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Siberian Winter - making of

This is  a short tutorial about how to bring some night and mystery into your bright sunny photo. Here is the photo I took in the forest near my home. IMPORTANT NOTE - all steps below are true only for this very photo! This tutorial is only to describe general approach. Trust your eyes when applying effects.

Use Sharpen effect several times, until the snow starts to glow.

Create new layer, fill with color (in this case, blue).

Set layer blend mode to Overlay and opacity to 50%.

Duplicate this layer, so that color overlay is more vivid.

If you want to make image a bit brighter, duplicate layer again, set its blend mode to Screen, and opacity to 30%.

Now we want to add some light sparks. For that, we need a custom brush. Create new (square) document, select Shape tool, choose Polygon, set Side to 4, and in Polygon options, set indent to 93 and check Star checkbox.

Now simply create such shape, filling entire document. Rasterize layer, then go  to Edit menu -> Define Brush Preset. After that, close this document.

In our original document, make new layer. Open Brush settings (Window menu - brushes). Click Brush Tip Shape, choose the brush you just made, set Size to 40-60px and Spacing to 1000%. Then click Shape Dynamics, set Size Jitter to 99% and Minimu diameter to about 15%.

Now it  is very easy to put sparks here and there! You can also add Outer Glow layer effect.

Here is how all our layers look together.

next step: Select all, copy merged (Ctrl-Shift-C) and paste into new layer (Ctrl-V). Then, set this new layer blend mode to Multiply and opacity to 50-60%

Then again, select all, copy merged and paste. Then, apply Gaussian Blur filter with 5-10px radius.

Now set this layer opacity to 20-25%. Almost done! The final touch is dark edges, made by very large black brush (in new layer with Color Burn blend mode).

← Fast hair Vintage effect - PSD template file included! →

Comments 40

mistake · long ago
Color Burn* Not Colro Burn. Apart from that, nice tutorial, as usual !

Vlad Gerasimov · long ago
Confused - oh you are right - I fixed the typo, thanks!

pwn247 · long ago
Nice work! I tried it myself on my own photos, everything works GREAT! I love your wallpapers, Vlad- thanks for the tutorials!

Vlad Gerasimov · long ago
mistake fixed - thanks!

Keri · long ago
but.. if i don´t have mac?

Alan Haggai Alavi · long ago
Vlad, That is an excellent tutorial. Thank you.

William Barrett · long ago

-=Delusion=- · long ago
OMG thats awsome ^^

Dung Nguyen · 4 January 2008
Very nice tip, thank you so much :)

puppetmr · 10 January 2008
cool........thats awosome

lefteris · 12 January 2008
Great tips. Thank you very much for sharing secrets of your art. It's not something common, but then you are not common either!

michele · 16 January 2008

maneli · 18 January 2008
you are a magician!

blondin jocelyne · 10 February 2008
Im new at this ! Wow this is great ..Thank You ...

niniceniceicneniceinceniceniceinceice · 5 November 2008
yeah! nice cite!

Михаил · 29 December 2008
Влад, даешь развернутые уроки как на!

T · 22 June 2009
perfect explain thx

X. Celestin · 8 August 2009
Easy and fast, thanks Vlad :>

betalgejz · 13 December 2009
svaka čast!

lol · 21 January 2010
vlad u r the best !

Stas · 26 April 2010
Where Siberian bears? =)

suife robert · 25 August 2010
its wonderful...

Adriana Daskalova · long ago
very good tips - thanks

Meg · long ago
I never understood how you do such things... until now! Thanks, your work is briliant!

~Confused~ · long ago
Hi Vlad! Wonderful tutorial. You are so thorough. I was confused about one step (Copy Merged), but managed to figure it out. I do believe the shortcut is Ctrl-Shift-C, not E. I was using Ctrl-Shift-E and it merged all visible layers. Thanks again for being so open with sharing your skills.

morin · long ago
don?t need mac, you need photoshop

Kerstin · long ago
Incredible. Thank you very much, Vlad!

Katy · long ago

Katy · long ago
hey! a great tutorial ! you are awso

Alexander de Jong · long ago
Vlad, but that is an great tutorial. Verry thanks for phosting it! Your are one of the greatist designers.

Babu · 10 January 2008
Very Nice. However easy tutorials. So I am amazing.Thank u so much.

chaitrax · 12 January 2008

catermad · 13 January 2008
awesome tutorial. very helpfull, thanks

raster · 14 January 2008
yeah yeah yeah

abohelal · 24 January 2008
Good Idea

slashdotfx · 26 January 2008
Nice tutorial Vlad, seemingly simple but need a great artist like you to came up such good picture, keep up the good works, and thanks for the nice wallpaper.

Jørgen · 16 February 2009
Great tutorial! I've added it to the tutorial directory at Contact me at jorgen [at] if you want your new tutorials to show up there automatically :D Jørgen - editor of

Tobin · 14 December 2009
This is sooo pretty. Thank you for my new wallpaper for the holidays! (I will link you to my blogsite that gives away free cookies and looks horrible in most all browsers lol but my desktop will look nice!). Happy Holidays :)

suife robert · 25 August 2010
its wonderful...

teddy hang vu · 9 December 2012
thanks all! :)

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