If you enjoy photo manipulation as much as you enjoy taking photos, you can have some fun with replacing the sky and giving your photos a whole different look and mood. Photographer Serge Ramelli shares a quick tutorial that will let you replace the ky in your photos in a matter of minutes. The main “ingredient” of his technique is the Multiply blend mode, and it really makes the process quick and simple.
Serge shows two looks you can get with this technique using two different photos of the sky – one taken during the sunset, and one taken in the evening. Note that the technique will work best with the base image where the sky is overexposed.
Serge’s main photo was taken on a rainy day in Paris. The sky’s a bit overexposed, and there are reflections on the wet ground. In the tutorial, he shows you both how to replace the sky, but also make the proper reflection so the final result looks more realistic.
Start by opening your main photo and the photo of the sky you want to insert. Drag the sky to the main photo, and place it so it goes from the horizon up.
To create the reflection, copy the sky layer. Select it and press Ctrl/Cmd + T to transform it. Go to right click > Flip Vertical, and then drag it to place it from the horizon down. This will create the perfect mirror.
When you have the sky and its reflection, merge the two layers. Now it’s time to set this layer to Multiply mode. This is how your image will look like:
Now you should make the image look more realistic. Serge starts with blurring the reflection of the ground. He makes a quick selection of the model, the pillar and the ground using the Lasso tool (you can also use the Quick Selection tool). He applies Gaussian Blur to the selection. This will leave the color of the clouds in the reflection, and make the whole thing look more realistic.
When this is done, there could still be some colors from the cloud layer visible in the main photo. You can easily resolve it with some masking. Add a layer mask, and brush away the sky wherever you need to. Use a low opacity, soft brush.
Using this technique, Serge placed the sunset and the evening sky in the photo, and here are the results.
Of course, this was just a fast demonstration of the technique, so there could be some improvements here and there. But it seems like a good technique to try out if you want to play with the sky replacement in Photoshop.
[How to Easily and Quickly change a Sky in Photoshop CC 2017 Tutorial | Serge Ramelli]