How to Replace Sky in Photoshop

Sky replacement is exactly what it sounds like. If you do not like the sky in your original image, you do not need to go through the pain of retaking the photo. Simply, boot up your laptop, open Photoshop, and replace that bland sky with an awesome one. Keep reading if you want to learn how to replace sky in Photoshop

Sky Replacement in Photoshop

Just a few years ago, replacing a sky was nothing less a rigorous task. You had to use the selection tool with a layer mask just to separate the original sky. After that, the compositing technique was used to apply a new sky. In short, to achieve seamless sky replacement in Photoshop, you had to go through a lot of steps. However, Adobe has added a new Sky Replacement Tool that makes this process simple and intuitive to use. Not only can you save your time by using this tool, but it also does masking and blending itself.

Sky Replacement Tool

Let us now learn how to replace sky in Photoshop using the new sky replacement tool. Before we use the tool, we recommend that you make a copy of your original image. This should be done before applying any edit to your images. This is called non-destructive editing and by doing this, you save the original image in case any mishap happens during the editing process. 

Step 1

The first step is to simply head into the Edit Menu and then select Sky Replacement from there. When you do this, a new dialog box will open.

Step 2

This step is the crux of the whole process. An advantage of using this tool is that it gives you plenty of in-built options to choose from. For instance, at the top of the Sky Replacement dialog box, you will see many options that are included in the tool. These options include blue skies, sunsets, spectacular skies, and many more. The best part about using these is that you do not have to go through the trouble of finding another image to apply on the top of your image. If you like any of the in-built options, then just click on them and they are automatically applied. Quite frankly, you can say that sky replacement in Photoshop is a simple one-click tool.
How to replace Sky in photoshop

Step 3

Undeniably, there are going to be times when you do not like the already included options. You still do not have to worry because this tool allows you to add any sky image of your choice. Simply, press the ‘+’ icon which will be present at the bottom of the sky selection that the tool provides. Then, you can browse and select any sky image stored on your device.

Step 4

Again, Photoshop will automatically apply the sky to your image when you click on the selected image. At this stage, you can say that you have basically learned how to replace sky in Photoshop. 

Step 5

Although the main work is done, you still get plenty of options to fine-tune your output image. Moreover, you can not only adjust the temperature and brightness of the image but also tweak the edges of the final image. Let us take a look at some of the sliders that you can play with. Temperature allows you to make the image warmer or cooler, whereas, the Brightness of the sky can also be changed. Secondly, you can even Resize the sky image as well as Flip the sky in the horizontal direction. To make the composite image look even more seamless, you can use Shift Edge and Fade Edge. Shift Edge regulates the border between your original image and the new sky. On the other hand, We use Fade Edge in order to set the fade that appears between the image and the sky.

Bonus Tip: Take Care of Light

An important aspect of learning how to replace sky in Photoshop is light direction and intensity. No matter how wonderful and surreal the clouds you add to your image, if they do not match with the light in the original image, then it is going to look fake.

To save yourself from this, analyze the original image and determine the direction of the shadows. Next, determine the intensity of the shadows. On a sunny day, they will be darker but on a cloudy day, they will be much softer.

Try to add a new sky that has the same characteristics as your original image as it will appear more natural. However, going in the other direction might compromise the integrity of the image

Conclusion - How to Replace Sky in Photoshop

In summary, Adobe has answered how to replace sky in Photoshop with a very basic yet powerful tool. In a few simple clicks, you can certainly add dramatic clouds to your originally boring-looking images. However, the key to producing great images is to analyze the original and replace it accordingly.

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Have a nice photoshoot! 

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