Replacing Skies Using Color Range
One thing that's really big with this kinda stuff, is like, doing things like, maybe a sky replacement. If you've ever thought about replacing skies in your images, I have no problems doing that, no qualms with that at all, I think it's totally morally acceptable. Clouds do pass over everything right? They just weren't there when I was there (laughs) so, if I wanted to make a luminosity mask that would then add this sky to this image, what I would do is, I would take this sky, press V for the move tool, move it onto this image and turn the preview off, the reason why I'm turning that preview off is I don't want any of that data that's in those clouds to come through in the initial luminosity mask that I'm selecting. So then for this one, let's do the color range one, 'cause it's a little bit easier, we'll go to select, we'll go to Color Range, and I will use Highlights, and what's the range that we want there, well we definitely wanna look at these trees and make sure that those get in...
there too. So let's go to, about there, that looks good, press OK, and again it's kinda arbitrary at the same time, but if we click on this layer now, turn the eyeball back on we've gotta selection for those highlight areas, if we press that mask, it now starts the process for making our blend, so we can get that sky in that background. It's not gonna be beautiful, it's not gonna be perfect right off the bat, because when it comes to cheating, there is no easy way, alright, sometimes (laughs) you gotta do thinks the hard way, so just by looking at the nature of these two photographs, this image does not have the light quality that this sky would have coming through here, so the first thing that I need to do, first and foremost is essentially come in here and just drop the saturation, or the opacity, I should say, on that layer. So I get some of that sky stuff coming through, but it's not gonna be perfect. If we look at this layer one, we double click on it, we go to the Color Overlay, press OK. That shows us exactly where this mask is affecting, so because it's just like a regular mask, we can just click on that Layer 1, press B for our brush tool and just start brushing away the things that we don't want that sky to come through on. And if you watched the Blend If course, I taught this also with Blend If because you can do it with both ways, that's why we did that square and rectangle type analogy in the beginning, you can use both of them, kind of, I dunno if the right word, transversely is the right word, but they can be used interchangeably, that's the word interchangeably. So we'll turn the Color Overlay off and that's actually starting to look a lot better, we zoom into these areas here, along in the trees, that's actually pretty darn good, look at that, wow, pretty proud of myself, I did this one on the fly. (laughs) so wanna click on that mask, press B for the brush tool another I like to do with this is make a really big feathered brush, right click on here, so the hardness is set to zero, and then if I just click right outside here, right outside here, starts to kinda get that midday kinda haze look going on, look at that, went from like a dismal, rainy, boring, it was raining when I was out there taking this, to we actually have something there that paints the canvas. If you're not a landscape photographer, and you go out to shoot landscape things, like my wife was like, aw look at that, it's so beautiful, not a cloud in the sky, I'm like, that's horrible, I don't wanna be here. (laughs) you know, we need clouds clouds are drama, clouds tell the story, so when we have an image like this, I was in France, there was only one time I'm gonna get to take this shot, a shot that's, Eiffel, the guy who made the Eiffel tower made this structure, you know, not many people know that and I'm sitting there visiting it, and it's pouring rain, you know, I'm gonna make do with what I got. Now I wouldn't be done at this point, with this image, I would push it a little bit further, I might make a stamp on it, I might start building some other things on top of it, to really push the effect of that photo, but it started with the luminosity mask as a base, again, you could say things like, well Blake, why don't you use the Quick Selection tool, and I could tell you, well that's a pain in the butt, because can you imagine how many things I'd have to select and mask, to get rid of. You see Adobe adds a lot of really cool tools every time they come up with an update that makes things a little bit more user friendly, the things I'm showing you right now, are things that you could do in Photoshop CS2, CS3, I mean, this is not like ground-breakingly new things that Adobe has added into the mix, this is just looking at the stuff that's been there forever and looking at clever ways to make it work for us, so the Quick Selection tool, while it is really nice, I'm not saying I never use it, I use it all the time, while it's nice for very specific things, trying to make the edges on these trees with the Quick Selection tool, I mean we could get roughly close, and then we could do select and mask, but I don't know about you but select and mask is hit or miss with me sometimes, sometimes it works phenomenal, and other times I'm sitting there for like 20 minutes trying to do that, and I'd still be sitting here right now, with the Select And Mask tool trying to teach you how to do this, where I'm just using a lot of fill-in content now to show you (laughs) that you know, if I was using Select and Mask, we'd still be making that mask right now is basically what I'm trying to get at.