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How to Replace a Sky Using Photoshop

A new sky can take an otherwise drab photo and turn it into something much more compelling. Still, it takes a careful eye and some specific Photoshop skills. This great video will show you how to create convincing sky replacements using Photoshop.

Coming to you from Aaron Nace with Phlearn, this informative video will show you how to create better sky replacements using Photoshop. Sky replacements can be useful for many situations beyond landscape photography. For example, if you are shooting real estate photography, you might not have the opportunity to return to a location if it happens to have gray skies the day you shoot it. This would be a great time to drop in a more appealing sky to make more compelling images for your clients. The same might apply for something like a wedding day portrait or any situation in which you can't reschedule your shoot. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Nace. 

And if you really want to perfect your sky replacements, check out "Mike Kelley's Ultimate Sky Library: Royalty Free Raw Photographs for Sky Replacements," which features Mike Kelley's expert instruction along with over 200 raw, royalty-free skies for your own use.

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9 Comments

jim hughes's picture

IMHO there is no such thing as a convincing sky replacement. The sky is the source of the light in the photo; you can't replace that light with different light. That technology does not yet exist outside of Pixar Animation, and even there it has limits.

Just me's picture

I'm surprise how many article about sky replacement.
Is it really the request number on by photographer?

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Nope. It’s just because of Luminar.

stuartcarver's picture

As a Landscape shooter myself I’d much rather just learn the process of making a compelling image regardless of the situation, it’s the part I’m enjoying the most learning how to shoot and edit for all the different scenarios.

Paul Scharff's picture

Just like the Luminar article from a week ago that said you *don't* need Photoshop to swap out a sky, we see a nice clean empty chunk of sky being replaced. If any of you look out your window right now, you will see these things called "trees" in your way of the otherwise empty block of sky. I think working around those trees, especially in winter with all their branches and twigs, is the real code to crack if you choose to use Photoshop and not Luminar.

Patrick Forslund's picture

Sky replacement can have it's uses. I wouldn't do it with my personal branded landscape and cityscape shots, but it can be useful for real estate photography that may have a tight deadline. Sometimes the sky just won't cooperate over a 1 to 3 day window.

Paul Scharff's picture

Agree and that's exactly how I use it.Over the years I worked out a pretty cool technique to do a sky replacement *behind* trees and branches and twigs using Photoshop, but it appears Luminar may obviate that entire process now.

Darren Russinger's picture

The link to the sky library doesn't work Fstoppers Help

Alex Cooke's picture

Should be working now!