Ready to learn? Let’s dive in.
A sky overlay is an image file of a sky that you can insert and seamlessly blend into your photo using Photoshop. Sky Overlays are usually .JPEG image files and can come in an endless variety of styles; from blue skies to storm clouds, or from sunsets to starry night time skies.
Adding sky overlays to your photos allows you to dramatize boring or plain skies, creating a more visually appealing final image.
First, open the image you wish to edit in Photoshop and then go to File > Place. (In newer versions of Photoshop, you’ll choose File > Place Embedded.)
When the box pops up, navigate to where you saved your sky overlays. Choose the sky overlay you want to use, and then click ‘Place’.
The sky overlay will then open onto your image. Use the bounding box to stretch it to fit your photo. Be sure the edges of the sky overlay completely fill the sky area in your photo.
Next, change your sky overlay to ‘Multiply’ blend mode (this step instantly begins to believably blend the sky overlay with the skyline of your photo).
Lastly, use a Layer Mask and a soft black brush to remove the sky effect from any areas that you don’t want it to show up!
If you’re a visual learner, you can watch me apply a sky overlay in the video tutorial below!
Plus, I’ll show you a few special techniques for an even quicker application.
If you’d like to practice putting Sky Overlays to use on your images,
click the button below to download a free sample you can start using right away.
Fun tip: You can add to your collection of Sky Overlays for free just by snapping a shot of the sky whenever it looks pretty. When I first started building my collection, I’d take a photo of the sky from different angles at each of my photo sessions.
Just be sure to save all of your Sky Overlays in a folder that’s easy to find to save time when editing.