How to Create a Dramatic Sky in Photoshop

On this video tutorial Aaron Nace from Phlearn demonstrates how to make the sky in an image look more dramatic with the help of some tools in Photoshop.

The first step is going to be to select only the skies. Load the selection in a Group Layer Mask and add a layer mask to create a selection of just the sky.

Nace starts by enhancing the dark areas of the sky. He creates a new layer inside the group with the sky layer mask and select black as the foreground color and uses a large soft-edged brush to paint over the dark areas in the sky.

The next step will be to open the Blending Options for the Layer by going to ‘Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options.’ and than change the blending mode to either ‘Multiply,’ ‘Soft Light’ or ‘Overlay’. You will also need to change the  sliders labelled ‘Blend If’ at the bottom of the Blending Options Panel Hold ALT (PC) or OPTN (MAC) and click on the white arrow on the right-hand side of the slider and drag to the left. This will separate out the two end points and allow for a smoother transition. By sliding the arrows from the right side, you are telling Photoshop to make this layer invisible where the underlying layer is lighter.

You will need to paint white over the light areas in the sky and changing the blending mode to Soft Light, Overlay, or Screen and click on the black arrows on the left-hand side of the Underlying Layer slider in the Blend If the screen and drag the arrow to the right. You can do the same thing with color – just do the same thing, only paint with color instead of black and white – really simple.

We have looked at many ways of replacing skies in Photoshop as well as fixing and improving different problems with skies including: “How to Add a New Sky in Photoshop in Under 1 Min” “How To Do a Quick Sky Replacements In Photoshop“, “How to Fix a Smudgy Sky in Photoshop“, “Fixing the Sky with the Patch Tool in Photoshop“, “How to Replace a Skyline in Photoshop” and “How to Replace the Sky in Photoshop“ as well as “Add Clouds to the Sky in Your Photos in Photoshop“.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section (and you can find a lot more Phlearn videos on our special Phlearn subsection).

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