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How to add blue sky to a landscape in Photoshop

by Simon Skellon. 28 Dec 2011

Our tutorial on fixing white sky in a landscape photo using a Photoshop Gradient fill layer

How annoying is it when the sky in a beautiful vista turns out white? Very! The solution to this in Photoshop relies on one very useful fill layer. Here’s how to turn a white sky into a more natural blue one.

Blue sky effect

Step 1 – Make a selection

How to add blue sky to a landscape in Photoshop

If you have to tackle with trees in your landscape, select the Magic Wand tool and untick the Contiguous box in the Options bar. Set Tolerance to around 40 and click once on the sky. The gaps in the branches should be selected. Continue to click the sky to make sure it’s all part of the effect.

Step 2 – Edit using Quick Mask mode

How to add blue sky to a landscape in Photoshop

Hit Q to assess the selection in Quick Mask mode. If needed, use the Eraser and Brush tools to add or remove areas that have overflowed into the foreground to tidy up the selection. Hit Q to exit Quick Mask mode.

Step 3 – Add Gradient fill

How to add blue sky to a landscape in Photoshop

When you’re happy with the selection go to Layer>New Fill Layer>Gradient. In the adjustment set the colour of the gradient to blue (8edeff) at one end and transparent for the other. Hit Reverse if the gradient is upside down and use a Scale that best suits your image (50% was used here). 90 Degrees should do the trick for the Angle and hit OK. Ctrl/Cmd+D to remove the selection and it’s all done.

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    • Jenny

      This is really well written and very clear. Thanks very much – I had bright blue skies in no time!