Let’s talk about sky replacement. Love it or hate it, you can’t predict the weather, and I for one wont let the elements ruin a nice shot. This photo of Canberra’s Parliament house is a good example of blending a vibrant sky into an otherwise average image.
These three base images I used to create the final piece. Image 1 was used for the foreground and initial sky, while image 2 was only used for the orange glow of lights coming from the building. The final image was obviously the origin of the sky - the original image was from Bali in 2016.
The initial blend of the first two images above. Image 1 was adjusted with tweaks to exposure, shadows/highlights, levels, curves, and vibrance/saturation in both Capture One and Photoshop. Dust and anything I didn’t like was removed prior to blending. Following that, the second image was blended over top using the lighten mode, and a low flow brush in Photoshop.
The sky blend. To achieve this I created a (blue) channel mask of the background image (initial blend) in Photoshop. Using that I was mostly able to only select the ugly blue sky I wanted to replace; however, after pasting in the new sky, it created very harsh edges around the building. To fix this I created a blank mask and used another brush to smooth out the blending. Finally, in order to bring the image truly together I further adjusted colour and contrast to match the fore- and backgrounds.
Let me know what you think. Want a step by step video on how this was done? DM me and I’ll think about doing a full tutorial :)