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Photography Question 
Linda Buchanan
lindabuchananphotography.com

member since: 4/26/2005
 

Photoshop Help, Please: Darken Sky


I have a landscape photo that I am very happy with except that the sky is a little blown out. Can someone provide me the instructions to darken the sky? I have elements 2 and 6.0. Please be really specific, step by step, I am brand new to Photoshop. Thank you so much.

10/19/2005 12:20:38 PM

 
Elisabeth A. Gay
BetterPhoto Member
expressionsbyann.com

member since: 4/2/2004
  Hi Linda, try this:
In Layers, choose Duplicate Layer
In the Layers window, close the little eye on the background layer and then click on the duplicatge layer. Select a feathered eraser and erase the area of sky that you want to darken. Click and hold the button down on the mouse until you have selected the entire area to be darkened. Then click on the background layer - the erased sky will re-appear. In the Image menu, you can use Levels or Curves to darken the clouds. When finished, go back to the Layers window, click on the little arrow in the top right and a menu will pop up. Look for Flatten Image, and click on that. And you are done.

10/19/2005 12:56:30 PM

 
Mary N C. Taitt
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2005
  If the sky in the photo you are using won't darken in the background layer, you can substitute another sky using the same technique described above. I take cool skies with nothing in them and keep a file of these. Then I can use them when I have blank white skies, if the foreground is not too complex.

I make 3 duplicate layers (that is, at least three total)

The bottom layer is the original picture (actually a COPY of that is better), then the manipulated layer then the partly erased layer. If you mes something up, it's much easier to just make a new duplicate layer fromt he one you saved at the bottom. Mary :-)

10/25/2005 11:46:45 AM

 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/6/2005
  I'm glad Elisabeth and Mary could help you with the Photoshop portion, but something to consider if you really enjoy taking landscape shots is to invest in a Neutral Density Graduated filter. I'm attaching what Bryan Peterson taught our class about the filters:

"I am often asked this question: 'How do you get the correct exposure in a landscape when the the foreground is not in the same bright light of the background e.g backlighting?'
...Graduated Neutral Density filter(s)-these are 'colorless' filters which are available in one-two-three and four stops of density and this filter simply 'holds back' the brighter exposure above the horizon line from being way overexposed. (Obviously that is your clue that you should set your exposure in the camera for the shaded area.)
you can also by 'colored graduated filters' which can add more color to a sunset sky or add some blue to an otherwise dull gray sky." -- Bryan.

Hope this helps!
Becky

10/25/2005 1:35:41 PM

 
Elisabeth A. Gay
BetterPhoto Member
expressionsbyann.com

member since: 4/2/2004
  I've got an ND grad on order right now, and I also use a circular polarizer and a regular ND filter - I find them to be VERY useful.

10/25/2005 4:08:14 PM

 
Elisabeth A. Gay
BetterPhoto Member
expressionsbyann.com

member since: 4/2/2004
  BTW Linda, I bought a copy of Photoshop for Dummies not long ago, (I have 7.0, you should be able to get an edition specifically for 6.0), and was just reading about how to use the magic eraser to replace a background. I need to try it out for myself, but you are welcome to email me any time if you would like to discuss it.

10/25/2005 4:11:02 PM

 
Linda Buchanan
lindabuchananphotography.com

member since: 4/26/2005
  Thank you all for your help. I made a huge mistake though. I tried to fix the sky and it came ok, kind of purple though. I used eraser and I earsed the very tops of the trees. I worked on my original instead of a copy and I had already erased the card. I have some other shots, I don't like them as much as the first one though, that I can practice on, AFTER I make a copy! BTW does an ND filter work on digital as well as on film? The polarizer wouldn't have helped due to the condition of the sky and position of the sun.

10/25/2005 7:37:16 PM

 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/6/2005
  The ND GRAD filter (and regular ND filter) work on film or digital, because it is attached to the front of the lens, kind of like a lens sunglasses - it just shades the sky so that when you meter off the land area, your sky will come out a few f-stops darker b/c of the filter instead of blown out. Digital has a bonus of being able to see the picture in your viewfinder after you've snapped it.

10/26/2005 3:10:11 AM

 
Sharon E. Lowe
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Sharon
Sharon's Gallery
photosbysharon.com

member since: 8/7/2002
  Linda - look on my deluxe site - www.photosbysharon.com - and look under the articles. There you will find an article on creating a neutral density filter with Photoshop. It does require using layers, but I think it is pretty simple to do. If you need any more help, send me an email from my site and I'll see what I can do.

10/26/2005 4:28:28 AM

 

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