Quick Cloud Replacement Therapy Online PhotoShop Tutorial

We’ve all taken photographs with dull and uninspired skies. This tip describes a subtle technique that goes beyond cutting and replacing. I’ve chosen a typical vacation picture that is in need of my cloud replacement therapy. In this tutorial I’ve used on of the cloud formations from my Cloud & Sunset CD. STEP 1 Open your image and select the sky with the magic wand, pen tool, or lasso. It’s your choice. Due to the simple lines in the photograph below, I chose the pen tool. You might need this selection a second time so it’s a good idea to save it. With the selected area complete, click on the Path tab. Then click on the Work Path icon and pull down the black triangle to Save Path. Name the path; Sky. Before you leave the Path palette, pull down the black triangle again to Make Selection. Set the Feather to 0.

STEP 2 Open a replacement sky image and copy it (be sure to Select All then copy).

STEP 3 Click on your original photo to activate the window. Your sky area should be still selected. Under Edit, choose Paste Into. You’ll notice a mask was created and your new sky is in place.

STEP 4 Activate the cloud layer, not the mask, by clicking on the cloud image in layer 1 in the Layers Palette. Now with the Selection arrow you can position your replacement sky to your liking, You can also scale the sky by using Edit>Transform>Scale. Here, I raised the clouds and compressed them. Press Return or Enter to complete the transformation.
STEP 5 The last step is crucial and is a good trick to remember. To make the new sky blend into our original image we are going to fade the sky at the horizon. Go back to the Paths tab on the Layer Palette and reselect your “Sky” path. Under the black triangle, choose Make Selection. Go back to the Layers tab and click on the black and white mask. Make your background and foreground colors black and white by clicking on the black & white icon at the bottom of the tools palette. Choose the gradient tool from the Tools Palette. Now you’re ready. With the cursor drag from the horizon line up. If done properly, the new sky will fade into the old sky.
The final product after only a couple minutes of work. Don’t forget, it’s Cloud Repacement Therapy.
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