If you take photos of a wonderful landscape and you’re not pleased with the sky – well, you can cheat a little and replace it in Photoshop. Peter McKinnon shows you how to do it, and he makes it look easy in a simple 2-minute tutorial.
With this technique, you won’t only be able to replace the sky in a landscape photo. You can also use it to, for example, change the background in portraits. All in all, you might find it handy when you want to experiment, so take a look.
Choose the photo where you want to remove the existing sky and add a new one. Go to Select > Select and Mask.
Then, grab the Quick Selection Tool and paint away the foreground, because you want to keep it in the photo.
After this, select the “Refine Edge” brush to paint away all the little details that are generally hard to mask (leaves, trees; in portraits it will usually be the hair). When you’re done, head over to View and choose “Overlay.” This will show you the areas you’ve masked out, and it will be easier to see what you need to add or remove from the selection.
Once this is done, select the Brush Tool and make sure that the “-“ is chosen. This lets you paint away the things you don’t want in the mask, and in Peter’s case, these are the telephone poles and wires.
After this, you can refine the smoothness, contrast, and edge of the feather. Make sure you don’t overdo it, though, but focus on the minor and subtle adjustments.
Finally, click OK and you’ve masked away the sky. Now you can add the sky you like better.
Go to the photo of the sky you like, and drag it to the photo where you’ve masked out the sky. Drag the new sky to the bottom layer and adjust it so it fits the scene. If it’s necessary, add some additional adjustments of brightness, contrast, and saturation to match the original image. And you’re done!
I know this may be “cheating” in terms of photography. But, photo manipulation and digital art are branches of their own, and I believe this sky replacement falls into these categories. So, if you need a new sky or a different background for your photos, this is a simple way to do it.
[Replace the SKY in ANY Photo FAST! | Peter McKinnon]