Simple Sky Replacement in Photoshop

September 15, 2009

In this tutorial, I show you how to swap out a boring sky in a photo with a more interesting one using a few of Photoshop’s selection tools. Also, I wanted to share with you my first product for sale here at GSG. It’s called Photoshop for Photographers and I think you will just love it. Check out the product page and decide if it’s right for you. Don’t worry, there will always be free tutorials here, but I wanted to offer a larger package of training to cover bigger projects and extras. Check it out here.

Tutorial Focus:  

  • Hey Nick, nice tutorial, great to remember some forgotten commands.

  • Nice. I’ve done the same thing to a lot of my photos. Both of these are sky replacements:

  • Nice tutorial. Seemed like it was a preview for your photoshop training series. Oh by the way, I purchased it going to watch over the weekend. Wished there was an option for DVD, since I like to have physical media. Looks like I’ll learn alot from what I see on the page. Can’t wait for the After Effects training to come out.

  • You use Tweetie too?! I love that little app! Great stuff btw πŸ™‚

  • Hey Nick as usual I really enjoyed this video. You know, I had to wait maybe 10 minutes for Vimeo to load for this particular video. I’m guessing they’re having network problems or something. At any rate, have you considered condensing your tutorials to a 1 HTML page for people to read? People can usually read much faster than they go through videos, and it’s much easier to go back, book mark sections, summarize highlights, etc.

    I subscribe and read hundreds of blogs/RSS each day, and I usually skip the videos because they simply take too much time. But if you had a HTML version, I’m sure a lot more (text loving) people will subscribe. Thanks!

  • Thanks a lot for all your tuorials.

    You can also alt drag (PC) the mask to past it on another layer.

  • I feel like “Buy Nick’s Larger Package for Only $39” would make a good ad campaign.

  • Cannot wait till my 0.99GB finished it’s download!!! A bit of an off topic question…Is the RSS feed broke? I don’t use a reader, I just have the page bookmarked but it doesn’t update!!

  • Ah nice one, Cheers. I had this thing…feed:// rockin’ in my bookmarks, whoops! This site is truly epic, really cool stuff, I learn something new every time!

  • I remember that i used recently almost the same technique, but for video, let me know what you think.

  • Thanks for the tut. I actually liked what showed up in the cart path. It made it look like some rain came through and it was a puddle with a reflection of the sky. Thanks for all you do.

  • For the benefit of the community, I’d like to mention that you can also option click on the layer mask to reveal the mask itself so that you can see those little imperfections. You can also apply effects like levels directly to layer masks.

  • Thank you for all your wonderful tutorials. Thank you for your Photoshop for Photographers tutorial. 2 hours left from completing download. As we say here in Greece “The good thing needs its time to be made” πŸ˜‰

  • Great vid tute. It’s always interesting to see others use Photoshop, even though I know the program quite a bit I end up learning something trivial and quite obvious in the end.

    Keep up the good work dude ^_^

  • Only problem with replacing a clear sky with a cloudy one is you would be missing the cloud shadows.

  • Hi,
    I just bought th photoshop for photoshograph tutorial and i don’t get why you change your workflow. You made a first (free) tutorial with Aperture and now it’s Bridge. Sometimes in the tutorial it looks like you discover Bridge with us. Can you tell what’s motivate that change ?

  • Hey Gorilla πŸ™‚ Nice work man on your tutorials.
    You’re a very good inspiration to all of us non-primate-mortals here.

    Love your site and you portfolio work.

    Was wondering if you’d be willing enough to share some photography and post processing info on (I’ll have to explain it in a sentence)

    At times with really nice clouds but really sunny as well, it’s hard to get a properly exposed foreground on a properly exposed cloudy summer sky without off flash.

    How would I take one ? Underexpose it manually and edit it in photo shop ? Overexpose the sky in order to get the person properly exposed and then under expose sky ?

    Thanks and thanks for the stop motion tut. 50mm and remote on their way :))

    Best wishes and hope you’ll do good,
    Vick from Romania Timisoara

  • Three other worthy selection tricks to know:
    1.) Pull a matte from your channels. This may be one of the best ways to get a selection. just find a channel with the most contrast, copy and paste it in your channels and then crank your levels. . . you can paint out any odd bits and select that channel as your matte.

    2.) and every once in a while using the extract filter does the trick. it took me a bit to find it again, since it’s an optional plug-in you now can download for free here:

    3.) When you’ve made your selections: using the Layer/Matting/Defringe (set it to 1px) will help get rid of all that blue sky residue left around your edges.

  • Great tutorial. Any chance you could post one on the best way to replace windows (like from an interior of a house). I shoot real estate photography and have always found that incredibly tedious. I know there’s gotta be a better way.

  • Den faktiske tilbake h?len del av selve fott?y er faktisk h?yere denseness,
    for ? suge opp s? mye som tjueto% mye mer overraskelse, nike free reduserer spenninger samt stress plassert p? dine egne viktige leddene.

  • where’s the video? half of them are missing on this site Nick, you ought to check ll the tutorials man….

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