Quevaal's blog

Fix the blown out sky

posted by Quevaal, Sep 17, 2006 6:13 PM — 37 comments

(Photoshop 6.0)

When I came back from a visit to Hadrian's Wall, I was quite disappointed to see the result:

The sky is overexposed, but there's still some colour in the sky, so all is not lost.

First, go to image > calculations

Select red, normal and new document. (If you try green and blue you'll see that the sky only gets whiter.)

Then go to image > adjust > selective color and make it blue.
Select neutrals and adjust the sliders until you have a nice blue sky. Try these settings:

Now drag this picture onto the original picture and select multiply and blend it.

The sky's OK now, but the ground was affected too, so we'll need to fix that.

Select the eraser tool, and set the size to 999. Let the opacity be around 40-50%

Notice that I didn't remove the horizon completely, because if I did there would be a noticeable "halo". Better to let it be a little dark, something which also adds to the horizon's contrast.


Be aware that when you multiply a photo onto itself, noise may be enhanced. Depending on the quality of your original photo, you may have to blur the new layer. However, if the image is going to be downsized afterwards, then the noise will go away in the process.

Comments | RSS

1. posted by theRIAA, Sep 18, 2006 2:03 AM


2. posted by extremekos, Sep 18, 2006 7:15 PM

nice def a cool tech

3. posted by cL0d, Sep 19, 2006 1:39 AM

Good advices, thx!

4. posted by eqphotolog, Sep 22, 2006 8:33 AM

Nice tut! Thanks!

5. posted by AntonioC, Sep 22, 2006 12:23 PM

Very useful technique, I'll give it a try!

Thanks a lot pal!

6. posted by a_kartha, Sep 23, 2006 2:55 PM

Ha! Very very interesting. Thanks!

7. posted by omar_franc, Sep 24, 2006 11:05 AM

you rock!

8. posted by Quevaal, Sep 24, 2006 1:58 PM

Yay, this tutorial was featured on good-tutorials.com :)
http://www.good-tutorials.com/tutorials/photoshop/- photo-retouch

9. posted by vortirla, Sep 25, 2006 2:11 AM

That was really useful, thanks! And congrats on it being featured! :)

10. posted by savvykitty, Oct 4, 2006 10:21 PM

i'm having to fix blown out skys all the time! very helpful : )

11. posted by Quevaal, Oct 5, 2006 2:15 AM

I forgot to add a step after calculations.
You have to convert the image to Grayscale and then reconvert it back to RGB before you can make it blue.

12. posted by bryan82, Oct 8, 2006 10:23 PM

Mate, these tutorials of yours are very good. thanks a lot!

p.s nice camera :)

13. posted by stocker, Oct 9, 2006 8:09 AM

Good tutorial. I missed the important -NOTICE- part ;)

14. posted by icecube666, Oct 9, 2006 10:48 PM

very sexy...

15. posted by piraatti, Oct 13, 2006 2:09 PM

Wouldn't it be safer to use mask instead of eraser tool?

Besides that, very useful tutorial!

16. posted by Chicken_it, Oct 16, 2006 11:59 PM

Whenever I do calculations, my new document does not let me do anything. I can't dupilcate layers, I can't use Selective Colour, everything is grey..any ideas?

17. posted by Slantsixx, Oct 17, 2006 12:16 AM

Very nice!

18. posted by MarkBowen, Oct 23, 2006 12:35 PM

Very nice tutorial. Shows some quite advanced techniques for getting a very nice final image.

19. posted by sundesigns, Oct 23, 2006 1:37 PM


20. posted by eyespywith, Oct 23, 2006 4:58 PM

I have just lately found this site
and i have already learnt some techniques good one Quevaal
and big up SXC

21. posted by realtydoc, Nov 11, 2006 5:51 PM


22. posted by ramoody5, Oct 28, 2006 2:22 PM

really cool

23. posted by cjspencer, Nov 1, 2006 1:15 PM

quality, Legend helped me out no end!

24. posted by ZaNuDa, Nov 9, 2006 10:25 PM

Very simple, but efficient techniqe, thanks a lot for sharing!

25. posted by bawb, Nov 17, 2006 3:09 AM

Nifty tip! I thank you....

26. posted by mprest, Nov 17, 2006 5:58 PM

maybe there's an on camerea filter to fix vanilla skys!
red =c+m+g

27. posted by surgio, Nov 28, 2006 7:31 AM

Lot of steps... how bout u try. Shadows and Highlights.

Shadows:0 Highlights:26.

A tutorial on calculations, however, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for showing me that, I never used it.

28. posted by danielepp, Nov 29, 2006 12:26 PM


29. posted by vctrsmgcn, Dec 6, 2006 1:37 PM


bundle of thankx to SXC

30. posted by kenset, Dec 10, 2006 10:49 AM

Simple and useful tut! Thanx!

31. posted by mickonline, Feb 2, 2007 8:49 AM

Interesting technique!

32. posted by morleys, Aug 1, 2007 5:13 PM

After the calculations bit how do you change it back to RGB?

33. posted by dadas2525, Aug 22, 2007 2:32 PM


34. posted by nielsand, Sep 8, 2007 1:38 AM

Thanks a lot, Bjarne. Very useful indeed. :)

35. posted by rudie1217, Oct 23, 2007 6:02 PM

Very nice tip! 3 week vacation in August--lots of whiteout skies. Thanks for the save.

36. posted by fehimeren, Apr 5, 2008 12:40 PM

very good

37. posted by careersB, May 27, 2013 3:42 AM

Wow very nice. Will definitely try this out.

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