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Gotta replace that sky!

Big Bri 22 16.7k United Kingdom
11 Apr 2021 9:57AM
Is it only me who sees all these ads for software that will easily replace the sky on your landscape photos and thinks "wow, the original looks so much better" ?
11 Apr 2021 10:49AM
Nope - I feel just the same. It seems to be a solution in search of a problem. Grin
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2021 10:58AM
I agree 100%. And there's a lot to be said for a plain, flat sky that sits back discreetly and does what a background ought to do - stay in the background rather than leaping out at us.
saltireblue Plus
13 14.0k 85 Norway
11 Apr 2021 11:10AM
No better than those stupid animal nose and ear filters on various social media...
SteveAitch 5 85 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2021 11:15AM
Depends what you replace it with...


dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
11 Apr 2021 2:26PM
The latest fad and one many will fall victim to the marketing.
Dave_Canon 16 2.2k United Kingdom
11 Apr 2021 2:38PM
Always been ccc contentious. Many years ago I took a shot of the Grand Canal, Venice and this was pre-HDR. The sky was a bit light and lacked contrast and a Grad would not have helped as it would have darkened parts of buildings as well. I thought I would be clever and replace the sky. I entered the shot in a competition and the judge remarked that the sky seemed odd but otherwise it was a good shot. At the end, one of the experienced photographers spoke to me an suggested that I did more work on the original sky. I reverted to the original and worked on it to darken and increase contrast. I was then able to re-enter in another round of the competition and it came first so a lesson was learned.

I would not normally change a sky now as the DR of camera are much higher and HDR is easy particularly with Raw and LR. The only exception is if I am producing a constructed image for a creative section.

Jestertheclown 14 8.8k 255 England
11 Apr 2021 6:19PM

Quote:I would not normally change a sky now

By and large, I agree with that but there are times when a new sky can make the difference between keeping and throwing away an image.
Done correctly, a replacement sky can save an image; maybe not something that you'd enter into a competition (something I've never done, nor felt inclined to do and I hear that the judges are sometimes bound by some rather strange criteria) but certainly good enough for the rest of us.
I'm still ploughing through several hundred shots, taken at an air show in 2019 in atrocious weather.
The skies in them are beyond repair so replacement is my only option and despite a number of disasters, the success rate is impressive.
It does require some work though.
Dave_Canon 16 2.2k United Kingdom
11 Apr 2021 7:06PM
In his case it was not a judge bound by strange criteria (and few are); the print did not look quite right to me either.

When you do replace skies are these from your own sky collection? Using someone else's sky is not allowed in competitions which I enter and I agree with that; it must be all your own work.

Jestertheclown 14 8.8k 255 England
11 Apr 2021 7:40PM

When you do replace skies are these from your own sky collection?

Yes, they're from my collection.
Whenever I see an interesting sky, I photograph it. I've got several hundred.
While I wouldn't really have a problem with using someone else's sky; and I can understand and agree with not using one in a competition, it's so easy to compile a load of your own that it seems a bit pointless.
The exception would, I suppose, be nuclear sunsets or skies that you'd never encounter in real life.
Most of my collection are fairly mundane; interesting cloud formations mostly although I do have quite a few that I took while it was raining. They came in surprisingly useful on some of those air show images that I mentioned.

My reference to judges and strange criteria was wholly based upon what I've read.
GwB Plus
2 118 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2021 8:54PM
I'm always happy with my skys, it's the rest of the shot I want to swap out.
Big Bri 22 16.7k United Kingdom
12 Apr 2021 8:45AM
I'm not against changing the sky, I just find the ones in the adverts are over the top and don't necessarily improve the photo.

I once replaced a completely blank sky in a photo of Caerphilly Castle, taking great pains to add it in the reflection as well, and replacing the ripples etc. Scored well in a competition because the judge failed to spot that the sun was setting behind the castle on the right, but the shadows showed the sun was high in the sky behind me Grin
DaveRyder Plus
9 6.9k 19 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2021 7:17PM
Like most boys and new toys I went through a bit of a sky change bit....
What it taught me is how to spot sky replacements more easily, although I do like some of the results.
Not something I play with anymore.
keithh 19 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
14 Apr 2021 11:54AM
Of course, replacing sky is one of the oldest photographic tricks. It’s what a mask is for after all. Wink

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