How to Recreate a Blue Sky in Photoshop

March 7, 2013

in Before & After, Photography Tutorials, Photoshop

How To Add Blue Sky in Photoshop | Photo Editing Tutorial via

This week,  Mary Nichols Photography is teaching how to recreate a blue sky in a photo with an overexposed or overcast sky in this before & after photo editing tutorial.

Blue skies may be pretty but at times they can seem so elusive. If you work in natural light, properly exposing for your subject can sometimes mean overexposing and, therefore, sacrificing those pretty skies. Another situation may be that you live in an area like I do where grey and overcast skies are in the forecast far too often.

I am going to show you in some very simple steps one way to recreate blue skies in your photos when they are blown out or lacking.

“Before” Photo


Step One: Place Sky Image on Your Photo

First I open the photo I want to edit in Photoshop as well as the sky image I will be using. This particular sky image is one from a series of photos I took on a rare sunny winter day and saved for this purpose.  With the sky photo selected, navigate to the top menu bar and click Window>Arrange> and scroll down to Float in Window.

I Heart Faces Photo Editing Tutorial

Next place your move tool over your sky photo. Click and drag your sky photo over to the image you want to edit and drop it on by releasing your mouse.

I Heart Faces Photo Editing Tutorial 

Now you can re-size and adjust your sky image to fit in the area where you want your sky to appear by using the move tool. Be sure the box “Show Transform Controls” is checked so you can make your adjustments.

I Heart Faces Photo Editing Tutorial 

When you are adjusting the size of your sky image also make sure it is slightly past the horizon line. Click the move tool again and a little box will appear. Click “Apply Transformation.”

I Heart Faces Photo Editing Tutorial

Step 2 : Blend the Horizon

First, lower the opacity of your sky layer so you can see where the sky will meet the horizon line.

I Heart Faces Photo Editing Tutorial 

Now take your eraser tool using a lower opacity and 0% hardness and erase along the horizon line. This may take you a few tries to get the opacity setting just right. I normally prefer to use a lower setting and go over the area a couple of times if needed with the eraser tool to blend things well. In this case my opacity stayed around 70%. You may also want to zoom in on your image while editing by using the magnifying glass tool.

I Heart Faces Photo Editing Tutorial

I Heart Faces Photo Editing Tutorial

I Heart Faces Photo Editing Tutorial 

Once you feel you are happy with your horizon line you can then go back and increase the opacity of your sky to your liking.

Step 3: Process and Save

Once I have finished these steps I then apply my signature processing and save my finished image.

 “After” Photo

I Heart Faces Photo Editing Tutorial

So there you have it. A little trick on how to get those fabulous blue skies when there are none!

Mary Nichols Photography

A fun loving mom of two little boys, Mary Nichols is a Natural Light Boutique Photographer Located in the Syracuse NY area who loves to create. You can follow her most recent work on Facebook.

We truly appreciate all of the photographers who volunteer their time and talents with our I Heart Faces community! If you have a photography tutorial that you would like to share here, please contact us for more information.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shayla K. March 7, 2013

It’s much easier to use a layer mask so you’re not actually erasing anything. It’s less stress, especially if you’re a little dingy like me and tend to get shaky. Add a layer mask and then paint with a brush set to black, voila! If you make a mistake just paint over it with white and try again.


Abigail@Scrapbookista March 7, 2013

Wow! That WAS easy! Thanks for sharing!!!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: