Changing the Sky or Background with Adobe Photoshop

By Lisa Hanard

When photographing animals, birds, or insects it can be challenging to have your subject stand or pose in the ideal location. As you probably know, most of them have a mind of their own. There have been many times that I’ve captured a photo that I really liked, but wished, “if only that bird could have landed over there instead”, then this photo could have been perfect. Removing an object from its background is possible but it can be a very timely and pain-staking project at times.

Luckily, Photoshop just added a new Sky Replacement feature and it seems to work really well in just a couple easy steps. I tried this with a monkey image that I took at the World Wildlife Zoo in Phoenix. Here is the original image and as you can see the background is a little distracting and splits the image in two.

Open your image in Photoshop. Then with the Layer highlighted, go to your toolbar and select EDIT – Sky Replacement

The Sky Replacement dialogue will open and let you choose from one of the sky presets. You can also download more free sky options at the Adobe Assets site.

You can also experiment with the sliders for brightness, temperatures, adjust edges and much more. Here you can see the wide array of changes you can make in your photo with a couple clicks of the mouse.

To add your own sky background click on the + sign and import your own image.

You will see the changes that Photoshop made in the layer panel.

The possibilities are endless. Have fun!

Lisa Hanard is a Photo Guide with Arizona Highways PhotoScapes