How to Create a Cold Weather Effect in Photoshop

November 13, 2015

Today let’s look at a quick and easy way to create a cold-weather effect in Photoshop CC2015, using Camera Raw; and then add a snow effect using a Snow Overlay, in any version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

Last week we used the beautiful layout pictured below to add a custom drop shadow to a few elements (How to Customize a Drop Shadow.) Let’s use it again today to create a cold-weather effect.


1. Open a JPG document in Photoshop CC 2015,  just as you normally open a document.

2. Convert the image to a Smart Object by right-clicking on the layer in the Layers Panel and choosing “Convert to Smart Object.” This will enable us to add a filter as a Smart Filter, which will allow us to work in a non-destructive manner and also allow us flexibility. (How Smart ARE Smart Filters?)

3. Go to the top Menu Bar:  Filter > Camera Raw Filter. Your image will  open in Camera Raw.


(Camera Raw Window pictured below)


4. Click on the Styles tab (fx icon), then drag the Dehaze slider to the left, depending upon the amount of haze you would like to add to your image.


I dragged the slider to -75 to get the effect pictured below.

sd-snow-4Notice in the Layers Panel how the Filter has been applied as a Smart Filter (with a mask for adjustments).


5. You may leave your image exactly as it is, or adjust it to your liking using the Smart Filter Mask.  (Need help with using Masks? Using Layers Masks in Photoshop).  I chose a soft-edged black brush, reduced the brush opacity to 40% and clicked on our models face, on the flower and berries, and on the text just to make them a bit more prominent. I know it’s tiny, but you can see where I painted on the mask in the Layers Panel.)


And that’s it!  This technique works better on some images than others, so experiment to get the results you like.

Now let’s add some more snow to this document using a Woodland Winter Snow Overlay.   These Overlays can be used in any version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, so if you do not have the option of using the Dehaze Style as demonstrated above, this is a second option for you to add additional interest and a cold effect to your images.

1. Place a Snow Overlay (I am using Woodland Winter Snow Overlay #6) over your document.


2. Change the Blend Mode of the overlay to Screen (Using Blend Modes in Photoshop), and the snow flurries you see on the overlay will be visible on your document.


If some of the snow flurries fall where you don’t want them, apply a mask to the Overlay, and brush the offending flurries away.

And that’s how easy it is!

Note: I prefer to share Photoshop tips that can be useful by everyone, not just CC users; but I thought this tip was too fun not to share.  I hope that non-CC users will find the Snow Overlays mention helpful!

If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here.

If you are a visual learner, you can view this tutorial on SnickerdoodleDesigns You Tube Channel .

Credits: Woodland Winter Snow Overlays can be purchased at:

SnickerdoodleDesigns     The Digichick     theStudio     CUDigitals

I hope you  have fun experimenting with these techniques!  Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Stacey

    that is an awesome effect, which I didn’t know how to do. thanks so much for another excellent tutorial and for the pdf file so I can refer back to it!


  1. Winter Effects Tutorial | Karen Schulz - […] This “Before” layout was created by LouCee Creations.   I augmented her layout using my Cold Weather Effect tutorial.  NEEDS…

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