Turning Your Gray Skies Blue How To Replace A Sky In Photoshop

If you have ever needed to take a picture outdoors on a dreary day, you would probably preferred a blue sky. If waiting to reshoot on a sunny day isn’t an option, you can easily replace the sky in post production using Adobe Photoshop. Below, we created a step by step guide for how to do just that.

Copy the Original Photo

Open both the image that you would like to modify and the image with the sky you want to use. Select the original image by pressing Ctrl+A (Win) or  Command+A (Mac). After your photo has been selected, copy it to the clipboard by pressing Ctrl+C (Win) or Command+C (Mac)

Paste the Original Photo onto the Image of the Replacement Sky

Move over to the image of the replacement sky and press Ctrl+V (Win) / Command+V (Mac) on your keyboard to paste the original photo onto the replacement image.

In the layers panel you will see that the original image is a separate layer just above the sky replacement image. You will only see the original photo as it is placed over the replacement image and temporarily blocking it.

Duplicate Layer of Original Image

Check to see if your copy layer is active in the layers panel (active layers are highlighted in blue). Next press Ctrl+J (Win) or Command+J (Mac) in order to duplicate the layer. It won't appear as if anything has changed but when you look over to the layers panel you will see the copy which will now be highlighted.

Hide The Top (Copied) Layer

In order to do this, simply uncheck the tiny box to the left of the layer so that the eyeball icon disappears.

Select The Original Image

Click on the layer in the layers panel. You will know it has been selected when it is highlighted.

Select The Area You Don’t Want Replaced

Using the selection method of your choice, click around the area you wish to protect. Some common methods include using the Lasso and Polygonal Lasso Tool which can be selected by clicking on the lasso tool icon in the tools panel. Your selection doesn’t have to be extremely precise unless you are masking areas that are against a background with a similar color.

Create A Layer Mask

Using the selection you just created convert the selection into a mask by clicking on the mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel. Your bright blue sky will now appear where the dull original sky was cut out.

Unhide and Select the Copy Layer

Click on the small box to the left of the copy layer so the eyeball icon appears. Next click on the layer so that it becomes the active layer. The original photo will now be visible in the document window.

Blend The Photos

Click on blending options and make the “blend if” option to blend if blue. Now double click on the preview thumbnail for the top layer.

Move The Slider for “This Layer” Towards The Left

When you do this the replacement sky will begin to appear. Continue to drag the the slider bar to the left until most of the dull sky has been replaced.

Remove Fringing

To remove any harsh edges or fringing split the slider in half. To do this press and hold your Alt (Win) or Option (Mac) keys on the keyboard. While holding the key down, click back on the slider and continue dragging it towards the left. You will now have two sliders you can move independently of each other. Look at your image to determine when you have removed the fringing.

When you are happy with the way your replacement looks click “ok.”

We hope this has been a helpful tutorial. If you would like to chat about photography or how The Burnette Agency can grow your social media presence and brand awareness please e-mail at info@theburnetteagency.com or call 404-850-2081