The Soft Light Sky Replacement Technique

On my way out to Kansas City the other night, I was praying for a beautiful sunset.  I would venture to say that’s what most of us do when we take the time to go out with our cameras.   To my surprise when I got there I did have some beautiful clouds, but they were on the other side of the city!

I, however, wasn’t too concerned about their position because I knew I could move them with my powers of telepathy, ermm, I mean Photoshop 🙂

In today’s tutorial, I am going to show you how to use the clouds from one image and put them into the image where they should have been.  It is a pretty simple task.  This tutorial will show you in under 7 minutes!

Things to consider with this technique:

  1. Your  Primary image has to have some detail in the sky or color. A dull white dull blown out sky will not work for this one.
  2. Try to use clouds that match the time of day of your image.  These clouds came from the same night, so they are much more believable.
  3. Photograph skies often.  Even if you don’t have a decent foreground, just grab those skies.  They can be used on other photos at any time!
  4. The mask doesn’t have to be perfect.  Seriously, the Soft Light Blend Mode will make most things believable.  It is very forgiving in this technique.

Get the Practice Images Blake discussed in this tutorial.

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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