Sky Replacement

Apr 14, 2021  By William Royce

Many a serious photographer has traveled far, at great expense, to get that coveted scenic shot, only to find the sky is either a dull gray overcast or an empty, cloudless blue sky. How can this problem be solved and result in a beautiful image for your wall or library? When returning to the scene on a better day is not practical, you might consider replacing the sky in post processing. In the past, the process for replacing the sky with a more attractive one in your library needed considerable skill to create a foreground mask, add a new sky layer, and refine the edges to obtain a satisfactory result.

No longer is this necessary! Adobe has created, within Photoshop CC, a recently introduced image editing tool for sky replacement. It benefits from a high degree of automation, allows you to replace the sky with one of theirs or one of your own, and keeps you from delving into the mysteries of masking and layers. This article will show you how to use this tool. Note: Before submitting for judging an image modified as described herein, you may wish to check applicable rules to ensure such edits are allowed or consider identifying it as “altered reality” or some similar category. The Photographic Society of America (PSA) prohibits this technique for photojournalism, nature and travel images.

The left photo is the original image, boring sky included, taken with an M10M, 35mm f/2 (7 element) with a yellow filter.

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