Adding Mist and Fog with Photoshop

The clouds feature is an easy way to add a fog photoshop filter to an image, however, this effect isn't realistic. This creates a foggy layer which affects the entire image the same. A real fog will hide things in the distance while still allowing things in the foreground to be visible. In order to make a realistic mist and fog effect, you will need to be patient and spend time building the effect.

The process of adding realistic fog to Photoshop is actually very easy and this shouldn't be a problem as long as you follow the basic guidelines below.

Step 1: Opening the Image

The first thing that you need to do is load the image in Photoshop. To do this, open Photoshop and then select File Open to choose your photo. Save your photo as something else so that your original image remains unchanged.

Step 2: Adding a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer

Now add a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer by clicking on the "Create new Fill or Adjustment Layer," which can be found at the bottom of the Layers Palette; then select the Hue/Saturation option. An alternative way of doing this is to click Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Hue/Saturation from the menu bar at the top of the screen.

In the Hue/Saturation options set the Hue to 0, Saturation to -100, and Lightness to +100. Once the settings have been changed, then click the OK button to accept the changes. The image will be completely covered by the fog, but don't let this bother you because it won't stay that way forever.

Step 3: Gradient Effects

Set the default background and foreground colors by pressing the D Key on the keyboard. Now select the gradient tool by pressing the G key on the keyboard. Select the layer mask layer and then click the bottom of the image and drag up towards the top. This should lessen the effect of the gradient and make your image visible again.

Step 4: Dealing with Foreground Details

Anything in the foreground of the image shouldn't be concealed with the fog; to make this possible, select the image mask layer and then paint black onto anything that you don't want to be hidden by the fog. Carefully paint over all of the foreground items and zoom in if necessary so that you can do this accurately and properly.

Step 5: Making Adjustments

If you're not completely happy with the results, then you will need to make some alterations. Changing the opacity of the mask layer can strengthen and weaken the effects of the fog.

Step 6: Creating Mist

Create a new layer which is in between the background and adjustment layers. Now using the rounded rectangle selection tool, make a selection in the center of the image. Fill this selection with clouds by clicking Filter, Render, Clouds. Once you have finished, press Control (CTRL) and D to deselect the selection.

Step 7: Blending

Right click on the new layer and select Blending Options. In the this layer section, hold down Alt and click the black marker at the left side of the slider. This will split the black marker in two; drag the other half the opposite side of the slider. Click ok and check the results; this should make the fog have a much more interesting texture.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

Put the finishing touches to the image by selecting the Mist layer and then clicking Edit, Transform, Perspective. Hold and drag the handles of the perspective so that there is a triangle with a flat top which covers the center of the image. Press enter to accept the changes.

Click Edit, Transform, Scale and change the Width setting to 1000%; press enter again to accept the changes. This should leave you with a very realistic looking mist effect, although some tweaking might be required to perfect the look.

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