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Adding a new sky with Photoshop Elements

Replacing a sky in photoshop is a good way to start to understand layers and how they work. First of all choose two images, one with a the sky to be replaced and the other with the new sky on its own.

Resize the images so that each image is exactly the same size.

Example image - aligned to the right

The first step in understanding layers is to think each image as a separate layer. If you are going to replace the sky then the sky layer will become the working layer. In this case I want to replace the sky in Culzean castle with a new sky, so once I have both images in photoshop I click on the sky image.

Example image - aligned to the right

Once the sky image is open I click on the Create New Layer box in the layers palet. This creates Layer 1. We could easily rename it . This is a good idea if you are working with lots of layers but for this tutorial we will stick with Layer 1.

Now we need to select Culzean Castle by clicking on the image at the lower left of Photoshop. We are now going to select the castle and copy the selection to layer 1.

Example image - aligned to the right

Use the quick selection tool to outline the sky. Where the quick selection tool overshoots and infringes onto the castle leave it until all the sky is selected. Now go to these overshoots and click CTRL and the LEFT MOUSE button simultaneously and drag the creeping ants back to the border.

Once the entire sky has been selected go to the top of the screen and from the SELECT menu click on INVERSE.

The castle has now been selected

Click CTRL C to copy the selection. Now click on the image of the sky

Example image - aligned to the right

Once the sky image has been selected ensure Layer 1 is also selected . It should say Layer 1 at the top of the selected image. If it doesn't click on the label Layer 1 in the layers palet

Now press CTRL V to copy the image.

Since the images were resized to be matching the selection should paste exactly at the bottom of the sky. If it does not choose the move tool and move the section to the desired spot on the image. Then recrop the image if necessary

Now to clean up the image of the castle. Seldom are selections using this method absolutely perfect so a little retouching is required.

Example image - aligned to the right

Open the original image of Culzean castle (A) then select the clone stamp (B). Increase the image size and choose a point on the edge of the castle to be your clone start point (Alt, Left Mouse, select) .

Now select the modified sky image Layer 1 and adjust the Opacity of the clone stamp to 50% . Use the same start point on the edge of the castle and start cloning in any missing edges. This is best done with the image at 100%. Once any missing parts of the castle are cloned in select the Burn tool (E). Set the opacity to 20% . Now go round the edges of the castle and darken any light parts of sky.

The image is almost complete now only one last part to do. Click on the Create New Layer box in the layers palet. Select the new layer and then choose an Orange colour (E). Click on the gradient tool - in this case in photoshop elements it is diagonally opposite the burn tool.

Click on the top of the picture and drag the line of the gradient tool from the top to the bottom of the image. Now click on the opacity (F) and adjust the slider to approximately 15% to bring a sunshine feel to the final image.

You should now have a completed image, Go and play around with a few others. Here is the image of Culzean castle before ( This is 100% crop reduced in size to fit this page.)

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Here is the image after with an increase in saturation and contrast to make it pop.

Example image - aligned to the right