Select background against trees / hair

I’ve got this image. To take it I had to up expose the photo to make the house clearer and the sky which is already very pale has disapeared. Normally I would just magic wand the white sky and replace it with an image of some blue sky. The problem I’m having is all the gaps in the trees at the top left and right.

Is there a better approach to take when cutting around treelines? I suppose the same thing would go for hair etc ..

enter image description here



  • Duplicate the blue channel and highlight it in the Channels Panel.
  • Use Image > Adjustments > Levels and slide the left arrow to the
    right to bring up the white a bit.
  • Slide the right arrow to the left to darken most of the grays.
  • Adjust the middle arrow to further darken grays and get them as black
    as possible without overly effecting edges.
  • Then grab a brush and paint in the building 100% black and any white
    areas you don’t want to fill.

The resulting channel:

Command (Mac) or CTRL (win) click this new channel to load it as a selection. Create a new layer and fill with whatever you want.

red sky

Channels can be a very valuable tool when selecting difficult areas. And if those areas have a high contrast, channels are really the easiest method to use. Filling the sky red took less than 2 minutes here using Channels to first create the selection.

Source : Link , Question Author : sam , Answer Author : Scott

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