In this tutorial I will show you a complete workflow using the New Photoshop action and brush collection from Sleeklens, known as Winter Illuminations Collection.
So, we have this snowboarding photo that has some snow but we would like to add more snow to give it a little bit more visual interest, action and also do some bit of color collection to it. With this new collection from Sleeklens, we have what we call Photoshop actions. Photoshop actions are basically recipes that you click a play button and it does all the work. You will be able to see the steps it takes and you can break down and dissect the collection and see if you want to remove anything but most of the time it does a good job.
When you get the actions, you will install them just the same way you install the regular actions. As such, we will go to our Action Panel and then to the little menu button and click “load actions”. Once we click this, we will have the different actions including the Winter Illuminations Actions (the one that we want to use for this tutorial). We will click on that and this will be loaded and once we expand it, you’ll see all the different categories including the Basic Corrections, Retouching Brushes and Enhancements, Vignette, Artistic Tones and All-in-one among others. We will use a number of these to edit our photo as we continue.
The first thing we will do is to give our image some color and contrast boost. We will click on this action and make sure that the background box is highlighted and then click the play button. You will see that the action makes the image a little bit brighter, gives it more contrast and gives it a bluish tone. We can see the different by toggling it on and off to see the before and after images.
With the background selected again, we will brighten the photo a little bit just to make it whiter. When you have snow photos, you would like them to be a little more vibrant in the whites than normal. As we move the layer on the top and it blends perfectly, you can see how it brightens up a little bit. We will then use an All-In-One preset by going to the Artistic Tones and All-in-One and choose the Chimney Smoke. We will click on that one and make sure the background is highlighted and then click play. This gives the image a cool look.
We will then do something that is too much for us but we want to the image to look a little bit bluer but we will lower the opacity. The best thing with the actions is that they allow you to see the effects they give you and you can lessen that effect while still keeping it by lowering the opacity.
Once we are done with our actions, we will go to the brushes by minimizing the actions panel and then going to the brush. This will give us a normal, large brush. We will create a blank layer on top and then go to brush picker and load a Sleeklens’ brush known as Winter Illumination Brushes. We will click on the little load gear and click on “Load Brushes” and then pick the “Snow Brushes” and then open. The brushes are already installed and therefore there is no need to it again. Clicking Ok will install them at the bottom of our brush picker.
Once we scroll down to the bottom of the brush picker, we will find squared brushes that simulate snow. When we choose one of these brushes (we will use Snow 18), it’ll have multiple dots that simulate snow. We will move the brush over the image and click enter and this will add a little bit of snow to the image. You can click on different parts of the image a number of times to add layers of snow to make the image just the way you want it.
As you can see in the new snowed image, there are some particles that are already looking disruptive. We can get rid of these by creating a layer mask and then getting a regular soft brush, decrease the size and then make sure that the foreground color is black. We then click on top of the snow spots we need to remove and paint them away. The beauty with these effects is that you can tailor them to your photo.
With this done, we will have our final edits of using both the actions and brushes. The results will be a realistic photo that adds more details. We can add more effects if we want.
You can check more of these collections by clicking on either Lightroom or Photoshop tabs and find out something that matches your photography style. You can also check for more of our tutorials to help you with more information on photo editing.
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