Add Clouds to Create a Moody Photo in Photoshop

You would think someone who is an extreme photo hobbyist would of taken their holiday card photos ages ago.
Been on top of their game.
Blazed out great fall photos at the peak of tree leaf changing beauty.
Edited, ordered and possibly mailed their amazingly awesome cards.
Not this gal.

I did, however, finally get them done.
*self high five*

For three days I planned on taking photos only for things to go down the crapper.
It was getting colder, more windy, and they were projected storms…. I knew my time was fading fast so I loaded up the girls, bought outfits at Target (last minute much?) and zoomed to a local park.

And let me just say, YES!
Yes, what?
Yes as in it was overcast (my favorite weather for shooting), the park was empty, my girls were getting along and were totally pumped about their new fashionable get-ups. It was a photo shoot trifecta.

Check it out.

My first edit was actually one of the very last photos I took:


The sky was completely blown out and it was hard to tell where my youngest daughters hat ended and the sky began. Wah.
BUT, this is why I LOVE Photoshop. Right away I knew the mood I wanted to convey with this image. It was dreary, about to rain on us and we were all cold (and perhaps grumpy? I won’t name names…)grump

and I really wanted to build on that.
Cue sky overlays!

And guess what? They are FREE. You can download them here.

Here are some screen shots and little insight as to how I took the before image above and transformed it to my after photo.

This is not a in depth tutorial unless you already know Photoshop well or have read my other tutorials that use these techniques and go more in depth on their application. You can find those here. As well as my video tutorial here that applies many of the editing processes I use below.

Straight our of camera photo opened in Photoshop:



Burned the background and dodged the shadow off the face of middle child.


Slight adjustment of Selective Color (Reds/Greens)


Adjusted Exposure to lighten faces


Added Calais Texture (Blending Mode: Softlight Р70%)


Added Clouds
I added this layer twice (duplicate layer) and adjusted the Blending Mode for each one differently:
1st: Darken – 60%
2nd: Softlight – 83%


Added Warmth (photo filter 83)
Adjusted Curves to darken backdrop a slight bit more.


Ran Milk and Honey Action from Florabella
(Actions are great editing tools, and while I use them often I always edit within an action to get the look I want. Try not to rely 100% on an action to take your photos to the next level. Adjust layers, use layer masks, and play with the opacity. This will allow for a more unique and personal result.)


Added Spotlight Illumination Veil (Softlight – 63%)


And there you have it. A quick rundown of how I got my rainy day look.


Don’t forget to check out my Photo tips and Tutorials page for more!

Like it? Pin it!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *