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Old 6th June 2008
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snaarman snaarman is offline
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Nasty trick for dead skies

OK folks, here is a naughty little PP trick I have used a couple of times when you are faced with one of the grey sky days. No matter how you expose, you know the sky is going to be flat and boring..

Here is a before and after pair. I have overdone the tweak so that is is obvious.



After tweaking



So here is what I do in Elements5. Make a new blank layer. Use the rectangle tool to select the top half of the image (from just below the horizon to the top). Now select a sunset colour on the palette and select the graduated fill thingy. Important: Set the graduated fill to be "foreground to transparent" and set the opacity to only about 25%.

Now drag a graduated fill from the horizon upwards to about 2/3rd the way to the top of the image. You get a watery pink colour over all the image. It fades away to clear at the top. Now select a sky blue and repeat, but dragging the fill in the other direction, from top to about 2/3rds the way down your selection box.

At this point your image has a pale blue to pink mess over the top half.. Now the magic bit. On the layers list - change the blending setting from "Normal" to "Darken" or "Multiply"

Suddenly your lifeless sky takes on some meaning.

However, use with care, (more subtlety than my example above) - oh - and don't tell anyone

Pete
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Old 6th June 2008
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HughofBardfield HughofBardfield is offline
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Re: Nasty trick for dead skies

Nice one Pete. Been meaning to try that kind of thing myself for a while, but there's nothing like some kind person giving you a head start! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 6th June 2008
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Re: Nasty trick for dead skies

Thanks Pete -

I'll also be trying that out.

Regards. Barr1e
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Old 6th June 2008
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Re: Nasty trick for dead skies

Your most welcome :-)

I have previously tried to put life into skies by using the Photoshop magic wand thing to "select" the sky then I would cut and past other sky in there.. However this only works if the sky meets solid things like buildings etc. Once you get a tree in the skyline then all bets are off. Oh, also the edges of the selected area can come out artificially sharp, so then you have to get involved in "feathering" the selected area. Its all a lot of work.

The trick with this method is the use of "darken" - this uses the fact that the foreground item (tree, branch, leaf, building) will be darker than the sky. Thus pixel by pixel it selects the darker of the two, so leaves are placed in front of the sky.

Notice how the colour inserted in the sky also appears in amongst the branches of the tree. Excellent - so much better than the select and paste method :-)

Pete
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