Photoshop Tips for Outdoor Photographers: The Easy Way to Replace the Sky

It is pure kismet when the sky matches the beauty of the scene and you there, ready to capture the moment, with just the right gear in hand.

For everything else there is Photoshop.

Replacing a dull sky — or an uneven sky, or a sky that just isn’t doing it for you — in an otherwise awesome photo is an easy way to add more drama and make your landscapes truly stand out. This is also a great trick for real estate photography, product photography, or any other time when the sky isn’t the focus of the image but could make it better or worse, depending on what it looks like.

Photoshop Week 2019 is BACK June 12th-14th with 17 new action-driven workshops from 7 expert instructors. Registration now open.

Three tips for seamless sky-replacement:

–Make sure your colors match. The key to a solid sky-replacement job is believability. The replacement sky should feel authentic to the scene and matching it to an image’s color spectrum is the perfect way to make that happen.

–Set the sun in the same spot. The sun is your source of light and dictates everything from where the shadows fall to what shows up in camera. Be sure you line up your replacement sun source with the original.

–Refine your layer mask to make it perfect. Open that dialogue box and play with the sliders to ensure the edges of your layer mask create a smooth transition between your sky and your scene.

Learn how to apply a 1-2 punch to your images in Randy Van Duinen’s Photoshop Week class. Registration is now open for his live online editing demonstration streaming free June 14th. Learn More.

Hillary Grigonis FOLLOW >

Hillary K. Grigonis is a web content writer and lifestyle photographer from Michigan. After working as a photojournalist for several years, she made the leap and started her own business and now enjoys sharing tips and tricks with emerging photographers.