Have you ever had an amazing photo, but the sky just did not turn out the way you had hoped? You want to be able to offer your clients your absolute best work. But, you just cannot figure out how to create a beautiful sky overlay in Photoshop.


how to create a sky overlay in photoshop


Laura Ludwig, of Laura Lynn Photography, is here today to share a wonderful tutorial she made just for us on how to create a sky overlay in Photoshop. This is such a great, step-by-step video tutorial.




  • First off, you will need a sky overlay. You can find them so many different places, just find one that works for you.
  • Place the sky overlay on top of the image you are working on. If it is smaller than your image, go to Transform, and pull from the corners to make the sky bigger. This helps keep the image in proportion.
  • Make the sky overlay to where you want it to be placed on your image.
  • Go to your Blend Mode and change it from Normal to Multiply.
  • Create a Layer Mask. Since you have a white window, you will need a black brush.
  • With the brush, remove any of the sky you do not want.
  • Zoom in very close to make it easier for you to remove any unwanted sky over your subjects. Be very careful to not create a halo on your subjects.
  • You want to make sure the sky blends properly into the horizon. Naturally, the sky fades the closer it gets to the horizon. Change your brush opacity to 20%, take a big brush, and sweep it across the horizon line.
  • To take your photo up a notch, you’ll want to separate your subjects more from the background. Make a Curves Layer. Bring down your curves just a little bit. Then, make your brush big, and stamp it over your subjects a few times.
  • To add a little more separation, make a new Layer. With your white brush at 100% opacity, drag it all the way across.
  • Grab another Layer Mask, and reduce the opacity a bit. Then remove the white line you just created from your subjects.

Pro Tip: One way to check your masking, is to hit the backslash to see where you may have missed any masking.


Comment below if you found this tutorial helpful. Have you ever struggled with adding sky overlays? Do you have any extra tips for us in adding sky overlays?



Laura Ludwig is a Lifestyle Family Photography servicing the Joshua Tree, California and surrounding areas. Her focus is on capturing the emotional connection between those who step in from of her lens, and providing exceptional customer service and heirloom quality products.







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