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Best way to combine a new sky with a pic of a dog in foreground?


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Well, it was a variation of this method.

  1. I opened the sky photo, and (on a new layer) cloned out the pole and stuff.
  2. I saved that sky photo as a PSD file, and closed it.
  3. I opened the dog photo, and File>Place to insert the sky photo onto the dog photo.  I lined up the horizon as accurately as possible.
  4. I applied a sufficient amount of blur to the sky to be plausible.
  5. Then I duplicated that sky layer.  I turned the top one off, and returned to the bottom one for the time being.
  6. I changed its blend mode to "Multiply", and masked it around the head of the dog.  In some areas, where the sky was quite light, the masking was very easy, I could let the sky encroach onto the fur naturally.  In other areas, where the sky was darker, I had to zoom in and patiently and carefully mask until it looked good.
  7. Then I returned to the top copy, which was still on "Normal" blend mode, and masked it in everywhere else.
  8. Finally, I added a Levels layer to make the bottom of the sky a bit lighter, so it plausibly matched the existing horizon.


If you can allow me a few minutes, I'll upload the PSD file so you can follow along.

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