by Sarah O’Connor | Contributing Editor
I recently did a FROZEN themed photoshoot for the new Queen Elsa & Princess Anna dresses at Mille Feuille. It wasn’t actually snowing outside so I decided to make my own snow in photoshop just for fun! Here’s a quick tutorial on how to add some flurries to your images.
1. Open your pic in photoshop and add a new layer. Fill the layer with all black.
2. While on the black layer go to Filter-> Noise -> Add Noise
3. Set noise to about 150% and it will look like the screen shot below.
4. Set layer 1 to “screen” blending mode. It will look a little hazy and we will fix that later.
5. Go to Filter -> Blur -> Blur More
6. Add a new Curves Adjustment layer by going to Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Curves. Then click on the curves layer and link it to the snow layer(alt+command+g). You will adjust the curves by moving the arrow sliders at the bottom of the curve. See the picture below for approximately where your arrows should be. The black arrow will be a little to the left of the 1/4 mark and the white arrow a little to the right of it. The black arrow adjusts the number of snowflakes showing and the white arrow adjusts the opacity of the snowflakes.
7. Click on layer 1. Go to Filter -> Blur -> Motion Blur. Set the angle for -65
8. Now the small snowflakes are done, but you may want to add a little more dimension by throwing in a few larger flakes. To do this select both layer 1 & the curves layer and duplicate them.
9. Select Layer 1 COPY and you are going to flip it horizontally (command + T) then right click and select flip horizontal.
11. I set the cell size around 35. You can increase or decrease the size of the flakes depending on what type of picture you are working with.
12. At this point I go ahead and make a group for the layers. I put all 4 layers in one group so only the background is left out.
13. Lastly I create a mask over the group to go in and erase any snowflakes that might be covering the eyes or lips. You don’t want to remove all of the snowflakes off of the whole face otherwise it will not look very realistic if the snow happens to be falling everywhere except on the subject. Just make sure there are no giant flakes covering an eye or mouth.
Sarah O’Connor is a creative portrait photographer in the Kansas City area and works mainly with families, newborns & children on location and in her home studio. She loves spending time with her husband, two little boys Rowan & Quinn and daughter Eloise.