On some occasions and light situations the sky gets a bit dull, too bright and grey in my photos.
Formerly I was using a tonecurve on the L channel to bring down parts of the sky and increase contrast. But this didn’t improve the color situation there.
After researching in various tutorials around the web I found a way of sky enhancing using the ‘colorize’ module with a ‘multiply’ blend mode. The steps to reproduce:
- Add colorize module
- Saturation: 0
- Lightness: 100%
- Source mix: 0%
Now there should be just a white area
- Blend: parametric Mask
- Blend mode: multiply
And now’s the original image back.
To prepare the effect we should restrict the module to the sky. A parametric mask that only selects the brighter part of the image is a good start, maybe it should be complemented with a drawn mask.
Once you’ve found a mask that only selects the sky you can continue:
Bring down the lightness to around 50-60%.
Now the sky might look a bit dull since you may have reduced its contrast. In this case it can be a good idea to decrease the effect’s amount in the highlights (see the parametric mask in the screenshot below).
Experiment with the lightness parameter of the module and the upper boundary range to find a good compromise for the sky’s lightness and contrast.
Moreover you can try the ‘mask contrast’ slider to adjust the effect.
Now let’s go for the colors:
- Select a hue somewhere in the blue area
- Add saturation
Experiment with both sliders to find the right color and saturation.
With this method I’ve got control over contrast and color cast in one module. I compared it with using a tone curve with LAB independent channels. The ‘mask contrast’ and ‘lightness’ sliders give me a more fine control of the cloud details than the tonecurve on the L channel.
Moreover the color controls with hue and saturation are easier to control in the colorize module.
@TheStoryOfRico recently made a video about working on the sky using hazeremoval and local contrast:
Haze removal didn’t work in my photo, but local contrast enhanced it a lot (although it takes down your saturation):
What are your thoughts and practices? Other ideas and methods I’ve overseen?