Monday, October 9

CoffeeShop "Dark and Eerie Night" Photoshop/PSE Action REVISITED!

If you have had time to look around my site you will have seen that I have hundreds and hundreds of free actions/textures/storyboards/etc. This is one reason I offer my action/preset and digital design packs. But because there are so many freebies here I think my favorite actions sometimes get lost in the mix.

I had a reader leave a comment on my Facebook page that one of her favorite action/tutorial is my "Dark and Eerie Night". I LOVE this editing technique and this is the perfect time of year to share it with you again. I decided to post it today with everything in one post so you can print out the instructions and grab all of the freebies at one time.

This editing kit includes an action, texture, and full instructions on designing your own spooky scene.

Here is a gorgeous example sent to me from Kate.

Here is a beautiful example from Paula.

Before and After "Dark and Eerie  Night"

CoffeeShop "Dark and Eerie Night" Tutorial Part 1 - Running the Action:

You can use this action/tutorial on any landscape image that isn't too bright and sunny. I think it really looks amazing when the sky is cloudy, whether naturally or photoshopped.

For this tutorial I used a moody landscape image from Pixabay. You can download it here if you want to edit along with this tutorial.

Run the "Dark and Eerie" action on your image. As you can see there are 6 editing layers, all of which can be adjusted to taste.

"Midnight" and "Night" both darken the image, "Spooky" adds a haunting greenish-color tint, "Define" selectively sharpens, "Desaturate" reduces daytime color, and "Add Moon Light" is used when you add a moon to your image.

All I did on this image is turn off "Midnight" and reduce "Night" to 87% Fill. I think this is a very haunting edit. It would be fun to add a person in low opacity on the road (like a ghost), walking down the bridge. 

CoffeeShop "Dark and Eerie Night" Tutorial Part 2 - Adding Moon and Texture:

Download this moon texture and place it on top of your image. Resize (Ctrl-T) and position it to taste.

Put the moon layer in Screen blending mode.

Add a layer mask to the moon layer and use a 50% soft black brush at 100% opacity to paint the moon off the trees so it appears behind them. When I do this part I really zoom-in.

I also added some clouds back over the lower right of the moon by painting on the moon's layer mask in black. You can see in the screenshot above where I painted (highlighted in red).

Soften the moon edges by using a low-opacity soft black brush all around them.

You can see I have a very clean edge where the moon meets the horizon.

Now you add some optional moonlight surrounding the moon. Click on the black layer mask on the "Add Moon  Light" layer to select it and grab a white soft brush at 100%. Make it larger than the moon and click on the middle of the moon.

Now the moon and surrounding area should be lighter.

In many cases the moon itself will be too bright. To remedy this, make your brush black and the size of the moon and click on the middle of the moon. This removes the light from the moon itself but keeps the light around the moon. Neat, right?

I also used a medium-soft black brush to add back the light I just removed on the tree-line in front of the moon.

Adjust the Fill of the "Add Moon Light" layer to taste.

Download the texture at the bottom of this post and drag it on top of your image. Resize it to fit. Note: You can use any texture you want for this edit, but I think this cracked glass texture would look amazing!

I put the texture layer in Soft Light blending mode, 100%. 

In the screenshot above the "Add Moon Light" layer is too bright, so I went back and turned it down.

This is my finished edit! I love how this turned out. I would love to see your own spooky edits on my Facebook page.

Download the CoffeeShop "Dark and Eerie Night" Photoshop/PSE action.

Download the CoffeeShop "Dark and Eerie Night" Texture.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

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  1. Thank you sweet lady. You are so awesomely generous with your knowledge and talents. This action looks amazing as well as your others.

    Peabea@Peabea Scribbles

    1. Peabea, thank you so much! And I want to also thank you for linking me on your Pictorial Tuesday page this month. I love how you made the text overlay gold, I need to write a tutorial about that. It looks gorgeous. Thank you for being so generous!!!

  2. This is one of my favourites as well. I've used it a couple times too! You can find the free digi papers I created here: and if you'd like!


    1. Lisa, I forgot about those papers, they are so cool!!!!

  3. I am new here, but wow, great effects. Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial. Happy snapping! and have a wonderful week. I found out about you at Pictorial Tuesday link up.

    1. Thank you Jill!!! Welcome to my site. I hope you find lots of stuff you can use.

  4. Thank you so much for the texture, action and, of course, the tutorial. My image turned out fantastic. Thank you again!

  5. Thank you for the texture, action and the tutorial. It was fun creating an image and I love the way mine turned out. Love your "stuff"!

  6. Thank you very much Rita! I am looking forward to trying it out.

    1. You are welcome Michael! Would love to see your results on my Facebook page. :-)


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