It's been ages since I started using photoshop, and I have edited thousands of images using the software. I definitely did sky replacement in landscape photography most of the time, but people still lack the skill and require some time to understand a genuine image. In order to perform a great photoshop sky replacement, you need to understand two things: 

  • Lightning conditions
  • Shadows and coloring

With these two things in order, you can perform almost any kind of sky replacement because only then will you be ready to understand what you need to do.

Usually, people replace blown-out skies in their landscape photos because they want to get rid of the overexposed environment or bring more colors to the top. This photoshop sky replacement is performed because of creating an environment that is pleasing to the eye and sparks an awe-inspiring feeling.

How to do sky replacement in Photoshop?

Genuinely, when you replace a sky, people tend to question your photography skills, and professional artists themselves actually raise this phenomenon. To be honest, this is something that shouldn't be judged as editing in itself is an artist's crib.

Photoshop Sky Replacement - The Manual Method

Here's how you can do a sky replacement in photoshop;

Step #1

Press CTRL + J to make a copy of the background layer to help you see the before and after results more clearly and turn off the background layer. This technique works really well with images with blue flat skies because we will use the blue color to extract or hide the sky from the image.

Step #2

Double click the layer style, and another dialog box will come up. Inside the box, there is a section called 'Blend If'. Now you have to remove the blues from the highlights by using 'Blend If'. Select the blues channel and shift the below layer from right to left to remove blues from the highlights, and instantly the sky will be removed.

HOLD ALT and click on the slider to break it into two parts and adjust accordingly to soften the transition.

Step #3

Now let's bring in the new sky that we want to replace, drag the image and drop it in photoshop on the document. 

Hold SHIFT and ALT together to adjust the scale and spread it on all of the pictures until it completely covers the first image. Now put the background layer behind sky layer. If other areas become transparent, try making another background layer copy and shifting it above the sky layer.

Hold the ALT key again and click on the mask button. Now simply take the brush and start filling in with white. Start the painting process, and it will start to bring forth the original image in place.

Step #4

Hold the ALT key again and click on the mask button. Now simply take the brush and start filling in with white. Start the painting process, and it will start to bring forth the original image in place. 

Photoshop Sky Replacement

Quick tip: If it is a straight line, you can simply paint on one end, hold the shift key, and paint it on the other end. It will automatically fill in the whole line. 

If you want to get more kind of natural results, you can simply open up the 'Blend if' dialogue box again and play with the scale to get the perfect results.

This manual method is very simple and effective, although, in 2021, Adobe developers introduced a sky replacement feature to conduct these editing patterns properly. 

Photoshop Sky Replacement - New Feature Update

This feature is a sure-shot win for beginners. Photoshop sky replacement feature can be a simple and easy-to-use tool that only utilizes presets with (dot sky) extension at the end.

Here's how you can find the feature and use it to your advantage:

Step #1

Go to Edit and click on 'Sky Replacement', click on the dropdown to choose the skies, click on the gear/setting button, and select get more skies. This will open a webpage that contains additional sky images or presets that you can use as your sky replacement image.

Once the images are downloaded, again click on the dropdown in Sky replacement> Setting Button> Import Skies > From Sky presets. Select the presets and click on open.

photoshop sky replacement

Step #2

If you want to use your own images, first, you need to convert them into dot sky extension. In order to do that, click on the plus button, select the image you want to use, and press open. 

Now select all of the images and again click the setting icon and click on 'export select skies' and click on save.

sky replacement in photoshop

Step #3

Click on the sky image that you want to use and play with the settings a bit. For example, If the replacement does not match that well, you have to work with the lighting adjustment or color adjustment scale. 

If there are any other matching problems, try the 'shift edge' option to merge the two images beautifully.


At first, it might sound a bit difficult to change the whole sky with supreme perfection, but generally, it is a piece of cake if you put your mind to it. It could be done using manual adjustment color palettes with highlights and adding an image or by using the new photoshop sky replacement feature introduced by Adobe.

Both of these methods are provided above, which include even some short quick tips to help you get things in order quickly. Try these methods to get a good practice session in place.

Also read: How to Photoshop A Picture 2024 | Everything You Need to Know


Q1: How can I import my own replacement images?

Ans: Open the sky replacement feature, click on the plus button, and select preferred images. Select all the images, click on the settings button again and choose 'Export Select Skies'. Now you can easily use your images for photoshop sky replacement.

Harley Wayne
Senior Editor

Harley Wayne is a Senior Editor at TopTen.AI. He received his bachelor's degree in Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008, and has worked in software development and software promotion for years. In 2017, he started his own blog posting AI and tech-related articles and joined TopTen.AI. He has amassed 6 years of experience crafting articles within the technological realm. He knows a lot about photo, audio, and video products, and he always knows what attracts users the most and what users want to know about software. With his professional education, keen interest in technology, and extensive work experience, Harley Wayne has written many articles with over 100K+ views. As a leading writer for TopTen.AI, Harley Wayne will continue to be keenly attuned to experiencing new technology products and is committed to providing readers with the most valuable information.