Skies change and clouds come and go all the time. It’s fairly easy to make a convincing artistic change. While I don’t recommend changing clouds in news or editorial images, changing clouds can add some interest to your artistic photograph.
Prepping your images
The first stop for the master image was Aurora HDR for a single image process. I enjoy the level of control I have in highlight, shadow, color and depth. I saved and opened the image as a PSD file.
Looking through my cloud files I found an appropriate set of wispy clouds. Then I processed this image so the sky tone and base blue color are close to the recipient photo.
Put it together
In Photoshop, place the cloud photo over the base image. You can use the transform tool to adjust size and position.
Cycle through the blend modes. Hard Light blend mode works for this blend. This does most of the heavy lifting but the blending needs to be added to the sky alone.
Using Select > Color Range, the sky can be isolated for the blend. Click on the sky. Using the Add to Sample eyedropper, click on various places to increase the selection. The Fuzzyness slider will refine the selection. The selection was added as a layer mask to the cloud layer.
A clipped Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was added to ease the intense blue color after blending.
I completed the sky replacement and came back to the file a day later. Even knowing I had made the sky change, I thought that this image was an original sky.
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob