Photoshop Tutorial: How to Replace a Sky in a Photo

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. If you have
a photo that has a burnt-out sky, I’m going to show you how to replace it with a beautiful,
blue sky with white clouds. This is an update of a tutorial I did on an earlier version of Photoshop. Open a photo that has a sky you’d like to replace. If you’d like to use
this photo, I provided its link in the video’s description or project files. The first step
is to make a selection of the sky, so we can isolate it from the rest of the photo. There
are many ways to make selections, however, for this example, I’ll go to Select and Color
Range. If you’re using this method as well, choose “Sampled Colors”. Make sure “Localized
Color Clusters” is unchecked. The Fuzziness is approximately 95 to 100 and “Selection”
is ticked. In the thumbnail, click on the sky and then press and hold Shift as you click
on other areas of the sky until it’s completely white. Then, click OK. Invert the selection by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + Shift + I. Go to Select and Refine Edge. I did an in-depth
tutorial on Refine Edge, so to save time, I won’t be going over all the details here.
Check Smart Radius and increase the Radius approximately 4 to 5 pixels. Brush over the
edges of your landscape to refine them. Decontaminate the colors approximately 70% and output it as a New Layer with Layer Mask. Then, click OK. Click the box next to the Background to
make the layer visible and click the Layer Mask to make it active. We’ll invert the layer mask by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + I. Click the the thumbnail of the layer to make it active. Click the foreground color to open the Color Picker. In the hexadecimal field, type in:
88B8FF. Then, click OK or press Enter or Return. Your foreground color is now the color we just typed in. We’re going to fill the top layer with the foreground color by pressing Alt or Option + Delete. Make a copy of it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J. In this layer we’re going to make our clouds. Make your foreground and background colors revert back
to its black and white, default colors. To do this, press “D” on your keyboard or click this icon. Go to Filter, Render and Clouds. Change its blend mode to Overlay. In the next few steps, we’re going make the clouds look more like clouds. The first step is to make
them look a bit less feathery by removing the darkest tones of the cloud layer. First,
click the chain-link to unlock the cloud layer and its layer mask. Now, we can move and resize
either of them independently of each other. Double-click the cloud layer to open its Layer Style window. In the “Blend If” section, go to the right half of this slider and press and hold Alt or Option to split the slider into two parts. Drag the
right half of the slider approximately half way across. Doing this removes the darkest
tones, making the clouds look less feathery Click OK to close the window. Next, we’ll stretch out the clouds and place them in perspective. Open your Transform Tool by
pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. At the top, you’ll see the percentages for the Transform’s width
and height. In the Width field, type in 200%. If the Height also changed to 200%, click
on the chain-link to unlock it and type in 100% for the Height. Then, press Enter or
Return. Since the clouds are stretched out 200%, they extend past our visible canvas
on both sides. We’ll crop them off by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + A to select the document and go to Image and Crop. To deselect it, press Ctrl or Cmd + D. Open your Transform Tool
again and zoom out of your document by pressing Ctrl or Cmd plus the minus key on your keyboard a few times. Go to Edit, Transform and Perspective. Go to a top corner and drag it out approximately
this much. Then, press Enter or Return. Open the Transform again and go to the bottom, middle, anchor point. When you see a vertical,double-arrow, drag it up to where your landscape
and sky meet. Press Enter or Return and fit it back on your canvas. Next, we’ll make our sky bluer at the top. Click the New Layer icon to make a new layer. Go to any layer mask and press and hold Alt or Option as you drag a copy of it next to the empty layer.
Make the empty layer active and change its blend mode to Overlay. Open your Gradient Tool and open your Gradient Picker. Click the Black to Transparent gradient and click the Linear gradient icon. Go to the top of your document and press and hold Shift as
you drag the gradient line approximately halfway down your document. Then, release. Since skies are generally less blue at its horizon, we’ll lighten our sky, as well. Make the blue layer active. Open your Dodge Tool and invert your foreground and background colors by pressing “x” on your keyboard. Open your Brush Picker and type in a relatively large size for your
Dodge Tool. I’ll use a size of 200 pixels. Make the Hardness: 0%. For the Range, choose
Mid-tones and the Exposure is 100%. Brush and back and forth over the horizon to lighten the blue. As I toggle back and forth, you can see the difference. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  1. Here Comes Sessions February 18, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    another great one. I already knew this technique and I still learned something.

  2. Jay Clinton February 18, 2015 at 11:56 pm


  3. AC MC February 18, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Great tutorial!

  4. Charles A. Ragucci February 19, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Hey Marty! Very helpful thanks again

  5. Kabyl February 19, 2015 at 1:20 am

    Love it thank you man

  6. Ger Prz February 19, 2015 at 1:23 am


  7. Flipper February 19, 2015 at 1:30 am

    Can always rely on Marty from blue lightening for a top notch useful tutorial

  8. Gasso Desec February 19, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Is there an Adobe Illustrator equivalent to what Marty does with Ps? 

  9. Dante Sparda February 19, 2015 at 2:12 am

    Love it thx:-)

  10. Kenza Sanchez February 19, 2015 at 3:34 am

    You're awesome !

  11. Xiomara Moreno February 19, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Excelente tutorial, y mejor aun que tiene la tradución al Español, ..saludos cordiales

  12. Abruuh_Ham February 19, 2015 at 6:08 am

    Hey everyone! I've been following Marty for a while now and he's inspired me to create my own tutorials on YouTube albeit there not as good as his, but it would be awesome if you could check out my first tutorial! And another great tutorial Marty! I can't wait for more this year!(:

  13. John Finn February 19, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Another excellent tutorial – straight and to the point and no waffle. Thank you and keep 'em coming!  

  14. Bill A February 19, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Thanks Marty…Great tutorial…

  15. Umar Khan February 19, 2015 at 10:36 am

    how to make wooden youtube icon

  16. Jai Sharma February 19, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Great tutorial as always 🙂

  17. Thinhle February 19, 2015 at 2:17 pm


  18. Robert Kaczmarski February 19, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Love it ! Thanks!

  19. athtut1 February 19, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    thank you for excellence tutorial.  

  20. Sam February 19, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Great tips! Finally i understand how to use cloud filter 🙂 tnx

  21. shervin azizi February 20, 2015 at 8:21 am

    very good, thank you

  22. jdbarua February 20, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Another excellent tutorial Marty! It's really helpful. Thanx

  23. David Croft February 20, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Once again, an excellent tutorial. You have that type of voice that is great for this type of work. Please keep sending out your brilliant ideas. Thank you.

  24. Aurelio paco,jr February 21, 2015 at 9:03 am


  25. Ador Castro February 21, 2015 at 10:43 am

    You are such a great person sharing your knowledge.

  26. -0975- February 21, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Thx! 🙂

  27. daorma February 24, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Awesome job.

  28. Ernest2504 February 24, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    you are the best 🙂

  29. Empty Space February 25, 2015 at 6:25 am

    Awesome, thank you!

  30. unknown dude February 26, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Marty you're without a doubt the best at PS anyway I have a request , can you make a tutorial about turning a person's photo to a caricature ?

  31. GUS750 February 27, 2015 at 5:25 am


  32. Lenmil February 28, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Fantastic as always. Thanks for sharing.

  33. Marija Sudarevic February 28, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    WOW, this is perfect.

  34. Scott Plumer March 5, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Another home run!

  35. rtmirt46 March 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Awesome Mr. M. You are a PS genius.

  36. roy thomas March 11, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Can u do a tutorial on Face swapping plz

  37. Rob Millward May 19, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Pure awesome ty!

  38. Megan .Phillips August 4, 2015 at 3:39 am

    Could you make a tutorial for replacing the sky with a space scene? Please and thanks, love your videos!

  39. Warren Lassabe September 1, 2015 at 3:16 am

    A killer tutorial. Great job Marty ( as usual ).

  40. Fitz Johnson September 14, 2015 at 5:29 am

    I finally had a reason to use this, so I had to come back and view it. Thank you!

  41. Mustafa Kamal September 25, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Love it and well presented

  42. enigmaticCypher September 25, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    I dont have refine edge option (in cs8) what could i do.. I'd be very glad if u dont mind suggesting me ..dude……….

  43. Steve Townsend October 7, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Excellent clear tutorial again! Thank you for sharing

  44. Yekaterina Rabczynski October 14, 2015 at 11:27 am

    thank you. thats what i was searching for

  45. Justinas Žilionis October 17, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Super technique 🙂 I love it 🙂

  46. Suzanne Krouse October 25, 2015 at 4:15 am

    Great tutorial!!!! thanks 🙂

  47. Rafiz Gasimov December 11, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    heyy thank youu

  48. Max February 4, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Great tutorial thank you

  49. TheZombieElmo February 24, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Ha! Think I need a lot more practice.

    My image looked like this after your tutorial 😀

  50. Ye Nay Linn February 27, 2016 at 2:09 am

    love it

  51. Allie Cheung April 9, 2016 at 11:23 am

    love it~ thank you~

  52. Tom Jackson April 14, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Thank you very much…

  53. MGstaR17 June 10, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Very nice tutorial, now I could add nicer skies to my photos. 🙂

  54. Gaming Jojo June 15, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    thank you 🙂

  55. Island Homes TV June 22, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    NIce tutorial, however, I can't find any tutorials on how to make a blue sky when there is a lot of other white in the photo. Any ideas where to look?

  56. Image BLOGGER July 24, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    You Marty are the bomb. You have taught me sooo much. I appreciate you and you'll be pleased to know I put your lessons to practical usage. Thank you and hugs, Mal

  57. imafishtank August 25, 2016 at 6:11 am

    Thank you!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!! I had watched a couple of other videos that didn't really help me, but this video SO did!!!

  58. schumifan78 September 13, 2016 at 2:13 am

    Great tutorial, perfect.

  59. Christopher Iuliano October 19, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I'd love to see someone try to mask in a sky on this image:[email protected]/shares/0uB8K3

  60. shoaib khan October 25, 2016 at 8:27 am

    i love your work ^_^

  61. Chris C. November 1, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Best robot voice ever. Thanks for the video

  62. Mr Digital November 21, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Great tutorial mate! Thanks

  63. Chele Kong December 1, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    There is no more refine edge option in PS — it's gone. — CC 2015.5

  64. Zoe Anne Gouriet December 6, 2016 at 7:29 am

    This is incredibly good!

  65. Kaki Mod December 16, 2016 at 4:21 am

    Very very good tutorial. Subscribed!

  66. Sandram Pillay December 18, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Seems very good. Will be trying this out.

  67. Joseph Cooper December 24, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Great tutorial. I was using another method, but will add this option to my tool box 🙂

  68. Sabrija VucInc January 1, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    This is the tutorial.Watch and learn.Quick,compressed,informative,clear delivery.Great job man.

  69. Jan Shanhun March 4, 2017 at 3:08 am

    The best video tutorial I have struck. Most speak so quickly making so many assumptions about what the viewer must already know and it's impossible to pick up the step by steps. Marty is very clear and concise telling why you must do things as he goes plus giving the shortcuts. I'm going to practise this way in future! Thank-you Marty

  70. Jan Shanhun March 4, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Marty what about adding in your own?

  71. Shahid Khan Sk March 9, 2017 at 11:37 am

    editor name ?

  72. naybi1 March 11, 2017 at 5:59 am

    Could you please do the same tutorial in Photoshop CC 2015.5?

  73. badugu srinivas March 15, 2017 at 10:23 am

    I want ur email to contact

  74. Will P April 19, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Thank you very much , very thorough and accurate

  75. Thuỷ Mai April 20, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Thank a lot, Mr. Marty. I am now waiting for how to replace a current sky with a custom sky.

  76. Chris Ollie June 20, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Very Awesome tutorial there. Thank you for your help and caring and sharing.

  77. Darren Trentacosta August 23, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Always the best tutorials out there, thanks Marty!

  78. Ganesh Thota December 15, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Tnq very useful

  79. Darío Carballo Jeifetz February 3, 2018 at 12:58 am

    amazing. very clear explanations

  80. Vee Nabs February 24, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    TOO COMPLICATED for me! 🙁

  81. Sisomphou Viravong March 28, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Excellent clear tutorial again! Thank you for sharing.

  82. Jasper Martin April 16, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    All these steps just to turn a sky blue?

  83. Aqib ishfaq June 12, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    How to change background if you know please tell us

  84. General G. Wolf July 14, 2018 at 11:52 am

    I don't have the clouds option in my Photoshop, is there a substitute I could use?

  85. Kanishk Shirke August 15, 2018 at 4:33 am

    Good video. Can u tell me how to make the sky light grey?

  86. Robert Schulz December 11, 2018 at 7:09 am

    The tree on the far left still needs some attention.

  87. Sue TV March 25, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Wonderful. I did it just following along! Thanks a lot!

  88. madnessofmymind July 22, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    not working. it's only selecting the bottom of the image i'm using. tried 5 times and NOT working.

  89. isabel lopez August 19, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Stumbled on this today and plan to check out more of your videos. Marty you should do a video on HOW to make a video tutorial. The clearest, concise, detailed explanations on YOUTUBE. THANKS!

  90. Allan Willis August 30, 2019 at 5:39 am

    Thanks, best tutorial for this I've seen

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