If there is one thing you have absolutely no control over when taking photos outdoors it’s the weather. You might have planned an epic trip and you’re looking forward to taking spectacular photos, only to arrive and find the sky to be grey and cloudy for days. That’s why I will teach you how to replace the sky in Photoshop CC. This way you’ll be able to make any sky look spectacular and end up with the photo that you first envisioned!
It’s one of the main reasons why I love Photoshop. It allows me to make the vision I had in my mind come to life. Even if the weather conditions don’t agree with me!
In this tutorial I will take you through all of the steps and at the end you will be able to replace a sky in Photoshop CC in less than 10 minutes!
How to Replace the Sky in Photoshop CC
Step 1: Edit your photo in Lightroom
When you replace a sky in Photoshop you’ll actually be blending two images together. To accomplish this you will have to edit both images in Lightroom in the exact same way. Otherwise the sky will look fake and like you just pasted it on your original photo.
So let’s start with editing the first photo in Lightroom! For this tutorial I went with one of my old tulip photos from 2 years ago (somehow flowers make me happy in these isolation days).
I was so excited to visit the tulip fields in the Netherlands for the first time but had to deal with 2 major set backs:
- There was only one tulip field in bloom and approachable at that time
- The sky was completely grey
Here is an example of how I am not perfect in any way and what my initial reaction to this situation was…
For this photo I chose my preset “Brighten your Day”. It always gives every photo a soft and warm glow plus it’s the preset that I have been using the most these past days when editing my “At Home” content.
You can find all of my presets here.
Step 2: Select and edit your Stock Image
The original photo was taken in the middle of the day so the best option is to go with a beautiful blue sky with a few clouds here and there. I went with a free stock photo from Unsplash. All you have to do is select the image that you want, download it and import it into Lightroom.
As I told you before we’re not just gonna copy paste this sky onto the original photo. We want to blend it perfectly so the next step is to copy the settings from the original photo to the sky photo.
As you can see on the photo above these two photos don’t match together. To copy the setting from the original photo do the following steps:
- Select the original photo
- Press cmd+c (or Develop Settings – Copy Settings)
- Select the sky photo
- Press cmd+p (or Develop Settings – Paste Settings)
Step 3: Open both images in Photoshop CC
I always prefer to edit my photos in Photoshop straight through Lightroom. This way when you save your project in Photoshop it will automatically be added to your photo catalog in Lightroom.
To do this all you have to do is select your two images one by one and select “Edit in Adobe Photoshop CC”.
Step 4: Replace the sky in Photoshop CC
Photoshop will have opened automatically after you’ve done the previous step correctly. You will now see both images in separate tabs.
All that you have to do now is click on the tab that includes the sky photo and simply click and hold the photo and then drag it to the tab of the original photo.
The sky photo will now appear as a layer on top of your original photo. To adapt the sky make sure you have selected layer 1 on the right. Click on Edit (on the top) and select Transform – Scale.
Step 5: Blend both photos together
After positioning the sky correctly it’s time to blend both photos together!
Select Layer 1 and click on Blending Options. A new tab will appear and here we will make some magic happen!
In the new tab that popped up you go to “Blend if” and select Blue. Play around with the slider of the Underlying Layer until your original photo shows up again in front of the sky layer.
Step 6: Make final touches in Lightroom
You can automatically open your end project in Lightroom by following the next steps:
- Click on the X of your final project tab
- Click on Save
- Go back to Lightroom and you will see your new photo pop up in your library (for this to work you need to keep Lightroom open while you are editing in Photoshop CC)
You can now make the final touches in Lightroom and export your photo!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and can’t wait to see your creations! Make sure to tag me on Instagram and use my hashtags #charlieswanderings #charliespresets so I can see your work and share it!
If you have any questions drop them below in the comment section!
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Charlotte Lint is the founder of Charlies Wanderings.
Charlotte has traveled all over the world and is based in Belgium where she also owns her very own dental practice.
She is an expert on writing efficient travel guides and finding unique places to stay.
Every month she helps over 134.000 people discover the most beautiful places in the world through her detailed travel guides.