Creating a Realistic Sky Swap with Water Reflection

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In this video, we’re taking an environmental portrait and turning it into an incredible image using Luminarᴬᴵ’s updated sky replacement technology. We’ll talk about what’s new with their sky replacement tools and how to use them to create believable results. For this tutorial, we provide you with an exercise file to use but you can also load up your own image. Try to find an image that actually has a sky that you want to replace and a reflection. Download Luminarᴬᴵ (you can use the code SLRLOUNGE for $10 off!) to edit with me!

Luminarᴬᴵ Tutorial : Creating a Realistic Sky Swap with Water Reflection

Find the Perfect Sky for You

Head to the Creative panel and preview each of the options to replace the sky. This is a new feature added to Luminarᴬᴵ that allows you to see which sky works best for your image without having to select each option. There are some basic photography considerations that you need to keep in mind when swapping skies. Make sure that the light direction matches the existing light in the scene. Luminarᴬᴵ allows us to use change the light direction and location of the sun depending on the image you use.  I used Dramatic Sunset 3 to arrive at this image:


 Creating a Realistic Sky Swap with Water Reflection

From there you can make other sky adjustments to ensure everything is blended correctly. One of my favorite sky adjustments is Atmosphere Haze which gives you the ability to dial back the overall opacity of that sky and help the added sky blend in seamlessly.

Make Essential Edits

Now we will go into the basic editing to work on the image as a whole now that we have our sunset added. Luminarᴬᴵ has a great way of adding mid-tone contrast in a really controlled way. Make tweaks to the exposure, contrast, and color.  I managed to edit this image without even having to use my left hand. The beauty of Luminarᴬᴵ is how easy it is to edit using only sliders and your mouse. Here is the final before and after:


 Creating a Realistic Sky Swap with Water Reflection


 Creating a Realistic Sky Swap with Water Reflection

I hope you guys get a good idea of what’s new in terms of the sky replacement technology, the ability to now detect water and reflections, and the more exciting features we’ve showcased in this video.  Make sure you download Luminarᴬᴵ (you can use the code SLRLOUNGE for $10 off!) to try out this incredibly powerful sky swapping technology.

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