Editing with ON1 – Replacing skies easily

I like the idea of starting the week with an editing video. I’ve been trying to get back into the whole routine of blogging and I know it works best for me if I know what I will be posting and when. So I am hoping that you can expect an editing video of some sort each Monday.

The rest of the week will sort itself out. I am thinking I will do 4 posts each week. Some will be quiet ones like the Silent Sunday. I want to get back into doing monochrome images and that will be Wednesday or midweek. The final one for Friday will be whatever I feel like doing. I hope that will be okay with you.

Let’s get to today’s post.

Replacing Skies

I’ve been replacing skies in images for 10 years or more. It hasn’t always been an easy thing to do, but as software gets better and better it is becoming easier.

I saw a video on YouTube showing how easy it was to replace a sky with ON1 Photo Raw 2023 and I thought it might be fun to do a video of me trying to do it. The question was would I find it easy to do?

I decided to try 3 images. Each different. Here is the first image.

This was taken at sunset at the Kata Tjuta in Central Australia.

ON1 comes with some skies so I choose to do this.

Possibly not the best one, but it was surprising how easily it could be done.

I must note that I have not done anything else to these images.

Next, I thought I would try an image that would be harder, one with trees.

Trying to replace a sky when there are trees has always been a struggle. Too many bits to get around.

Then with a couple of clicks, there is a new sky. The trees aren’t perfect, but I think you can use a slider to increase or decrease the selection. I have to admit I am impressed.

Finally, I thought I would try an image and replace the sky with one of my skies.

I didn’t think I would get any colour from this setting. So I took some photos of the sunset that was happening at the side.

This is one of them.

So I thought could I use the above image to replace the sky in the photo of the rock?

Turns out you can.

There was a bit of mucking around trying to work it out. However, overall it was quite interesting. I am so surprised at how easy it is.

I have done a video of myself doing it. It is below. Please excuse my cat Ralph, he decided while I was making it that he wanted me to play with him and was very rowdy.

The video is a bit long, but I had to work out what I was doing and then I did the three images.

Now I have a link for you if you want to try ON1. I do have an affiliation with them so you are helping me out if you use the link. I get a cut when people purchase it. Though I would encourage you to use the 14 day trial and see what you think. Let me know too.

That’s it for this week. Again, let me know if there is anything you would like me to do specifically. I can only use Lightroom, Photoshop or ON1 for these videos.

I’m not sure about Luminar, I might contacting them to see if I can get a copy. Doesn’t hurt to have a few. See you Wednesday.

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  1. I find it a really interesting conversation piece, how far do you take “editing” photos. I know some people are dead against replacing skies, others do it all the time. I’ve never really replaced my skies, I think I’ve suffered from seeing too many badly executed replacements I think, I always think back to the days of the beginnings of mainstream HDR, when it was always overdone and looked like garbage.

    It’s amazing how far software has come, unfortunately I think there’s the trap, isn’t it? Its easy to click a few buttons. But taking the time to blend it nicely around something like a tree takes a lot of skill and patience. And choosing a sky where the sun is in the same spot as the original image so it doesn’t look obvious is something some people seem to miss (but if they’re happy, that’s the main thing).

    I like the image you did of the rock, I think replacing the sky with an image that you took of a similar, but nicer sky is the way to go. A subtle change makes a lot of difference. Thanks for the video

    1. It really is an ongoing discussion I think Rob. One I have had many times over the years. I think it really has to be up to you and what you want to do with your images. At the end of the day they are yours and you just have to accept whether or not people will like them. I remember those days of HDR and OMG, I have so many images that I cringe at when I look at them now. I was definitely one of those that overdid it.

      I have to agree, it isn’t always good to take the easy way out. I don’t think it is something that I would really do, the one click sky, I always find it not quite to my liking. I replace a sky when I have an image of something I really like, but the sky has let it down. Otherwise, I try to work with what is there already.

      Thank you, it was interesting to see how it would work. You’re welcome.

    2. I agree totally. I don’t understand the people that get really upset about someone else’s photo. As long as the photographer is happy, that’s the main thing.

      It is amazing how far software has come. It does an amazing job for what it does and certainly saves a lot of time. I kind of enjoy that last 10% of blending things to make them seem like they belong.

      Ive only ever had a quick play with the stock skies in photoshop. Now you have me thinking about starting to look at the sky for replacement skies 😊 I think I need some subtle skies that aren’t as “stock” looking..

    3. Exactly, as long as the maker likes it, that is all that matters.

      I love editing, maybe even more than taking photos. It is something that I love, to take an image of every day and then see what I could do to it to change it.

      I use all my own skies, I take lots of photos of skies when I go out. It is a good thing to do.

  2. Just love the sky replacements, Leanne, especially the one with the trees. Those clouds are special.

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