Note: If the video doesn’t show up at first, please reload the page.

How do I make skies bluer? from Lightroom: Tips and Quick Fixes by Richard Harrington

How do I make skies bluer?

Another question I often get asked is, how do I make the skies bluer or perhaps the grass greener? This is what we call a secondary color correction, and it’s targeting a specific color or a range of colors for further enhancement. Let’s go to our next images here, and I’ll go with the single view. In this case, I’ve got three photos that I want to enhance. First up, one method for bluer skies and richer greens in the grass is the vibrance slider. This is selective color, and it tends to be more aggressive with blues.

You see there that the water and the sky really come out. And that may be enough. If the other colors are too rich, such as the vegetation here, I can actually tone down the saturation slider while leaving the vibrance slider all the way up. A little of the clarity can also be useful, and you see with the split screen there that the blue skies definitely come through. A slightly more advanced option is to go over here and take advantage of another tool a little bit lower in the stack.

You’ll find this under HSL. And what you can do here is target a particular color. For example, I can drag the aqua value to make the skies richer, and the same with the blue. Let’s go to the full-screen view there. And you see that by dragging aqua and blue over, I boosted those areas from a saturation point of view. I can also lower the luminance of those areas, which is going to make them darker and by getting darker, a little more saturated.

You see how easy that was to quickly adjust. And in fact, if you don’t know what slider to use, just click the little tool here, and you can just click right on the image and it will move the corresponding sliders for you. In this case, moving the blue and the aqua sliders slightly as I click within that image. If I were to click over here on the building, you see I darken that. Similarly, I can click on saturation and subtract or add very quickly, there’s the bluer sky.

And if you don’t like the color of the blue, just click here and drag in the color, and you can actually shift the hue. You see there that it moves the corresponding slider or sometimes multiple sliders. So whether you prefer to do this manually or with the targeted adjustment tool, it’s very quick and simple. What this allows for here is a simple change. So now, if we take a look, let’s just go ahead and click done.

I can see the side by side view there, and you can see that the skies are definitely bluer. Alright, one more example. In this case, the same idea. Let’s really take advantage of this tool here. You’ll notice you can narrow it to see just the hue or the saturation or one area at a time. I prefer to look at all. Now it’s very quick. Grab the targeted tool, and pull up or down to move the saturation slider. There we go, grab the hue.

And you can adjust the color or the overall shade of the color. There we go, let’s make this a little more red. And lastly, the luminance, which is going to affect the overall brightness of the color. Now, if you overdo it, it’s going to look fake. Remember you have to balance this out. But that is a very powerful tool for targeted adjustments. So to recap, take advantage of the more powerful HSL sliders and their targeted adjustment tools when you want to be very picky.

On the other hand, if you just need a quick boost to color, something like vibrance is an easy way to bring out the blue in the sky and the green in the grass. In any case, this is a fast and quick fix, so you can get just the type of shade and color that you’re looking for.