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Replacing a Sky in Photoshop

via LinkedIn Learning


Learn the best techniques for a replacing the sky in a photo and obtaining realistic results with Photoshop.

It's a common scenario: Everything about a photo works, except for the sky. Maybe it's overexposed because of the way your camera metered. Or maybe it's just bland.

Not to worry. With Photoshop you can replace a sky that doesn't work with one that does. In this course, photographer, author, and educator Seán Duggan shows you how to perform this common compositing task. You'll see examples of sky replacements that don't work, and then learn how to create ones that do. Get a photographer's insight on masking, lighting, and blending adjustments naturally into the background of an existing photo.


  • Welcome
  • Using the exercise files
1. Sky Replacement Considerations
  • Ethical considerations
  • Keys to successful sky replacements: Masking, lighting, and perspective
  • Evaluating potential masking difficulties
2. Photographing for Sky Replacements
  • Correcting a blown-out sky with HDR exposures in Adobe Lightroom
  • Shooting the replacement sky image while on location
  • Shooting skies for your image library
3. Creating Sky Replacement Composites
  • Using a gradient mask
  • Creating a layer mask from a simple selection
  • Using Refine Edge to mask hair
  • Using blending modes for complex edges
  • Using adjustment layers for a unified color treatment
  • Next steps

Taught by

Seán Duggan

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