Advanced Sky Selections in Photoshop

In this video tutorial, I will show you how to create a perfect selection of the skies in your images, even in difficult cases. We’re going to use the Channels palette, a Levels adjustment and the Brush Tool in ‘Overlay’ mode to accomplish that.

Being able to reliably select the sky in your images is important if you’re photographing landscapes or anything outdoors, really. The biggest problem is usually the area where the sky meets trees or other objects with irregular fuzzy edges.

I have covered this topic in earlier videos, and in those videos I used different isolated techniques for this task. In the video below, I’ll combine two of my favorite techniques to give you the ultimate weapon when it comes to selecting a sky: the Channels palette with a Levels adjustment and the Brush Tool in ‘Overlay’ mode. There’s no sky that you cannot select precisely with this technique.

In a Nutshell…

We’re going to start with a luminosity mask created using the color channels. We will drive this mask as much to black and white (our goal) as possible without eating into the erase that the mask is expected to hide. For the remaining areas, we will use the Brush Tool and set it to Overlay mode in order to turn the remaining light grays to white and the dark grays to black.

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