TikToker reveals the ‘witchcraft’ behind a perfect golden hour photo

A graphic designer on TikTok is winning over viewers with her step-by-step guide to staging a fake “golden hour” photo.

Golden hour refers to the period of daytime right after sunrise or just before sunset, where the sunlight is darker and softer than the rest of the day. It makes for some stunning photos and film. The hashtag #goldenhour has over 9 million posts on Instagram.

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Holly Johnson has 239,000 followers on TikTok, where she shares tutorials on all sorts of Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator skills. Even if you aren’t into graphic design per se, your inner influencer might be curious to see how she stages a coveted golden hour picture.

“Betcha didn’t know golden hour could be faked,” Johnson said at the beginning of her TikTok.

As Johnson explains, start by opening up the image you want up in Photoshop. Then go to “Filter” then click “Camera Raw Filter” in the dropdown menu.

This will bring up a sidebar on the right of the image with a bunch of color editing options.

“Increase the temperature, decrease the exposure and increase the saturation,” Johnson said.

Then, Johnson added, go to the “Color Mixer” tab on the same sidebar and increase the reds and oranges. Then in “Color Grading” (found right below “Color Mixture”), you can also add an extra orange tinge.

“Now, next grab the ‘Rectangle’ tool and draw out a line and duplicate this twice,” she said.

You’ll be left with three white lines in the middle of your photo. Next, go to “Edit,” “Transform” and then click on “Perspective.” Use the “Perspective” tool on one of the sides of the three rectangles.

“Next you’re going to add a layer mask to your shape,” Johnson said.

Using the rectangular bar tool again, vertically draw two lines through the three rectangles. Remember, these are supposed to look like window blinds, so keep that in mind when doing the spacing.

“Open up your ‘Properties’ panel and feather the shape and the layer mask to the same amount,” Johnson added. “[Then] place your shape exactly where you want it.”

The last step is to change your “Blind Mode” to “Overlay”. Voila, the perfect golden hour photo.

“OK that three lines trick was crazy,” one person commented.

“I love Photoshop but also trust that nothing is real anymore,” another added.

One TikToker summed it up best in one word: “Witchcraft!!”

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If you enjoyed this story, read about this TikToker who exposed the alleged “deceptive” marketing ploy for a popular beauty product.

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