Photoshop Tutorial: How to quickly and easily replace a sky

Here’s a new video tutorial that will show you a quick way to swap a sky in a landscape image in Photoshop.

The exact technique and method you use to swap a sky will depend on the photo you’re working on. In this example, Photoshop’s Quick Selection tool does all the heavy lifting for us when it comes to actually cutting the old sky out.

Then using some simple layers and masking techniques, we are able to bring in the new sky and effectively blend it into the main shot.

As you’ll see in the video, it’s not just as simple as cutting and pasting the new sky into the shot. We have to balance the brightness of our sky and foreground too so that it actually looks realistic and natural.

Video: How to replace a sky in Photoshop

Here’s a summary of the steps:

(View the video for full details and explanations)

  1. Load your main image and your new sky into layers of the same Photoshop document
  2. Use your preferred selection method (in this example, the quick select tool) to make a selection that isolates the sky
  3. With the selection active, add a layer mask to the foreground layer to hide the bad sky (invert the layer mask after adding if necessary, depending on how you created your selection)
  4. Use the Select And Mask tool in Photoshop to refine the edges of your layer mask for all those fine details
  5. Use curves adjustment layers to brighten the sky and darken the foreground until the balance between the two looks natural
  6. Continue with the rest of your workflow from this point to process the image to completion (some examples and suggestions are shown in the video)

Comments on Photoshop Tutorial: How to quickly and easily replace a sky

  1. Thanks Steve. Glad you listen to user input. I had suggested a bullet point step by step summary would be helpful and you added it.

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