More sky tricks
In yesterday’s post Fix up washed out skies I showed you some simple techniques for adding some blue to gray or white skies. But sometimes even when you have a blue sky it’s still boring. Clouds would be nice but it’s tricky to add clouds and have them look real. What better way to punch up a picture that to add a real sky from another picture. When you see a cool sky take a few pictures of just the sky and save them for another time.
I shot this sky picture in 2002
So, if I have a picture that needs a better sky, I have one handy. Consider this
There are two ways to combine these pictures. Open them both in PSE or you favorite photo editor. Use the magic wand or lasso tool to select just the sky. Then choose Select Inverse so you now have the skyline selected. Right click and choose Layer via Cut. You’ll end up with something like this
Now you can go one of two ways. You can paste the sky into the background of this picture. Switch to the sky picture, Select All, then copy. Come back to the skyline picture, make sure the Background layer is highlighted and Choose Edit, Paste. Your layer palette will look like this. You can delete the Background Layer.
Your picture will be like this
Or, you can go the other way – pasting the skyline into the sky picture. Highlight the the top layer with the skyline and choose Select All, then Copy. Go to the sky picture and Paste. Your layer palette will look like this.
After the Paste you can use the Move tool to move the skyline around a bit. Your photo should look like this
Pretty much the same result but if you look closely at the top of the Sears Tower you’ll see that in the second picture the cloud line is a little higher than in the first example.
Or maybe you’ve got a picture of a helicopter or plane in a neat sky that you want to add to a picture such as this one. I shot a helicopter downtown last year while they were filming transformers. It’s not very interesting all by itself.
But using the same techniques we just covered I got this
So that’s it for today. Remember to shoot a few cool sky pictures when you get the chance and use them later when Mother Nature has dealt you boring skies.
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