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    How to fix bleached out skies in Photoshop

    | Photoshop Tutorials | Tutorials | 02/05/2012 10:00am
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    Photoshop Effects: how to fix bleached out skies - after image

    Our final image

    Pale skies are usually much brighter than the land, so if the ground is correctly exposed the sky will wash out. You can use an ND grad filter, but they’re quite fiddly (see our guide ND Grad Filters: what every photographer should know).

    Another workaround is your SLR’s facility for compressing tonal range, such as Nikon’s Active D-Lighting or Canon’s Auto Lighting Optimizer. A better solution, though, is to use a tripod and take two shots; one exposed for the sky, the other for the ground (see also 4 tips for sharper shots when using a tripod).

    You can then merge them together using an image-editing program such as Photoshop Elements to get detail back in your skies. Even then, branches and leaves that move between shots can cause problems. The answer is to take a single shot in raw and ensure the exposure is sufficiently dark. You can then process this raw file twice to create two images to merge together. Here’s how to do it…

    Photoshop Effects: how to fix bleached out skies - before image

    Our original image

    How to fix bleached out skies in Photoshop

    Photoshop Effects: how to fix bleached out skies - Step 1

    Step 1: Copy and paste
    Open both light and dark versions of your image, and then copy the light version with Ctrl+C and paste it with Ctrl+V over the darker one. It will appear as a new layer.

    Photoshop Effects: how to fix bleached out skies - Step 2

    Step 2: Create a layer mask
    Create a new layer mask by dragging the upper layer icon down to the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. The mask will be filled with white, which means it’s completely transparent.

    Photoshop Effects: how to fix bleached out skies - Step 3

    Step 3: Select and fill
    Click the layer mask’s white rectangle, then use the Quick Selection tool to select the whole sky. Finally, press D to fill the selected
sky area with black.

    READ MORE

    6 photo editing steps every photographer should know
    How to replace boring skies in Photoshop
    44 essential digital camera tips and tricks


    Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at 10:00 am under Photoshop Tutorials, Tutorials.

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