I have been using a technique for years that I refer to as the “euro glow” or “euro tent” simply because I don’t really know what else to call it. There are essentially three phases, and it works for portraits, landscapes, and all other types of photographs.

Ctrl J, or Cmd J on a Mac, can be used to duplicate the backdrop, or we can just click and drag it to become the icon for a new layer.

There are two approaches we might take to this effect. The Overlay Blend Mode is one option. In the layers panel, switch the mode from Normal to Overlay.

To control the effect’s intensity, change the opacity. It clearly creates contrast. It intensifies the colour saturation and deepens the shadows in some of the skin tones and other objects.

We can also enter Soft Light as a different approach. Similar results are obtained, albeit slightly more subtly, using Soft Light. When overlay is excessive, this works wonderfully. In this scenario, Hard Light does the exact same function as Overlay.

That’s the first step, I see. We were successful in doing it. The next thing we want to do is add a small amount of blur to this. Therefore, if we select Filter > Blu > Gaussian Blur, blur it slightly. You’ll see that the ideal level of blur now has a sweet spot. It doesn’t really accomplish anything if we set it extremely low, and it also doesn’t accomplish much if we set it too high. It just starts to appear pretty strange. Find a nice area in this image where there is a glow of some sort; for this specific image, it is about the 6 pixel mark. Depending on the resolution you’re working on, this will change.

Observe how the hair can appear straw-like and stringy; yet, when I do this, our hair becomes gorgeous and silky. And a lot of the time, I’ll only use this effect on the hair, concealing it within the hair. In this instance, it appears a little excessive in the skin because the image I obtained from Adobe Stock appears to have already been overly edited. So the softening of the skin can actually help if you do have a little bit of acne and other issues of that nature.

Now that we’re looking nice, we want to go back and paint some of these areas, like the lip line and the corners of the eyes.

Create a layer mask, and then, we’re just going to paint with black.

Pick up the paintbrush and place black in the foreground. Make sure that the Hardness setting is all the way down so that the brush is lovely and soft. Cover the eyeballs in paint. We’re beginning to restore some of that colour to the eyes because we didn’t want them to be completely black. We’ll also make them somewhat smaller before tracing those lines into the tear ducts. And where we need it, we’re just adding a little sharpness back.

The lips are the next area you desire. Despite the fact that this procedure works wonders to smooth down chapped, dried-up lips, we don’t want to apply it to all of the lips. So, keeping everything else soft, we’re just going to follow the lip line in the middle there and give that a lovely, little amount of sharpness back there.

You can see that we achieved a really amazing impact. If you want to make it appear a little more natural, you may now reduce the Opacity a little lower.

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