Transform a Daylight Photo into a Sin-City Inspired Night-Scene Image

In this tutorial, I will demonstrate how you can easily turn a normal photo taken in daylight, into a realistic Night-Scened Image, inspired by the moive Sin City.

We will be using tools such as the curve tool, brush tool, level adjustment and various layer blending options.

In fact, you are able to use this method I showed you on pretty any image with daylight on.

Step 1

Download a copy of the following image. Load it into Photoshop.

This is a photo I took while holidaying in London, you can use it freely anywhere.

Step 2

Use a big black brush with the following settings to gentle brush over the image, you should pay attention to the sky in particular.

Step 3

Use another big brush with a hard-mix mode, brush over the other left hand side of the buidling with red roof, this will create some extra contrast and kill some day lights. See below for detailed settings:

Step 4

Go to Image > adjustments > level and alter the RGB level of the image a bit. See below for detailed settings:

Step 5

Double click the background layer to unlock it, duplicate this background layer once, click on the duplicated layer and go to image > adjustment > curve to adjustment the colour contrast a bit, see below for details:

then set the layer blending option to “color-dodge” by right-click on the layer and choose “blending options”. See below for detailed setting:

Step 6

Duplicate the background layer once more and put it on top of the previously duplicated layer, change the layer blending option to “lighten” (See below) and apply some Dodge and Burn tool effects (use a big brush for overall effect, a smaller brush for fine-tune details).

You should now have the following image (or similar):

Step 7

Go to image > adjustment > channel mixer and apply the following settings:

This is the image so far:

Ok, that’s it for this tutorial, you can use your own imaginatios from here and add some street lighting and further adjust the existing lighting condition. Have a try!

Here is my finished work:

Hope you enjoy this tutorial! Any comment or feedback, just drop me a comment!

Thanks and have a great day!

Categories: Photo Effect

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  • Hey man! This is Nokadota from the Photoshop Lady forums. This is a nice site you have here, and I liked this tutorial as well. I’ll be checking your site more often.


  • Thanks buddy for your comment and support! Cheers~

  • Hugo

    Great tutorial!!!

    I never thought about using brushes in overlay mode, usually i create another layer and, after painting on it, i change it to overlay.

    There isnt much difference, but as im not confident with my painting skills, i find that using layers is better to experiment with different settings and brushes, so i can always keep the original and see the results just by changing the visibility of the painted overlay layers!

  • Hi Hugo, good to see you back here! yeah i guess both method are pretty much the same, it just depends on which one u feel more comfortable with. For me i like to use as fewer layers as possible :)

  • MJ

    Incredible! Thanks, been searching for such effects.

  • y.Ide

    Hello. They raised a great tutorial site, thank you. I’m Japanese. Now I was looking for exactly how such a device. Learn your great technology and try to change my beautiful landscapes. Thank you very much.

  • mo3@

    thanks for the tut.. been looking everywhere for it