How to Replace the Sky with Quick Mask Using Photoshop

Here is the end result of this tutorial:

Here I have a photo of the Portland Headlight in Maine. It’s a nice photo, but I think the sky is a little dull and bland. I’m going to add a new sky to this photo; one with clouds to make it more interesting. Here is the original photo:

The first thing I’ll do is select the sky with the Quick Mask tool. I’ll click on the Quick Mask and then I’ll click on the paint brush tool. The color of the brush will be pinkish; that’s the color of the Mask:

I’ll take my time selecting the sky. Most of it is easy. I’ll just have to clean up some small details around the house and the light itself. Zoom in close if you have to and make the brush small for little details. Keep the brush at 100% opacity. It will be worth it in the end:

Here it is in the process. Remember, white reveals and black conceals. Go back and forth between the black and white color pickers to touch up small details:

Now that the Quick Mask is selected, I’ll click on the Quick Mask icon to get out of the Quick Mask mode:

Here’s the selection after exiting Quick Mask mode:

Now I’ll choose a photo of a sky filled with clouds to use as my new sky:

With the photo of the sky open and selected, I’ll do a Select All from the menu at the top of the screen:

Then I’ll go to Edit / Copy:

Next I’ll go to the photo of the lighthouse, select it and then I’ll go to Edit / Paste Into:

Now the new sky is in the photo of the lighthouse. If I don’t like the position of the sky I can always move it with the Move tool:

Here is what the Layers Palette looks like:

Here’s the finish photo:

Tip: whenever you see a beautiful sky, just take a picture of it without anything else in the picture. You never know when you’ll need a sky for one of your photos. Have fun!

2 thoughts on “How to Replace the Sky with Quick Mask Using Photoshop”

  1. ah the joys of quick masking. thanks for this! if i had a nickel for every time i saw someone manually going around with the lasso tool…

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