How to Enhance a Really Bland Sky in Photoshop (Without Replacement)

If you'd like to regain a little more control of your edits instead of handing over the reins to the ubiquitous AI juggernaut, here's a great method for enhancing really boring skies in Photoshop.

Can you imagine if you'd learned and perfected the craft of developing film in a darkroom? Skills that may have once separated you from your peers and given you a huge advantage in creating work like no-one else's have now become antiquated, if not entirely obsolete. That happened when digital photography took hold and software like Photoshop became the new darkroom. Alas, here we are in 2022, and with the rapid evolution of AI it seems that people (like me) who have spent thousands of hours honing their skills in digital editing also face the very real threat of becoming extraneous in the eyes of many. However, as long as there are editing platforms, it will always be valuable to understand how to maximize their potential. 

And that brings us to this great video by Anthony Morganti, in which he runs you through the process of enhancing a very bland, boring sky. The key word here is "enhance," because Morganti does not replace the sky using AI or any kind of compositing method. Instead, he works with the original sky in his image and transforms it from something completely unremarkable into something with some real life and zest. Along the way, he shows you some interesting selection techniques and how to use the very powerful Blend If tool. If you want to brush up on your Photoshop skills and learn how to put some control back in your editing, give this a watch and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Iain Stanley's picture

Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. Fstoppers is where he writes about photography, but he's also a 5x Top Writer on Medium, where he writes about his expat (mis)adventures in Japan and other things not related to photography. To view his writing, click the link above.

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1 Comment

This is great (learned a lot, again) but should the water reflection be altered as well?