Adding fake snow is a great way to enhance your photos. In the past, people would create the effect from scratch in Photoshop. But you can get better results using textures instead. In this easy Photoshop tutorial, you’ll learn how to find snow textures and use it in your photos.
Step 1 – Pick a Snow Texture
I searched through many websites and the best source for snow textures is DeviantART.
There’s a trick to finding stock photos on DeviantART. Here’s the direct link if you want to skip this.
On the left side of the website, you’ll find the “categories” section. Go to Resources & Stock Images > Stock Images. Search for “snow texture” in the search bar above the categories.
DeviantART is a great place for stock photos but please read the description for rules. For example, the artist may want you to leave a comment.
Here’s the image that I’ll be using. The author does not require attributions.
Step 2 – Open your photo in Photoshop
I’ll be using this photo for this tutorial. Make sure your photo has snow in it. You can’t make a summer photo look like winter photo.
Step 3 – Place the Snow Texture
Drag and drop the snow texture into your document.
You’ll see a transform box. Drag the corners of the box so that it fills your image. You can hold the Shift key while dragging to keep the same aspect ratio. Once you’re done, press Enter.
Step 4 – Change the Blending Mode to Screen
Here’s how to make the snow texture blend in with your photo. Go to the Layers panel (Window > Layers). In the drop-down menu, you’ll find “Screen”. Select that and your texture will blend in automatically.
The screen mode makes the dark areas transparent.
Here’s how the image looks like before and after.
Step 5 – How to Make the Snow More Visible
Great job for reaching it this far!
The results look great on our image. But what if you want less snow or more snow?
The easiest way is to use the Exposure adjustment. First, make sure you have your snow texture layer selected. Go to Image > Adjustments > Exposure.
Don’t use the Exposure setting! The Gamma Correction setting looks more realistic.
To decrease snow, increase the Gamma Correction, To increase snow, lower the Gamma Correction.
Step 6 – Select the Background Layer
Now you have snow in your photo. But it doesn’t look quite convincing. To improve it, you need to use the “Dehaze” filter. This is a little hidden. First, right-click on the Background layer and choose “Convert to Smart Object“. This will let you double-click back into the filter in case you need to readjust the settings.
Step 7 – Use the Dehaze Filter
Make sure you have the background layer selected. Go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter. Reduce the Dehaze setting to make your photo hazier. Click OK when done.
Here’s how our image looks like after using the Dehaze filter.
Step 8 – How to Tweak the Settings
One more thing before we finish. Let’s say you want to readjust the dehaze setting. Don’t undo and redo everything. This is because you used Smart Objects. When you convert your layer into a Smart Object, the filters you apply will be editable. In the Layers panel, double-click on the filter to change the settings.
You’re done! Congratulations on making it this far. As you can see, adding snow in Photoshop is easy. Remember, choosing the right photo to use it on is the key to great results. Not every photo will work great with fake snow.