How to Quickly Replace the Sky In Any Photo

As a photographer, you should come to expect Mother Nature isn’t always on your side. Maybe you found the perfect location for a shoot, and when it’s finally set up, the sky isn’t exactly how you want it. Maybe you are just traveling around and taking photos of the beautiful landscape, but the sky leaves more to be desired. What about real estate photography, need to shoot the property at a specific date and time but they want a rich and blue sky with some clouds but there are no clouds in sight.For this week’s Two Minute Tuesday with Peter McKinnon, he shows us how to easily replace the sky in any photo. Using the “Select and Mask” feature in Photoshop, he goes through the steps to select and then refined or tweak the selection to include and exclude certain parts of the photo to be hidden in the mask. Once you are done with that, just drop in your source sky photo underneath the layer with the sky hidden to reveal your new sky. Just align the sky to how you want it, maybe add a few adjustments with adjustment layers, and you're done. Pretty simple right? It can be, every photo will be different, but these are the basic steps to replace the sky in any photo. Some maybe more complicated with the selection, or possibly even easier.

One thing to keep in mind are the two photos you want to merge, make sure the lighting makes sense. Replacing a photo with an overcast sky producing very soft or no shadows with a super sunny and bright sky won't make sense unless you want to go back and add shadows and adjust the photos to match better. Next time you are out with your camera, grab some sky shots as you never know when you might need to replace one and make sure to take all different kinds.

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1 Comment
Samantha Autumn's picture

the sky always leave lots of open space in my pictures. I have a few saved for this reason :)