How to change sky color in Photoshop CC 2020

This tutorial included 6 Best Ways On How To Change Sky Color In Photoshop. The sky is a crucial feature in the landscape and architectural photography. It must be a captivating aspect of the image. Boring sky translates to boring photographs, while magnificent skies can also translate to solid images by distracting the spectator from the foreground or center ground if they aren’t particularly appealing.

You may improve or change the color of the sky in Photoshop in a variety of ways. They are:

  1. Adjusting the contrast
  2. Hue/saturation correction
  3. Use a photo filter
  4. Use the gradient tool
  5. Use the brush tool
  6. Luminosity mask – a video lesson is included.

While this article uses Adobe Photoshop, the same ideas apply to any software and easily replace orchange any Sky Color in Photoshop.

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Why Use Photoshop To Improve Sky Color?

Color has long been utilized to capture our attention in graphic design, advertising, and artwork. Color is a powerful weapon that we should use to our advantage in order to improve our image.

In this lesson, I’ll show you how to digitally boost the color of the sky in your shot to make it look more alive!

I’ll teach you how to achieve it with Adobe Photoshop CS6 in a couple of different ways.


1. Contrast Enhancement

The simplest of all is to boost the sky’s contrast and the best way to change the sky color in Photoshop. The contrast between light and dark becomes more pronounced as the amount of contrast is raised. When you adjust the contrast in the sky, it will inevitably affect the foreground as well, but you can hide it away with a layer mask. In Photoshop, you can do it in a few different ways.

  1. You can do this by clicking on the Adjustments panel and selecting the Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. To your taste, move the contrast adjustment bar to the right. Pay great attention to your photos to avoid clipping highlights or shadows. Also, make sure the “Use Legacy” box is not checked, as this will shift all pixel values and make clipping more likely.
  2. I love using curves because of how many different ways they can be used. After applying the adjustment layer, use an S-shape curve to enhance contrast.
  3. Another way to alter contrast is by using the Levels adjustment layer in the Adjustments panel. Once you’ve selected it, a graph in the form of a histogram should appear. Triangles appear at the bottom of a graph with three at the bottom of it. The shadows are controlled by the left triangle, the highlights by the right, and the mid-tones by the center. Experiment by dragging the left and right triangles towards the center first, then moving the center triangle in whichever direction you like.


2. Hue/Saturation Correction


1. Vibrance adjustment layer – Vibrance is the primary factor in boosting the saturation of dark hues (muted colors are colors that have been toned down with black, white, or complementary colors). It has a minor impact on colors that are already saturated (also preserves skin tones). Staining a photograph improves its overall intensity by increasing the color saturation. I think this option is a very easy way to change sky color in PhotoshopYou risk cutting the colors and losing information if you use too much.


2. Hue/Saturation adjustment layer – Another favorite tool of mine. You have the option of increasing the saturation worldwide or by selecting the color you want to change. You may also directly click on a color on the image and drag to modify that color. For a more delicate effect, change the mix mode to Soft Light.


3. Selective color adjustment layer – Adjustments can be made in any way you like. The cyan, magenta, yellow, and black values of color can be customized using the drop-down menu. Experiment with the colors to achieve the desired effect.


3. Photo Filter

This is the quickest technique to brighten the sky’s hue and change sky color or replacement. Choose a filter from the drop-down menu after selecting the Photo Filter adjustment layer from the modifications panel.

Warming filters are the most commonly used filters, and there are three varieties with varying degrees of warmth. You can raise the density of the filter after it has been applied, which will improve the saturation of the filter’s color.

To ensure that the brightness is not affected, I always check the box for “Preserve Luminosity.” Mask the foreground if necessary.


4. Use the Gradient Tool

Another fast approach to improve the sky’s hue. It’s akin to using a graduated neutral density filter. Create a new layer before you begin so you don’t apply the modification directly to the image (in the name of non-destructive editing). After selecting the Gradient tool from the Tools panel, make sure that the Linear Gradient and Foreground to Transparent options are selected.

In order to get a straight line from the top of the image to the center, hold down the shift key while clicking and dragging from the top to the bottom. Re-do till you’re happy with the outcome. Set the blend mode to soft light and hide any areas you don’t want to be affected by the effect (foreground or part of the clouds). It’s also possible to lessen the Gradient layer’s opacity.


5. Use the Brush Tool

This is a technique I frequently employ to enhance the color of the sky at sunset very easy to Replace Sky Color in Photoshop. The effect is more subtle in my opinion, and the image appears more natural overall. To improve the sky, you simply paint it with the hue it already has.

There are two hues in the sky in this example: blue and orange from the sun. We’ll work on both of them independently.

To begin, make a new layer. Make sure you’re holding down the Opt/Alt key while you click on the orange hue in a cloud. A new color should be displayed in the tool panel’s foreground (orange in this case). Change the brush size to be somewhat larger than the size of the clouds, set the opacity to 50% (to begin with), and begin painting on the clouds.

In order to achieve the desired effect, adjust the layer’s blend mode to soft light or multiply before reducing its opacity. If you want to experiment with the effect, you can change the mix mode as well. If you don’t think the impression is strong enough, use the brush tool to add extra color to the clouds. To improve the sky’s blue color, repeat the steps.

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6. Luminosity Mask 

This is my preferred way of enhancing the sky’s color. In fact, I routinely employ this technique in my workflow to boost colors selectively.

Check view the Luminosity Masks resource page in the top menu under Articles to learn more about them.

If you already know what a luminosity mask is, go ahead and make yours. Because you want to draw out the beauty of the sky, you’ll want to wear a beautiful mask.

Brights 2 was picked in this case because it chooses the majority of the sky while masking the foreground. This signifies that no adjustments are made to the foreground. Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and increase the image’s global saturation to the maximum, but not to the point of clipping.

The Hue/Saturation adjustment layer’s layer mask should be filled with black. Activate channel 2 by clicking on it. Re-enter the layers panel and select the adjustment layer’s layer mask from the drop-down menu (not the adjustment itself but the layer mask). Set the foreground color to white, the opacity to 50%, the size to large, and the hardness to 0. To see the magic, paint the sky!

Because using a luminosity mask can be a little more complex, I’ve developed a video tutorial to walk you through the process.

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The technique of How to change Sky Color In Photoshop


Step 1: Choose the original photo and copy it

In the beginning, we’ll need to merge both of our images together into one document. For example, if you have both your original photo and the replacement sky shot open in Photoshop, you can simply press Ctrl+A (Windows) or Command+A (Mac) to select the original photo (Mac).

A selection outline will emerge around the edges. To copy a photo to your clipboard, press Ctrl+C (Windows) or Command+C (Mac) on your keyboard after selecting it.


Step 2: In the Sky Photo’s Document, paste the original photo

To insert the original sky photo, open the document that contains the new sky photo and press the Ctrl+V (Windows) or Command+V (Mac) keyboard shortcuts. For example, if we look at the Layers panel, we can see that Photoshop has placed the original photo on its own layer, which is why the sky photo appears to be somewhat obscured in our document window (Layer 2).


Step 3: Make a duplicate of Layer 1

The Advanced Blending sliders in Photoshop, which we’ll use shortly, can pick and hide portions of an image based on their color, so selecting and hiding the blue sky without impacting the green trees should be no problem. The blending sliders won’t just stare up at the sky when we order them to hide blue areas. They’ll scan the entire image and highlight any blue-colored areas. Remember that other hues, particularly gray or white, which contain all colors, may contain blue, so there’s a good probability the sliders may affect other regions of the photo unless we take steps to prevent it, which we’re about to do.

We’ll start by making a copy of our primary image. Make sure that Layer 1 is selected in blue in the Layers window by hitting Ctrl+J (Windows) or Command+J (Mac) (Mac). In the document window, nothing has changed, but in the Layers panel, we can see that we now have a second duplicate of Layer 1.


Step 4: Remove the top layer

Make sure to turn off and hide the top layer (Layer 1 copy) from view by clicking its visibility icon, which is an eyeball, on the layer’s left side.


Step 5: Choose Layer 1 from the drop-down menu

Click on Layer 1 in the Layers panel to make it the active layer once more.


Step 6: Choose a location beneath the sky

Then, below the sky, we’ll draw a selection outline around the photo. Our goal here is to keep Advanced Blending sliders away from this section. If you like, you can utilize Photoshop’s regular Lasso Tool for this. I prefer to use the Polygonal Lasso Tool, which I can get by selecting it by Holding down the mouse button on the Lasso Tool icon in the Tools panel until the fly-out menu opens. Then, from the menu, I’ll select the Polygonal Lasso Tool. 

I’ll select the region I want to secure by clicking around it with the Polygonal Lasso Tool. For the most part, I don’t have to be too picky about where I shoot in the woods as long as I stay below any areas where the blue sky is clearly visible. On the roof, I need to be more precise with my selection only around the chimney’s apex, which is completely open to the sky above. The Advanced Blending sliders will present problems because the tone and color of the chimney and the sky are so similar, so I’ll have to be careful and keep my selection tight around the chimney’s top.

Aside from that, making a decision is a breeze. Everything I wish to keep out of the Advanced Blending sliders is now highlighted:

Step 7. Add A Layer Mask 

Let’s create a layer mask now


 that we’ve located the area we want to keep. You may access the Layer Mask symbol by clicking on it in the Layers window.

On Layer 1, Photoshop creates a new layer mask with a white fill, indicating it should remain visible in the document; whereas the region that was not selected is filled with black, indicating that it should now be concealed from view.

Exactly what we see in the document window is what we expected. The area I chose is still visible, but the area above it has been concealed, displaying the sky shot on the Background layer beneath it.

Step 8: Choose and activate the top layer

To make the top layer (Layer 1 copy) the active layer, click on it, then on its visibility symbol to turn it back on in the document:

In the document window, the complete original photo will reappear:


Step 9: Change the “Blend If” option to blue in the Blending Options

In the Layers panel, double-click on the preview thumbnail of the top layer:

With the middle column chosen, the Layer Style dialog box in Photoshop is opened. What we’re looking for are the two sliders at the bottom of the dialog box in the Advanced Blending section. You may access the Blend If option by placing your cursor over the slider bars and selecting the option that reads Gray. Choose Blue from the list that shows when you click on the word Gray:

Step 10: Move the top right slider to the left

Black-to-blue gradients will appear on the two slider bars when you select Blue as your color preference. The bottom slider bar can be ignored. One of these is the one we’d want to have (the one that says This Layer above it).

Begin dragging the small slider to the left of the top bar, which is located below the far right of the top bar:

As you move the slider, the original sky in the photograph will fade away, revealing the new sky beneath. It’s worth noting that the slider has no effect on the area we specified in Step 6. Drag the slider to the left until the majority of the original sky is gone:


Step 11: To Remove Fringing, Adjust The Transition Between The Photos

Right now, the biggest problem is that leaves from the original sky are visible in the foliage, giving it an unappealing sheen. To correct this, we must smooth the transition between the two photographs, which necessitates splitting the slider in half. 

After a brief pause, release the slider and hit and hold the Alt (Windows) / Option (Mac) key on your keyboard. Return your focus to the slider and drag it to the left while holding down the key. This will split the slider into two halves, which we can now drag independently of one another (at this point, you can let go of your Alt/Option key). By adjusting the distance between the two sections of the slider, we can control the softness of the transition between the original photo and the replacement sky photo in photoshop.

Keep an eye on your image in the document window as you move each half of the slider left or until all fringing around trees and foliage (and anywhere else fringing is visible) is gone.

In order to close the Layer Style dialog box, click OK in the upper right corner. After removing the fringing, here’s the final result:

That’s all there is to it! That’s how to use a basic selection, a layer mask, and Photoshop’s Advanced Blending sliders to easily change the sky in a shot!

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