There is no question that when you replace a sky in photoshop if it’s done correctly, it can make the photo drastically more interesting. The tutorial I created can also be used for applications such as how to change a background in photoshop, but the two methods for sky replacement in photoshop I cover in the video below are focused on just that, skies.
By far the easiest method when you want to replace a sky in photoshop is using the color range selector. First, make a copy of your background by hitting CMD or Cntrl + J. You can find the color range selection by going to Select > Color Range. Then making your selection is as easy as clicking on the sky then holding Shift while you continue clicking until the entire sky appears white in the preview window.
You can fine-tune your selection by adjusting the fuzziness slider on the color range selection window. Once you’re happy with the selection click ok and your selection will appear. From here you can either click CMD(Cntrl)+Option+R, goto select>select and mask, or click the create a layer mask button. Now that you have your layer mask its a good opportunity to clean it up a bit by selecting the brush tool with black in the foreground and painting over any part that isn’t the sky or background you’re trying to replace.
Now that you have the sky selected you can drop the new sky you are adding to the photo in photoshop, and if your sky was blown out or very bright select the “Darken” blend mode for that layer. Right-click on the layer mask you created for the sky above and click add mask to selection. Then click on your new sky layer and hit the create a layer mask button. If the color selection worked, you should have just replaced the sky in photoshop! Wasn’t that easy?
As you can see this super-easy method of replacing a sky in photoshop can make a HUGE difference in how your photos look. You would be surprised how many of the photos you see on Instagram have been altered using sky replacement, and even more sneaky methods to make images more eye-catching and visually appealing. If you’re interested in a more in-depth method when there are difficult selections like trees or other objects being backlit from the sun you can check out the full tutorial on YouTube!
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