Improving my Photoshop skills

The last few days I have decided that my Photoshop skill are somewhat lacking.  This is quite a limitation, especially when I see some stunning effects that can be produced.  Is this an evolution in artistic output?  Probably.


Today I decided that I wanted to be better able to replace a sky in an image, something that has always bugged me a great deal as I could never get a nice replacement because my selection process was rubbish.  So it was onto the internet and do a bit of searching and reading and listening to videos, especially those from Adobe TV.


I found one that works a treat for easily selecting  the sky and it is done like this:

Pick your image and duplicate the layer.

Use the quick selection tool and select the sky, then click on refine edge and turn on smart radius and set for around 40, or at least that worked for me.  Also adjust sliders for contrast say around 40 and Shift Edge slider to around -20.  The using the quick select tool paint into the areas that need adjustment eg around trees.

Then say ok for selection.  Then inverse the selection and refine edge again after repeating the above slider adjustment.  Again paint areas until satisfied with the selection.  Set the output to layer mask and say ok.


Have a look at Adobe TV video for selecting and replacing sky for a very nice explanation.

Then cut and paste your layer onto the image and blend to get the effect you want.


I wanted a black background, especially after seeing Mabray Campbells  work , someone I have been following for some time.  However one has to find a building that looks good with a black background.


This is the result of doing two images.  Am I pleased at finding a quick and very effective selection process, sure am.  Hope this helps anyone trying to do the same.

Eureka-Tower-lr monash-unilr


6 thoughts on “Improving my Photoshop skills

    1. johnholding Post author

      Thank you Mike.
      Photoshop is such a complex program, I am finding that Adobe TV is pretty good for finding out about a particular task.


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