A sky is one of the most important parts of an outdoor and landscape photo. Sometimes we get really lucky with a magical sky filling the entire width of the photo. And sometimes we don’t.
In this tutorial, we’re going to take a look at how we can use Photoshop to take an already great looking sky (but maybe lacking in one area) and extend or expand it so it fills the frame and makes more impact.
Excellent Video ! Thank you
Hi Matt, super video, I just started the PS course. I am watching the whole course now just to get a feel for it. When I get back home I will start over and work on each lesson from start to finish. I have two monitors, one old one and one fairly new one. I think I will find it much easier to follow along while practicing the lessons. Thanks so very much for all you do for your followers. BTW the the Bird Photography Course is great and I will be referring to it often as I will the PS course until I can do most of it without worrying about what to do while out in the field or editing.
I saw this before, but I really needed to refresh my memory. Thanks.
Happy New Year!
Matt, What would be the difference b/wn doing using the Lasso then Free Transform to stretchthe sky you showed vs selecting an area of sky and then doing a Content Aware Scale?
Hi Rob. Just Two different ways of doing the same thing. Both would look different and there’s not really a right way other than what looks good to you.
Matt, What’s the difference between Select>Modify>Feather after making your selection or just setting the selection tool’s feather property to 50px before making the selection?
Hi David. Nothing. Just two different ways to do the same thing.
You’ve explained this so very well Matt – When capturing skies for future use, what is the best “general” focal
distance for use in landscapes. Thanks Matt
Hi Joseph. I use f/16 and focus on the foreground and everything will be acceptably in focus.
I’ve used the textures and love them and am anxiously waiting to complete my order for the skies.
would changing the blend mode have helped with the last example (the “difficult” one) rather than blend if?
Hi Keith. Not really but it’s always worth a try as it’ll work different on every photo depending on sky and foreground.
Hi Matt: I really enjoyed this video especially because it was clear and well explained (for us non techies). I was wondering if you have a video on how to change the background of a photo to black. Sounds like it should be simple and I have tried a few ways seen on tutorials, videos, etc. but they are often complicated and take forever. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. I have LR, LR Classic and PS so anyone of these. I see many nice photos with the black background and am so frustrated bc I can’t seem to do it (not well anyway).
Hi Susan. I don’t. I will offer that changing any background is extremely difficult and probably one of the hardest things I ever do in PS. Good luck
I only have PHotoshop Elements. Do any of your products work with that/
Hi Jan. No, I don’t have any products that work with Elements.
Thanks much for the tutorial, Matt. It’s great that you make learning this stuff so easy.
Super great tip, Matt, thank you! The results give a pleasing impression of a long exposure. Also, the technique really improves the appearance of “messy” clouds — those that look like a trashcan was dumped across the sky. Looking forward to trying it!
I have a question for Customer Appreciation Week (sorry to be a few days early):
What’s the quickest, easiest way to upload photos from Lightroom Classic to my portfolio in Adobe Portfolio? I’m finding this process to be confusing and tedious. I have your Lightroom and Photoshop courses and perhaps your updates next week will answer this question.
Nice shot from Look Rock!
Your video is extreme;y good!
Have a Lightroom question about adding to my catalogue. Recently, I purchased a small footprint 5TB drive and decided to move my photos to this drive which also includes my Lightroom program/catalogue/backups. First, I used Chronosync to copy all the photo and Lightroom files to this drive. My photos are organized under a master subdirectory (0 Photos) and then under that a series of subject area subdirectories (2 Trips, 3 Track & Field, 4 Washington,…) and in turn subdirectories under each which are date-based (e.g., 2013 12 Morocco). I opened the catalogue and assigned it to this drive. I then started “adding” via import to their current location each of the subdirectories. At first, many were added but others did not import via the import function even though they reside on the drive. I got the message that there were no photos to import despite the reality they are there. What am I doing wrong and how can I get all of my photos to be included on the LR catalogue?
Hi Lawrie – that’s a tough one to troubleshoot via comments on a blog. I can’t think of a reason that they won’t get imported other than they’re already in there. But unfortunately, there’s not much I can do to troubleshoot that one. Sorry about that.
Nice tutorial! With regard to the transform tool, by enlarging the selection to cover a greater area; i.e., stretching a small area of the sky across the frame, is Photoshop re-sizing the selection to match the native resolution of the original file for that area- adding more pixels?
Hi. It’s most certainly adding pixels. But it’s a negligible size increase. And it’s not a detailed area. It’s the sky, so nobody would be able to tell.
Does this approach work any differently (or, better) with Content Aware Scale?
Hi… It does. I like it better, but it’s always good to give both a try if you know how to use it and compare your results.
I like this Matt…especially adding the blend if option….I didn’t think of that, thanks…!!!
Do you have a good resource for “sky’s”…I like to have a decent sky library as options to ad to my photos when needed. I did a quick search but I’m not seeing anything very good.
Thanks Matt – keep up the great work.
Hi. Thanks, glad you liked it. I just shoot great looking skies whenever I see them and keep ’em in a folder on my computer.
I select images with great skies in Lightroom and give them a keyword of “sky replacement”. I then set up a Smart Collection using that keyword phrase and any new images given that keyword automatically are added to the collection.
very much enjoyed this video, i shoot a lot of sky and this helps with improving on mother nature. Do these techniques affect print quality, I am inclined to think yes ..?
There’s really not much “quality” that you’d get from a sky. It would be like trying to keep the ocean sharp in the distance of a photo. It’s not detail that is crucial or detectable in the photo, so it’ll look just fine 🙂
super tuto ! beautiful effects