Mike Chaney's Tech Corner

Technical Discussions => General Photography Discussion => Topic started by: BackdropJunction on August 01, 2011, 12:23:23 AM

Title: Sky Removal
Post by: BackdropJunction on August 01, 2011, 12:23:23 AM
So I asked this question in another forum and got a lot of really smart alek questions from pros who seem to think they never took a crappy photo.  I wanted to know how to remove the sky from an image and replace it with a better one.  I posted the image for them to view and instead of getting a technical answer they criticized my work and composition and all that other stuff without any knowledge of what the image was to be used for.  So I will ask it here as folks here are way more friendly.

I am looking to remove washed out or dreary skies from some of the panos that I create. They are to be used for backdrops on model railroads.  I know how to make selections replace a sky in general, I have googled it and watched all sorts of you tube videos on the subject.  However, nothing I have seen explains how one can get all those little sections of sky that peek out from behind tree limbs, gaps between buildings etc.  I have tried using the select color range in CS5 and then held shift while clicking on the various shades of sky.  This works sort of well but when one looks close it doesn't look great.  My customers are detail oriented so it will be looked at closely. Anyone have any ideas?  I work in CS5 but would try another program if there is one that would do this better.


Title: Re: Sky Removal
Post by: BrianPrice on August 16, 2011, 03:42:06 PM
Skies are always difficult, but Select>Modify>Expand often helps. You will need between 1 and 5 pixels depending on  the resolution and the actual tree. The value will vary across the photo, so work with small areas in separate layers. For the really difficult parts clone in a good tree from another part of the photo - the punters will never know  ;)


Brian (and we are friendly here  ;D)

Title: Re: Sky Removal
Post by: rayw on August 16, 2011, 04:03:30 PM
This recently published book will tell you all you need to know - http://www.peachpit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0321808231

Best wishes,