Learn all about advanced sky replacement techniques in this detailed Photoshop CC tutorial!

We’ll learn all about the blend if options, masking, blend modes, and a bunch more techniques and tricks for blending a new sky replacement into your photo.

Stock photo:

New sky photo:

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Tutorial Recording Notes:

Disclaimer: these are the actual notes I used to record this video and are written in a language you may or may not understand. Hopefully, you find them useful or cool.

  1. Open both images in Photoshop
  2. Sample colors from the sky near the horizon and the sky at the top of the frame
  3. Create a gradient from these colors
  4. Create a new layer and drag out a gradient to cover the sky area of the image
  5. Apply a filled mask to this layer
  6. Use the brush tool to paint this sky covering into our photo
  7. Use the soft edge of the brush to get a soft, faded edge against surfaces and the horizon
  8. Use the blend if sliders to bring back edge detail
  9. Drag sky photo over the original scene and position it where you want
  10. Cmd/Ctrl + click the mask we just made and apply that mask to this sky as well
  11. Zoom in and tweak the housetop edges, electric poles, main horizon line, etc…
  12. You can copy this back to the solid gradient layer as well. See what looks best
  13. Add a Levels adjustment layer and clip it to the sky layer
  14. Set the output points to 25–220
  15. Next, we’ll blend the color of this scene a little more
  16. Add a Color Balance adjustment layer above ONLY the background layer set to M:+35/-25/-10 • H:+15/0/+15 • S:-10/-10/+5
  17. Duplicate the sky layer up in the layers panel and flip it vertically so we can reflect some color onto the water
  18. Get rid of the mask on that layer
  19. Use Quick Selection to paint a rough selection over the little body of water
  20. Re-mask the layer to this body of water
  21. Use the blend if sliders and split the top white slider and the bottom black slider and blend until it looks OK
  22. Set to the blend mode Color and reduce opacity until it looks good
  23. Rebuild the sun on the left side of the frame using my current favorite sun flare technique
  24. The colored layer of the flare use Hue/Sat with colorize on set to: +30/+100/-35
  25. Screen this layer and set it to 40% opacity and Linear Dodge (add) the other layer and reduce Fill Opacity until it looks good
  26. Blend If the Screen layer, too to get some of the shadows in the grass to show up and make a more realistic glow from the sun
  27. If you don’t like the heavy use of magenta, red, and blue with all the contrast, add a Color Balance layer and fill in green, yellow, and cyan to the midtones.
  28. Also, reduce contrast using the Output levels in a Levels adjustment layer
  29. Lastly, use a Vibrance layer to reduce overall saturation about 10-20%

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