Replace a Sky - car photography

How to Replace a Sky in 2 Simple Steps

You just finished shooting your dream car, you come back home, look at your shots and realize the sky is blown out in all of your shots. How disappointing is that?? Shots with a blown out sky just scream out boooooring!


So of course, the only thing you can do is replace the sky in photoshop with another sky to actually show some clouds instead of having just a plain white/blueish sky. Luckily for you I have written this sky replacement tutorial to show you how you can easily change the sky in 2 simple steps! Yes, it really is that easy.


What you need:

  • Your shot (I will be using this sick shot by Axion23 on Flickr)
    How To Replace a Sky in 2 Simple Steps
  • A picture of a nice sky (this is why I keep a folder of skies and you should too)


Step 1:

Open your shot in a Photoshop and then just paste the sky image in a layer above your original shot.
Right click on the sky layer and click Blending Options to open the Layer Style box
How to Replace a Sky in 2 Simple Steps


Step 2:

When you first open the Layer Style box, on the very bottom you will see the Blend If section.
Now you want to take the slider where it says Underlying Layer and drag it to the right which will reveal everything on your original shot except for the light areas like the blown out sky
If you’re not satisfied with the result, you can make the trasition even smoother. The slider is actually 2 smaller sliders in one. You need to grab the slider that’s to the right by holding down Alt and then just drag it to the right seperating the 2 small sliders until you’re satisfied with the result (show below).
How to Replace a Sky in 2 Simple Steps
Here is how mine looked after doing the Blend If adjustments, as you can tell it is not anywhere near perfect. You can still see some clouds on the water, that’s because the colors are similar in the water and the old sky.
How to Replace a Sky in 2 Simple Steps
We don’t want it to look like that so what you’ll have to do is just erase the parts that you would like to remove.
Here is the before and after (make sure to use the slider to see both of them):

Problems and how to fix them:

Haloing around trees – You can fix this by taking the burn tool and going around the edges too get rid of the haloing
Blended wrong – If there are some parts of your image that were blended wrong then you can add a Layer Mask and simply just brush over the parts that you want to get rid of. Or just use the eraser.
Sky not matching – If your sky looks out of place then you’ll have to mess with the Curves adjustment or any other adjustment you see fit.


If you found this useful or need help please comment below and share with your friends who might find it useful as well. I encourage you to try this out and then post the before/after in the comments below!


Feature image credit: Axion23


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