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Photography Question 
Robert E. Gaughan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005

fixing the sky

Hello every one. This is my first question I have posted here.. I have responded to a lot.. and really like the Forum. My quesiton is this:

I have a photo of a old farm house with the trees and frence in the foreground but the sky is washed out or white. I would like to know how to use PS Cs2 to fix the sky. I hhave tried useing the gradient tool to get the blue on the sky, but that washed over the entier photo.. How do I get it to fix the sky and get in between the trees so that only the sky is blue and the rest of the photo stays the way it is.. Thank you.

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4/3/2007 3:07:28 PM

Hi Robert,

Goto image > Adjustments > Replace color, sample the color you want to replace with the sampler, then choose the 'new' color you want in the 'Replacement' box.
Press 'OK', and you're done.

Have fun!

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4/3/2007 3:29:36 PM

Deborah Liperote
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/8/2006
  start by creating a hue/saturation adjustment layer and choose blues from the edit pop-up menu. click somewhere in the sky to center the sliders and then make the following adjustments: move the lightness slider to the left to darken the sky, move the saturation slider to the right to make the sky more colorful and then. experiment with the hue slider until you're happy. this will give a very natural looking affect.
if there are areas of the image that are blue that are not part of the sky and you don't want them affected then after you make these adjustments you'll notice a white triangle with your adjustment layer just to the right. the rectangle is a layer mask. use it to paint back in what you don't want touched. let me know if you need help doing this.

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4/3/2007 4:05:06 PM

Robert E. Gaughan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  W.S... I tried your method first.. It did not seem to work as simple as it sounded.. I used the sampler to click on the sky and then proceeded to pic a blue color for the sky in the " replacemnt " box image turned GREY and got all ugly.. I cancled.

Deborah.. I then tried your method.. I made the Hue/ Sat adjustment layer.. I clicked on the sky to get the color to start with.. as I proceeded to move the sliders around.. everything BUT the sky was changeing colors.. so I cancled.. I even tried to use the COLORIZE check bix.. but that only ended up colorizin the ENTIRE image.. so I cancled and wanted you tell you both that I think im missing someting or not understanding.. any thing else I can try? The image I want to fix is on my gallery.. named " A little bit of history" if you would like to see it.

Thank you

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4/3/2007 7:02:34 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  What you're missing from Deborah's way seems to be using the layer mask to erase away the parts you don't want to be blue.
What you're missing from W.s's way seems to be using the select tool to select which area you want colored. The way that picture looks, you have more areas than just the sky that are similar in color.
And speaking of the sky, there's not any blue(or barely any) to really bring out. A subject in the shade of really late day, with sky that's still lit by some sun is such a large range that getting the shaded areas in will make the sky go out to white. So any way you try might look fake.
You can retry the previous two ways, or you can use the wand tool to select the sky, and use similar which is under "select" in the tool bar, so that it also selects the sky between the branches and try color balance adjustments, curve or levels, or colorizing.
But off hand I'd say that you'd need some blue to start with to make it look right.

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4/3/2007 11:29:09 PM

Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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  The gradient way works, too. You need to first use the magic wand tool to select out the sky. If there are trees, after you select the sky use select/similar and it will pick up the area around the trees. Then go ahead and do your gradient. That seems to be all that you did wrong in the method you discussed in your question.

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4/4/2007 2:52:40 AM

Greg is right: I forgot step 1. Selecting the sky with the magic wand (non-contiguous).

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4/4/2007 3:14:39 AM

Robert E. Gaughan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  ok.. I tried both methods again.. I got the wand and used similar.. used the gradiant tool and it loked ok.. expect the tree branches were so thing.. it made it look like the leaves were floating in mid-air. I'l just have to take a trip there when the sky is nice and blue and take a new shot.. but.. ill keep trying to get it right.. thank you for all your help

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4/4/2007 8:16:11 AM

Don't forget in 'my' method that you can set the magic wand's tolerance in the top bar, Robert. Experiment with various settings.

And it sounds like something similar is the prob when you use Deborah's m.o.

Good luck.

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4/4/2007 9:59:22 AM

William Schuette
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2006
  Robert, no method is going to be easy but let me add another method here. Find a picture or take a picture of sky you like. Open your farmhouse picture in CS2, paste your sky picture as a new layer. You can now move or resize this layer as necessary to ensure coverage over the washed out area in the farm picture. Now hit the layer mask icon and the alt button at the same time so you get a layer mask on the sky layer filled with black concealing the sky layer entirely. Now use a brush with white as the selected color to paint over the sky areas of the farm picture. Where you paint white, the sky layer will show through and you can vary the opacity of the brush tool from 0 to 100% to allow as much or as little of the sky layer to come through. The advantage of this method is that if you screw up you can always go back and correct by selecting black and painting over the area.


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4/4/2007 3:17:38 PM

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