I'll show you how to go from this.......to this........all using Photoshop 7's built-in features!
Open your image in Photoshop.Create a new layer above the image.Set your foreground color to black and your background color to white. (You can do this by simply hitting the d key on the keyboard.)Now, hold down the option/alt key and choose Filter - Render - Clouds from the menu.Holding down the option/alt key forces the clouds filter to have more contrast.Your image should look like this....Your clouds may look a little different but they should cover the entire image layer.
From the layers palette click and hold the styles icon (little script f thing) and choose "Blending Options" from the popup menu.The Layer Styles dialog will appear. At the bottom of the Layer Styles window there are two sliders. You are going to adjust the top slider to make the black in the clouds layer disappear.Hold down the option/alt key and click near the left triangle in the top slider. The triangle should split into two parts. Move the right part of the triangle to the right similar to the image below.You should now have an image similar to the one below.
Now you've got big white blobs of smoke, let's refine them.First thing at this stage is to lower the cloud layer's opacity just a bit.Now we'll need to get rid of some of the blobs of smoke.From the layers palette add a mask to your clouds layer by clicking the mask icon at the bottom of the pallete.Click the mask, so you are certain you are working on the mask and not the actual clouds. Grab a brush, any brush, make sure your foreground color is black and start painting away parts of the smoke you don't want.Here you can see how the final mask looked for this image.Once you've painted away all the unwanted smoke you should have a pretty natural appearance.The final image....I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial as much as I enjoyed writing it!
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