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Fine Art Photography

Lesson 31 of 38

Editing Snow Scene

Brooke Shaden

Fine Art Photography

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

31. Editing Snow Scene
See the progression from the test shots to the final shots from the indoor snowstorm image. Because the shot used a tripod, the editing options for adding snow becomes simpler. Besides working with the snow and adjusting color, learn how to add a fake light to an unlit lantern.

Lesson Info

Editing Snow Scene

let's take a look at what we have everything that we shot from that scene so this is my first test shot I was just saying that the light looked really good on her that her face was lit that the shadows on her back weren't too harsh we have a lantern in there now we have the dress moving the progression of trying to move everything a little bit more so you can see from here tio here you have a big difference there in terms of the cloak being a little bit still and then hear the whole thing is moving now we've got the snow coming in so the snow is everywhere I love that one because of how it's just whipping around her and that really interesting way see there now I hesitate on these because if I zoom in her face is very very much covered up by the snow which is okay I mean she's still in focus it's okay that that's happening but it might not be what we're looking for in the image so let's just take a look through this one is a little bit better there aren't so many pieces of snow coverin...

g her face yes I like that one here we have some hair movement just in case we want to use that again don't do much snow I love it in this one covering the bottom and then we have a change of pose and there we had or used the other arm which I liked a lot better and then we hear we have her arm coming out of the cloak and then lots of different options for the snow another option that we have here is using an image where it's just like this where there isn't a lot of snow it all because we were on a tripod I could just choose this one in then adds no wherever I want it to be so I don't have to look for the picture that has the best looking snow if the pose in this one let's say looks the best or you can actually see her face in this one so what are you guys drawn to if I zoom through these ones they're more full of snow but not over her finish that's a bit difficult that one's good okay let's go for that one let's see what we can do here so when I open this up into photo shop and I want to go in and take a look at what we have here now she's in focus that's good just making tripoli sure that she's in focus we have the lantern we definitely want to light that lantern that's something that I will not I I will not go to brink until I like that lantern e I do like the snow all around I think this is a really good choice for that I'd get rid of her tattoos there yeah I think this is a very very strong choice so let's go ahead and start editing this now I would expand my frame I'm not going to do that right now since we've already done enough of that I think so let's go in the first thing that will do is light the lantern because I think that's really exciting going to duplicate my layer let's zoom in there I might get rid of those clumps of snow not totally realistic looks like somebody threw snowballs at or something let's take a look at what we can do with this lantern lighting a lantern can be so much fun because if you do it in person and that's probably going to require you to have external lighting to control your life a lot better because the glow is either going to be too bright so let's say that you have a situation where you're in a a totally dark room and you just want a lantern to be lighting your subject it's probably going to light their face really well and really bright but then everything else will be pitch black because it's not emitting enough light alternately if I were to have this lantern lit in this room where there was a lot of light coming in on her you probably wouldn't even see the global all because it would be too to dim in the situation so in this case we'll just leave it on let completely weaken late it ourselves so let's go ahead and try to like that's the intern I'm going to go over here to this rectangular marquis tool hold down my options for the elliptical marquis tour on the elliptical marquis tool I'm just going to draw a little oval shape right in there right around where I want the glow to be so once I have that oval shape I can right click and refine edge and I'm going to feather that quite a lot so fifty pixels for that little selection boo not that much we're going to do it again just a little bit less maybe I think maybe thirty four that looks good thirty five that's a really good amount for my feather so now I need to go in and start to make this actually look like it's glowing so how do you make something look like it's going in photoshopped this is how I've done it there are probably many other methods but I like curbs because that's all I ever do in photo shop is going to curves so I'm going to go from the shadow portion of my image and I'm going to click in that shadow portion and pull up and the more I pull up the more the lantern looks like it's glowing I'll say ok I'll go back into curves I'll do that all over again make it look like it's glowing even more now when I go back into curves I can go from the mid tones maybe make it look a little bit brighter you could add some contrast to that say ok it's not finished though because if I zoom out yes it looks like it's glowing but it doesn't have a glow to it if that makes sense it's just that little tiny area so once I have the lantern glowing I want to make sure that I am selecting a big circle around that and I am going to now let the glow loose and it's going to let everything around it glow so right click feather let's d'oh seventy pixels on that back into curves could make everything brighter overall I could go from the shadow portion again to make it glow a little bit more and you can see now how the feathers I keep calling I want to say feathers just know how the snow looks like it's lit up a little bit more because we're adding that light to them there while I'm on the same step I need that lantern tohave a specific color to it it's not going to admit white light or at least not in my fantasy so I need to go into my rgb channel find my blue and I want to take that into the yellow and then I want to take that into the red and I am giving it a very specific color glow so now when we zoom out that lantern really looks like it's lit you can see that it's affecting everything around it but it's not enough yet so I'm going to use my lasso tool now because I don't just want to create a circular effect and I'm going to go up right here and get her face a little bit wherever would naturally be hit by that light going to go ahead and make sure that all of that is selected groups I don't know why I started down there I just did and so now I'm going to feather that let's say forty pixels have a nice big feather on her there and now when I go into curves aiken brighten her up there a little bit make her glow a little bit more I could even take it up from the shadows to create that glow and then I want to change the color that's the big thing I want the color temperature to be the same on her as it is coming from the lantern toe look like the light is motivated from that space I'm probably going to do it up a little bit more than I did the actual intern itself just so then there's a clear difference between her and the rest of her body there so now we've got a glow happening on her I think that I overdid it just slightly on her chin I might just go back in there feather that um about thirty pixels and then go into my hugh saturation is take that saturation down a little bit whatever I need to do to make this believable so now we have the lantern glowing I think that we could stand to maybe do this I tend to just draw in light rays sometimes um yes I was just wondering because you made a smaller over I guess toe have the light were a bit from the lands that why wouldn't you have done a big one so that it will kind of I guess I guess did innocent because you kind of paint you know it's a great question and the reason why I do it small first to give the actual ran turn a glow so then the lantern is bright like that's the brightest part but if I started with a giant circle than the surroundings will become way too bright because the surroundings don't need to be as bright as the lantern itself so it's just thinking where does light come from that needs to be brightest moving out from there so now I'm going to create these little light rays and here just by drawing them in by hand right click feather will try thirty pixels and see how that looks go back in the curves could make that area a little bit brighter and then if we wanted teo we could take it up to be hazy just a little bit a little bit brighter so it looks like it's really hitting her now I think that's way too much so I'm going to take battle down quite a bit but if you want to create some light rays that could be a really good way to do it and I might want to add a little bit more red to that section in d select so does that feel okay do you guys do you understand how to do it good so we've got the glow from the lantern and in order to make this fully believable we have to get rid of the glow everywhere else so I don't want these snowflakes to be that bright from the window so first thing I'm going to dio is select them just here right click and feather and let's d'oh uh fifty pixels on that for my feather I'm going to go command m and take that light out because I want the light to come on lee from that lantern now I'm going to move on from there and say where else does the light need to be stopped and perhaps here I think that's a little bit too bright this time we'll do one hundred pixels go back into curves take it from the highlights make that darker I'm going to do the same thing right up here I think that's a little bit too bright feather at one hundred pixels back into curbs so all I'm doing is just deciding where does the light not need to be it does not need to be back here way too much light happening in this area back in in this spot back here because the window light spilling out there feather at one hundred pixels take the highlights down okay same with perhaps down here all around her feet I think that I'm just going to keep adding to the selection we've got a little too much light happening spilling all around the room feather all of that one hundred pixels go in here and darken that down so now you can see just based on this one layer we've made this huge change in how we're reading the light it looks like the light's coming from that lantern I'm gonna go ahead and dark and it down just a little bit more in certain areas I'm gonna do it very quickly just by selecting and this is why I ended up having the decision to make her face the window because if she had not been facing the window then we wouldn't have light naturally hitting her from the front so she faced the other way should be in shadow we'd have a very terrible time of having to darken down the highlights on the cloak and then having no light motivated hitting her so let's go ahead and dark in those areas and say ok and d select now if I take a look at this I really want tohave the color of her right here in the lantern be the most colorful thing in the image so I want to select this area just wherever that glow is feather that let's say three hundred pixels select inverse and now we can play with the rest of the m e which maybe we want to de saturate that a little bit just so then she's really glowing and has that color to her in that area maybe I want it overall make it darker aside from that little area of light there and d select so now we have this image totally totally changed from when we started but the changes they're not difficult they're little tiny things where if you could just think about where does the light need to be what is motivating the white and how can we change those lighting dynamics that's what makes a really big difference than an image especially if you're trying to make it believable so we've got the dress flowing I might add some hair on to this one just to make everything move a little bit more but I really like how this is turning out I would have to decide of course how am I going to color this which I am of two minds about because I want to make it really cold and chilly and cool colors but I want to keep that glow from the lantern so when I go in here what I can see about this image we're analyzing the image before we make the color change I can see very clearly that all of this right here where our color is those air highlights the rest of the image those are mid tones and shadows so when I go into my blue curve I want to add blue from the shadows because it's going to cool everything down except for the white that we have because we are not changing the highlights I could then add more yellow to the highlights by pulling it down in the highlight area adding blue go to the red curve we can add some science this image overall but we can still keep the red that's happening in that little area where it's glowing finally I would add my green or rather take away my green tad some magenta overall into this image to give it that magical sort of cool look and that's probably the direction that I would go when lighting or sorry coloring this image I would want to make it that really magical mysterious cool color I know we probably don't have time for you to actually do it but if you wanted to have more snow like make it look like it was coming through the ceiling what kind of techniques would you use to do that I would definitely shoot that there and I would get on a ladder and I would take the snow and have it let it go there so it was actually sprinkling from that spot and then would probably naturally flow like this which is kind of the shape you'd probably be looking for so I would do that there if I didn't if I really wanted to do it right now I would look for a shot where there's a lot of snow hanging here and then I would erase it in that pattern so that it looked like it was so coming down from a specific spot and moving in that direction so yeah that would be my goal there and I wouldn't really want to fake that too much because this is so dark here if I didn't actually have snow on that dark spot I would not wanna have to cut around each little piece of snow to make it fit there so I would probably just do it on location and also for your final image would you like literally build a complete doorframe or would you yeah I would crop a little bit so I would probably get rid of some of this foreground here so I would be inclined to crop it up to there about and maybe pull this down to about there and then expand from there so I would probably crop it just like this and then I would expand however much mor e needed to on the sides and then dark in those sides down so I don't want that to be distracting I just wanted to be this really interesting darkness that sort of we framed the shot that way so then it's a very natural vignette that way all right brooke I love it so great sorry take a moment to get out of watching in all and and get in to doing on the chat rooms there were a lot of capital letters and wow and a lot of exclamation points and bold and everyone was really impressed and we're sitting here with our draws on the table

Class Description


  • Brainstorm and plan a fine art photograph
  • Design a story with props and posing
  • Shoot an image that only exists in your imagination
  • Complete the vision in Adobe Photoshop
  • Self-critique your own work
  • Build a business from fine art photography
  • Approach galleries with confidence
  • Grow your own unique style and brand


Sometimes, creative vision is bigger than a camera can capture. In this class, learn how to turn imaginative ideas into physical fine art prints. From planning the shoot to assembling composites in post, work to turn the images in your dreams into a concrete photographic image. Go from a dreamer to a professional photographer with the help of artist Brooke Shaden.

Start with defining your style and building your creative vision in this three-day class. Then, learn tips and tricks for bringing that vision to life using posing and props. Go behind the scenes in nine live shoots ranging from self-portraiture to creating your own fairytale. Use posing, props, motion, and composition to tell a story.

While fine art photography isn't usually the first business model that comes to mind when considering a career in photography, Brooke shares how it's possible to earn a full-time living from your art. From building a brand to approaching fine art galleries, learn what you need to turn a passion for fine art photography into a career. As Brooke says, you can't stop because your best work is just ahead.


  • Intermediate photographers ready to take fine art to the next level
  • Professional photographers looking to expand their storytelling and compositing skills
  • Fine art photographers at any skill level


Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom


Brooke Shaden is a storyteller. The American fine art photographer is well-known in the art world for her dream-like, fairytale images. Her work often uses dark tones, heavy emotions, self-portraits, and juxtapositions. Working as a fine art photographer for more than a decade, she started her art journey after studying film in college and now teaches and speaks along with continuing her work. Brooke's work has been featured in dozens of gallery exhibitions, along with magazine and book covers and limited edition fine art prints. After growing up near an Amish community in the United States in Pennsylvania, she now lives in California.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Brookes Posing Guide

Self Portraiture

The Art of Self Critique

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



Brooke says she wants to be inspirational - she has achieved this and so much more during this course. I am so inspired to follow my dream of becoming a fine art photographer and step out of a life as an academic and stop finding excuses. Watching other photographers shoot and edit is always a great way to learn, everyone does things slightly differently and I enjoy Brooke's no fuss techniques. Seeing so many of Brooke's beautiful images through the course has been great and seeing shots from the shoot through to editing really makes them come alive. If you are looking for inspiration or you want to learn techniques or new skills then this course provides all of these things with a big dose of positive thinking thrown in.


Brooke is amazing! I love this course. Brooke is easy to listen to. She has a beautiful insight into creative fine art . Love it! I have learned so much. I especially love that she is so candid about everything.

renee Akana

I love Brooke and the wonderful way that she teaches. She is a gift to us all. Jane, her model, was lovely - a beautiful girl, a wonderful attitude and a real professional.. I could not do what Jane did to help Brooke convey her story.