How to Create Sun Rays in Photoshop


Before Changes


After Changes

This photoshop tutorial is to help you learn how to create a shining effect either from the sun or any other light source in a picture. Ok, once you have the picture your going to work on open:

1. Create a new blank layer, (Layer>New>Layer).

2. Use the Paint Bucket Tool and fill that layer with the color Black.


3. Then by using the filters menu render some difference clouds, (Filter>Render>Difference Clouds).

*If the clouds aren’t black and white you need to change the colors your working with.


4. Then use another filter and apply a radial blur to the difference clouds with the center of the blur where the light source is in the picture,  Run the intensity of the blur up around 90. (Filter>Blur>Radial Blur).  In this picture the light source is a little to the left of the upper middle of the picture.


5. Then change the mode of the layer with the difference clouds on it to Overlay.  (Another good mode to try might be Soft Light, you might like it better).


*You probably won’t get it exactly the way you want it the first time so you might have to change the intensity of the radial blur or some other aspect of the process.


After Sun Rays Added

For Further Training on Photo Effects:

Check out this best-selling eBook on how to do photography tricks and photoshop effects. It can be found here: Trick Photography and Special Effects

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:


  1. Lauren says:

    Just what I was looking for– to soften the look I simply reduced opacity. Easy, wonderful tutorial. Thank you!

  2. Kuzeytac says:

    Wonderful , and you made this so easy;
    Gave me alot of ideas:)
    Thank you!

  3. Logan Olson says:

    great stuff. works well

  4. Jeanne says:

    Interesting, now I really hooked more on photography! Thank you for the tips.

  5. Thank you so much for this tutorial, spot on exactly the effect I wanted

  6. Priya says:

    So easy to follow and great effect!! Thanks a ton!

  7. Jayesh says:

    Loved this tip.

    Thank you for this awesome thing.

  8. Nia says:

    Just what i needed, and was really easy and gave a good result :)

    Thanks alot.

  9. SHAN R says:

    wow nice tutorial

  10. Anik poddar says:

    it’s really helpful for me … thank you

  11. Svetoslav Todorov says:

    It’s really nice tutorial and really helped me!!! Just wanted to add you can try with different mods and opacity till you get the best result :)

  12. Katie says:

    Thank you! It’s simple and strait forward – just what we all need :)

  13. Chris C. says:

    Cool, I got plenty of photos of sunset, I can now add some extra rays when needed ;)

  14. subhu says:

    It is not worth. which gave a bad effect

Leave a Comment

Personalize your comment with an avatar from!

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever