Photoshop tutorial – Rays of light

Here is a quick tutorial to obtain some rays of light like the ones radiating from the star of the below Christmas tree:
Star Christmas tree

Star Christmas tree

Start with a blank square document. It is important for the document to be square in order to generate the correct shaped star.

Select the needed colors for the star (foreground and background).

In the top menu go to Filter->Sketch->Halftone Pattern. Make contrast max (50) and Pattern Type to line. Make sure the size you choose is large.

Again in top menu go to Image -> Rotate Canavas -> 90CW (clockwise) and then crop the image to a square if it is not already square.

Now it’s time to make the stripes a star. To do that go to Filter -> Distort -> Polar coordinates (select Rectangular to polar).

Depending of the use you can appy more effects, for example I used two masks to create the fade.

Version 4 is here

Christmas tree with lights

Christmas tree with lights

Christmas has come early this year for 4freephotos.com. I have just released version 4 of the website. Here are some features and upgrades:

  • New design (welcome to the dark side…we have cookies 😉
  • New lightbox implementation and handling;
  • Improved security;
  • New hosting provider, we moved to bluehost.com. Website should run faster;
  • This blog;
  • Search handles 3 or less characters.

Soon to come:

  • New images (700 of them awaiting upload) including some holiday specials;
  • More transaltions.
  • Some improvments in a couple of scripts.

How did it started?

Here is a short history of 4freephotos.com and how it all started.

In August 2008 I had purchased a new camera (my third) and, after a short time, I had the “luck” to have chicken pox and be forced to stay inside in quarantine for two weeks. I know most people get it when they are young, but it seems I wasn’t one of them.
Having already a great number of pictures just laying around on my hard drive I had the idea to share them for free, so people can use them in their project. Having a lot of free time during the quarantine I started building 4freephotos.com. In the two weeks I stood home I made some a big part of the website, but after I returned to my job I had less and less time for web development so eventually the website was only finished in January 2009.

After uploading around 700 pictures, I decided to launch it in April 2009. Initially I released the images for personal use only, but after some time I considered it would be fair to release the picture for both personal and commercial use, seeing the success they had. I decided on a public domain license which covers a lot of usages. There are only a few restrictions to the public domain license on how to use the images, which I put in place to prevent abuses and to protect my work.

December 2009 marked the launched of version 4 of the website, with a complete redesign and multiple features. At this point, to ensure the high standards of 4freephotos.com only selected photographers are allowed to upload pictures. There are plans to allow all users to upload images, but I am still analyzing for the best way to do it to ensure only high quality images are available for download.