How To Create A Snow Overlay

There are many snow overlays floating around the web, but I really thought it was fun to be able to create my own. And once I started playing, I found out it’s actually quiet easy to make.  So here is the snow storm I was working with….

The big tree is in my back yard, the open space is my front just to show more how heavy the snow was falling.


To start, I used my 85mm 1.4, my settings with a pretty fast shutter speed. My aperture was at 2.0, shutter about 1/1600.  But really you need to play with your shutter speed and ap, and adjust to what you think works well for you, this is just a good spot to start with.

Now next thing, is you find a nice dark tree possibly or section of woods to create contrast between the snowflakes and the background.. something like the next image
( you could even go as far as getting a pure black piece of paper and using a smaller mm lens perhaps the 50 or 35 at 1.8 would work great for that)
DSC_6210 copy
I ended up not liking the skinny trees and the contrast it created..

so I moved to a different location

remember it’s all about playing with settings..and once you find the right ss, and right location you’ll be able to pick out the photos easily that will work for you.  Once you get a few great shots, get them uploaded.. and in ACR you will take your black slider and make it pretty contrasty like this


Duplicate your image, and add a gradient to black and white, and in levels adjust the black slider to make the background almost completely black (your image will be a black and white photo now). You’ll notice the snowflakes really pop out now, but don’t go too far because they will eventually disappear, so be aware of how much your changing that slider.. Now go ahead and drag and drop this back onto your color photo and choose for the layer option “SCREEN”.  This is going to make your flakes pop even more.  This is the end result, sharpen and your ready to use on a photo.   You can notice that I actually used the healing tool in the middle to remove some of the larger flakes.. this is where most subjects will be and I don’t want to cover any faces.
drag and drop on your desktop to save!

Now is the funnest part.. you grab a fully edited photo you’d like to have snow.. drag and drop this snow over the image.. re-size if you need to to fit the photo.. and in the layer mode choose screen.. TADA!  add a layer mask and mask of any snowflakes off of faces 🙂  this is what I got!


If for some reason your state isn’t as snowy as mine (MN)  and you just can’t get this light falling snow.. go ahead and take my fully edited version and use away!  You are welcome to tag my business and share on my wall, pin it on pinterest! This is really a super easy tutorial, and I hope everyone loves it 🙂

Merry Christmas to Everyone!

Snow Overlay  Angela Tabako Photography on Facebook


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