Photo Tricks: Add Rain with Photoshop

Adding rain Photoshop effects to your photo can help to make your photo look even more special than it already is. Rain might not be everyone's favorite weather condition, but it can work very well in photos. Creating a rain effect in Photoshop is actually very easy.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Photoshop 
  • Digital Photo

Step 1: Opening the Photo

The first thing to do is open up Photoshop and then open your photo. To do this, click File, Open, and select your photo. After a few seconds, you should see a copy of your photo on the screen.

Step 2: Duplicating Layers

Photoshop uses layers to organize photos; your photo will currently have one background layer. This layer needs to be duplicated and this can be done by pressing Control + J together. This won't make any noticeable difference to the photo, but it will add an extra layer in your layers palette.

Step 3: Expanding the Canvas

Press D to reset the color palette in photoshop; this will set the background color as white and the foreground color as black. This is important as the expanded canvas will need a white background.

Select the crop tool from the tools palette or alternatively press C. Press F to select full screen mode. Click outside the top left corner and drag down to the bottom right corner. You will then see handles which can be adjusted to change the size of the canvas. Hold alt and drag these these handles to create extra space around the image. This will make the effect much better once it's finished. It doesn't really matter how much space you add around the image because this will be cropped again later once the filters have been applied. Once you've added the extra space, press Enter and the new space will be filled with the white background.

Step 4: Creating a New Blank Layer

Add a new layer by clicking on the new layer button at the bottom of the layers palete. This will create a layer which is put on top of the other layers. This layer will be named "Layer 2" although it is possible to rename the layers to something more memorable if you prefer.

Press Alt and Backspace to fill the new layer with the foreground color of black. This will make the image black and nothing else will be visible; don't let this worry you at the moment though.

Step 5: Adding Noise

Click Filter from the menu bar at the top, select Noise, and then click on Add Noise. Check the monochromatic option and experiment with the different options. For a start, adjust the slider to 150%.

Step 6: Adjusting Noise

Open the levels dialog box and a histogram will be visible; move the black slider at the bottom of the histogram to the right, and the white one to the left. The middle slider should move by itself as you move the black slider.

Step 7: Motion Blur

Select the top layer which will be called Layer 2 unless you renamed it. Click on the filter menu, blur and then click on Motion Blur. Experiment with the angle to change the direction the rain is falling. The distance setting should be set to around 50 pixels, although you can experiment depending on the size of your photo.

After the motion blur, you might need to adjust the noise levels histogram again. In this case, simply move the sliders so that the noise is visible in the image.

Step 8: Cropping

Remove the extra space in your image by right clicking on layer 1 in the layers palette. This will display a selection the same size as the image on top of your top layer. Select the Image Menu and then choose Crop. Pressing Control and D should then remove this from the screen.

Step 9: Blend Mode

Select Layer 2 and then change the blend mode from Normal to Screen. This will make the original photo visible again, but with the rain effect on the top.

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