Customized Sky Replacement


Today’s Question: Can you add your own sky photos to the sky replacement panel in Photoshop?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can add your own images to use as replacement skies with the impressive Sky Replacement feature in Photoshop.

More Detail: The relatively new Sky Replacement feature is related to the also new Select Sky command. Both use sophisticated technology to identify the specific area of a photo that represents the sky. In the case of the Sky Replacement feature you can then select a sky to put in the place of the sky in the image you’re working on.

For example, you could take a photo with a rather drab sky and replace it with a clear blue sky or a sky featuring a beautiful sunset. There are a variety of sky images included with the Sky Replacement feature, which you can choose from as replacements for the sky in the image you’re working on.

In addition, you can add your own sky image to the Sky Replacement feature, so that you can create a composite image from source photos that are all your own.

Start by opening an image with a sky you want to replace, and then choose Edit > Sky Replacement from the menu. Click the Sky popup, where you’ll be able to see the various sky images that are included with Photoshop by default.

To add your own sky image, click the Create New Sky button (the plus icon within a square) at the bottom-right of the popup. In the dialog that appears, navigate to the folder that contains the sky you want to use, select the sky image, and click the Open button.

You can then adjust the other settings for blending the replacement sky into the existing image and click the OK to apply the change. A series of new layers will be added within a “Sky Replacement Group” layer group, representing the updates applied in order to replace the sky. My experience has been that this feature provides very impressive results, for situations where you’d like to replace the sky in a photo.