2. Adding Light in the Windows
There is always more than one way to do things in Photoshop, but this is the way that I happened to liven up the windows in this cabin.
First, I made a new, yellow-colored Solid Color Adjustment Layer using something like #c5c46b. This makes my whole picture solid yellow.
Second, I made the yellow color only appear in the places I wanted it. On the Solid Color Layer’s mask, fill it with black and begin painting white over the windows to bring back the yellow color. You can use the Pen or Brush tool to do this, but because the windows were so small, I just did a quick job with the Brush tool. This is what my mask looks like . . .
. . . to make my picture look like this:
Of course this looks fake, so can you guess what I used to fix it? Nothing less than applying the ever-useful Overlay Blend Mode! With the Solid Color Adjustment Layer set to Overlay, it looks a whole lot more realistic.
Now, in my picture, I thought the Overlay Blend Mode by itself was a little flat, so I added another Solid Color Adjustment Layer with the color #f6dd88, copied over the mask I made earlier (click and drag while holding Alt), and set it to Multiply. So, thus far, here’s how it looks.
Sometimes, especially when the scene is darker than this one, it looks nice to add a glow around the light source. I usually achieve this by blurring the mask of the second Color Adjustment Layer.
Now all that needs done is the final touch of snow falling and clinging to the branches in the background forest . . .