This is a picture I took yesterday:

enter image description here

The sky is a bit too washed out for me so I'd like to crank down the luminance of the blue. Camera Raw makes a valiant effort but the crane trusses and other incidentally blue things end up looking...off:

enter image description here

I opened it as a smart object in PS CS6 to try and mask out the sky but the magic wand tool feels like a club instead of a scalpel when it comes to masking out the bits of sky poking through the crane. Also, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do from there because all the typical level controls are disabled.

How would I go about getting the desired sky in photoshop without the weird fuzziness/coloring on the cranes and buildings?


1 Answer 1


Use the menu Select-> Color range. Then choose the +eyedropper icon and drag across the gradient of the sky until you have the sky selected. Then go to the Adjustments (under the layers panel) and choose Hue/Saturation, Curves or whatever you want to do with the sky.

enter image description here

  • awesome answer... it's where I would have gone, but you beat me to it!
    – Phlume
    May 14, 2014 at 14:11
  • 2
    @Phlume What I like about it is not just that it would select the sky but also reflections on buildings that contain sky colors. They need to change as well. :)
    – Komental
    May 14, 2014 at 14:15
  • 1
    Absolutely...and it provides you with full control to tweak the next day when you return as it is an adjustment layer. The only addition I would have done is to save this selection; just in case. Though it is held within the alpha channel of that layer, if the user discards that layer to opt for a different adjustment type, the selection can then be quickly reloaded.
    – Phlume
    May 14, 2014 at 14:21
  • From a casual observer, the blue curtain on the building in the foreground seems to become more vibrant, is that a side effect of the layer, or of shrinking the screenshot? May 14, 2014 at 15:29
  • 1
    Since there is a mask involved, it is easy to edit the mask if one needs to limit or expand the effect.
    – horatio
    May 14, 2014 at 20:20

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