How to Replace the Skies in a Photo with Photoshop Elements 14

On this video Bob Gager, Group Product Manager for Photoshop Elements, demonstrates how to replace a boring skies in a photo with a more interesting ones using Adobe Photoshop Elements.

This video takes a step by step approach to switching the skies from a photo and bringing in a better looking skies from another photo and making them look as if they belong to the first image.

To pull this off we first bring into the original image a photo of skies that you want to add (maybe from a different image you have taken). You need to make sure that it is at the right size (Gager shows how to make it smaller and larger). Now you want to make the clouds to be behind the original image, so double click the original image layer on the right side and make it into a regular layer (instead of a background and locked layer) and move the new clouds layer below it).

At this point you can erase the sky part of the original image to show the lower clouds layer from behind the main layer – but this is considered destructive – a better and more powerful way is to use a layer mask. With layer mask you can show or hide any part of the image – just select the area that you want to switch and press alt/option key and add a mask and the area you selected will turn black and now you see the layer below.

Finally you can fix the lighting of the skies to make them look more natural. You can use an adjustment level of levels and play with the blacks, midtones and whites until you can adjust your image to the level that you want.

If you are ready to move into the more advanced (full version of) Photoshop – we have quite a few videos on 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“.

You can find more Photoshop Elements guides on our dedicated photo editing section on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.


  1. I had a hard time with this. I did it once, but the second time I could not. It would not allow me to resize the cloud picture. Then it said my photos were locked. Then I gave up. Do you have any suggstions. I watched video about 15 times

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