In practice

Photoshop CC2021 : sky replacement

Announced in late summer 2020, the sky replacement feature is available in Photoshop version CC2021. A little wary about its effectiveness, I tested it with a reportage image, a real image. The result is quite impressive.

However when I discovered the video below last September, I said to myself “Ok, it is very nice in video but how will this feature behave with real images?”

Adobe overview video

So I took a reportage photo that I’m currently working on from my image library. This is a report on the profession of tugboats / repairmen produced under the white skies of the French autumn.

Here is the initial image:

Original image with a sad white sky

You would agree the sky is sadly white, desperately white … To remedy this, I follow the steps of the previous video. I open my image in Photoshop, and I choose Edit> Sky replacement.

A window opens allowing me to choose the settings I want to apply to the substitution sky and the original image. By checking the Preview box at the bottom left, the result is immediately visible in the initial image:

600Sky and foreground elements adjustment window

Obviously several skies are available and it is possible to import personal images:

Selecting the fill image for the sky

Among the possible options it is possible to change the size of the sky, to move it, to change its brightness, to modify the temperature of the sky and to flip it. These various adjustments are reflected in the original image in order to match the tint of the sky as well as that of the ground. in a few clicks it is possible to obtain quite spectacular results.

Finally, the big positive point of this feature is that it creates layers on the original image allowing you to control everything finely in a second step and to apply the effect several times if you need to make tests.

The modifications are organized in the form of groups of layers

Obviously all this is not magic, especially in the case of my image in which there is a lot of reflective surface such as puddles or windshields on which it would be necessary to linger to increase the coherence of the image final but all in all this addition easily makes it possible to improve somewhat bland images if the weather was not on your side when shooting.

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Nicolas Beaumont un photoreporter, réalisateur et rédacteur spécialisé dans la photographie sociale et humanitaire. La Croix-Rouge française, Emmaüs, Handicap International, Secours Mag, Dimatex et Actusoins comptent parmi nos clients. Nous réalisons films, photographies et articles à travers le monde sur des sujets d’actualité : migration, guerre, déplacé, catastrophe naturelle, inondation etc…

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