It seems like in every house we photograph there is at least one lightbulb that is out. In this tutorial we’ll copy a lit fixture and use it to cover up an unlit fixture.

Here is the original photo we’ll be working with. As you can see two of the recessed lights in the kitchen are out, but not for long! We will be selecting the light in between the two lights that are out and then copying that over the two lights. This will be an easy fix because we have the middle light to use as a source. This is a good source because it is close to the other lights we’d like to replace, so not much correction of perspective will be needed.

I’ve used the lasso tool to select and copy the light into a new layer. It is useful to set this layer to 50% opacity so you can overlay the two lights. It will be necessary to rotate, shrink, and alter the perspective of the light to get the two ovals to line up.

When you have them lined up change the opacity back to 100% and then start erasing away the ceiling left behind by the lasso tool. The rim of the light may look wrong, too bright for it’s surroundings. You can fix this by using the curves adjustment and clicking and dragging up on the curve.

With that step done we have installed our lights, but there is something missing from this picture now. Can you spot what is off in the photo below? Something that gives away that we used photoshop on this image.

We installed the lights but they are still surrounded by darkness. We’ll need to fix that by lightening up both corners of the kitchen ceiling. Make a copy of the layer containing the original kitchen photo. Then use a curves adjustment layer with a clipping mask to brighten up the image. We can adjust the level of brightness later, thats why we use an adjustment layer instead of just making the adjustment directly. Create a layer mask and use this to blend only the corners of the ceiling near the lights. You’ll want the ceiling to be a little brighter directly around the light. Use the ceiling around naturally illuminated lights as an example.

Now that is quite an improvement. With a little light in the corners this kitchen looks much more inviting. Hope you found this tutorial enlightening!