Have you ever taken a photo of a beautiful beach scene or landscape, only to realize that everything in the foreground is crisp at the sacrifice of the sky being overexposed? It happens all the time. Since the sky is the often the brightest part of a photo, it’s painfully common that it’ll end up getting blown out.
In situations like these, one of the best ways to correct the shot is to replace the sky completely. We know what you’re thinking though – don’t you need Photoshop skills to do something drastic like that? The good news is you don’t. All you need is the know-how in BeFunky and a Plus account to get you access to the best tools for the job.
Whether you want to get crafty with a photo manipulation or you simply want to restore the natural look of a picturesque sky, we’ll show you how to easily get the look you want in BeFunky. We’ve got tutorials for all of the above, so get ready to really up your photo editing skills. The sky’s the limit!
How To Replace A Sky That’s Rectangular
For all those times where you’ve got a crisp foreground, but the sky is overexposed, here is the solution. First, you’ll need to find an image of an ideal sky. Maybe it’s a different shot of the same scene where the sky is picturesque, but the foreground is lacking. Alternatively, you could search for a free stock photo of a similar sky you want to incorporate.
Once you have your perfect sky scenario, upload it into BeFunky’s Photo Editor and select the Cutout tool from the Edit menu on the left. Click on the Rectangular icon to cut out the rectangular shape of the sky by clicking and dragging over the area you want to use as the new sky. Your selection will be clear while everything you want to eliminate from the photo is checkered. When you’re happy with the section you’re wanting to cut out, click the Export As Layer button and your new sky will be saved as a layer in the Image Manager tab.
Next, use the Upload button at the top of the Photo Editor to upload the image with the overexposed sky. Click on the Image Manager tab (the first icon in the menu on the left) and you’ll see that the sky you’ve cut out is saved as a thumbnail there. Double click on the thumbnail to add it as a layer onto your photo, then use the blue circles around it to resize the new sky so that it perfectly fits over the area of the old sky.
Pro TipHolding down Shift while you drag the blue circles will allow you to resize in freeform mode instead of having the aspect ratio locked while you resize. This makes it easy to fit the new layer into an area that is not the same ratio.
Notice that an Image Properties toolbar appears when your layer is selected for you to add a Color Overlay, Tint, or play around with different Blend Modes to make this new layer look seamless. When it’s looking perfect, click the Flatten Layers button in the top left corner of the canvas.
After you’ve flattened the layers, your two layers (the new sky and the original photo) become one image. Now you’ve got the freedom to add a filter from the Effect tab to tie your edits together. One of our favorite Effects to add for sky photos are Lens Flare effects, which create the realistic look of a sun-drenched appearance.
Check out how replacing the sky and adding a Lens Flare changes the entire vibe of this photo:
This technique works great on really straightforward shots (like an ocean that is super linear), but if you have more going on in the foreground, read on to the next section.
How To Replace A Sky In A More Complex Image
If you’ve got a lot going on in the foreground of your photo, there are some additional steps you’ll need to take to make the entire image more seamless. First, upload your photo into BeFunky’s Photo Editor and click on the Cutout tool. Select the Paintbrush icon and use it to paint around the areas you want to keep in the foreground. This will create a foreground layer that we’ll add to a sky background.
In this case, we’ve painted over the ridges and area of the mountain to keep all of those details intact. When you’ve got your foreground looking like a perfect layer and everything you don’t want to keep in the image (i.e. the sky) has a checkered appearance, click the Export As Layer button to save your foreground layer to the Image Manager.
Pro TipIf you make a mistake when painting with the Cutout tool, just use the Erase button to erase the part of the photo you didn’t want to paint over.
Next, use the Upload button at the top of the Photo Editor to upload an image of your ideal sky. It could be something realistic or totally wild, like this galaxy. Select the Image Manager tab and double click on the thumbnail of your foreground layer to add it on top of your sky.
Using the blue circles around your layer, resize it to fit the dimensions of your sky photo. Notice that you can use the Image Properties toolbar to change the Color Overlay, Tint, and play around with different Blend Modes to make everything look seamless. When it looks perfect, click the Flatten Layers button in the top left corner of the canvas to combine the two layers permanently.
See how replacing the sky completely changes the vibe of this photo?
Ready to fix an overexposed sky or test out your photo manipulation skills in BeFunky? Remember that having access to a BeFunky Plus account will give you all the tools (and then some) to make it happen seamlessly. Your photo editing skills will be at a whole new level.