between the central trees), and then click OK.

To find a supernova (sun) that suits your needs, it’s important to experiment with different Supernova Colours and settings.

13/ Add Warmth Optional
To add warmth to your final image, from the top menu, choose Colours then choose Hue-saturation. Now, from the subsequent dialogue box, increase the Lightness and the Saturation sliders to the following, and then click OK.

Colourise Filter Example

Colourise Filter Example

Hue-Saturation Filter Example

Hue-Saturation Example

Sharpen Tip
To create extra impact, apply a
Sharpening Filter of your choice - Filters then Enhance.

Congratulations, your Shafts Of Light Photo Conversion is complete,
and it is ready to save.
Wendi E. M. Scarth. 
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