Photoshop Tutorial: Change Summer to Winter with Adjustment Layers

Transform a bright, sunny summer scene into a wintry wonderland with this easy-to-follow Photoshop tutorial. By utilizing adjustment layers, you can selectively alter the color, contrast, and lighting of your image to create a realistic winter ambiance.

Step 1: Open and Prepare Your Image

  1. Launch Photoshop and import the summer image you want to convert into a winter scene.
  2. Resize and reposition the image if necessary using the Crop Tool or Transform Tool. Ensure the image is properly sized and centered on the canvas.

Step 2: Create Adjustment Layers for Color Adjustments

  1. From the Adjustments panel, select the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.
  2. In the Hue/Saturation panel, reduce the saturation of the image by dragging the Saturation slider to the left. This will remove the vibrant summer colors and introduce a more muted, wintery palette.
  3. Increase the temperature of the image by dragging the Hue slider towards the red and orange hues. This will give the image a warmer, more autumnal feel.

Step 3: Create Adjustment Layers for Contrast and Lighting

  1. Add another adjustment layer, this time selecting Levels.
  2. In the Levels panel, drag the white and black triangles towards the center of the histogram to increase the contrast of the image. This will make the shadows darker and the highlights brighter, emulating the contrast of a winter landscape.
  3. Create another adjustment layer by selecting Curves.
  4. In the Curves panel, curve the line upwards in the middle to brighten the midtones and bring out more detail in the image.

Step 4: Add Adjustment Layers for Weather Effects

  1. Add another adjustment layer, selecting Gradient Map.
  2. In the Gradient Map panel, choose a gradient with a sky blue color at the top and a dark blue or black color at the bottom. This will create a gradient effect that simulates the hazy sky and snow-covered ground of a winter landscape.
  3. Reduce the opacity of the Gradient Map layer to around 50% to blend it seamlessly with the image.

Step 5: Add Snow Effect with Adjustment Layers

  1. Add another adjustment layer, selecting Color Dodge.
  2. In the Color Dodge panel, choose a very light blue color as the blend color.
  3. Paint lightly over the areas where you want to add snow, such as rooftops, trees, and bushes. This will create a subtle dusting of snow on the scene.

Step 6: Adjust and Refine the Winter Scene

  1. Use the Brush Tool with a soft brush tip and a low opacity to blend the edges of the snow-covered areas and make the snow effect more natural.
  2. Add additional adjustment layers, such as Brightness/Contrast or Vibrance, to fine-tune the overall look of the winter landscape.
  3. Adjust the opacity of each adjustment layer as needed to achieve the desired balance of colors, contrast, and lighting.

Step 7: Polish and Save the Final Image

  1. Review the winterized image carefully to ensure you are satisfied with the overall effect.
  2. Save the image in a high-quality format, such as JPEG or TIFF, to preserve its details and maintain its integrity for future use.

By following these steps, you can transform a summer image into a picturesque winter scene using Photoshop’s powerful adjustment layers. This technique allows you to create stunning winter landscapes or add a wintery touch to any photo.