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Smoothing out the sky

#1
Hello there,

I'm editing a picture I took on film (Agfa Vista 200 for those into analogue).
I would like to smoothen the sky as the blue is breaking apart a bit. The best way to do it is to reduce clarity on the sky only.
How would I be able to do that ? Note that I retouched the sky to remove branches on the right the sky is in two layers.

Thanks

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 18.27.37.jpg
Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 18.31.37.jpg
 

Eggy

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#2
Select the sky the way you like it best (I used color range)
Untitled-1.jpg

Make the sky selection active (CTRL+click on thumbnail and you'll see the marching ants)
Apply a gradient by sampling the darkest blue on top and the lightest blue on the bottom sky.
(Hold shift to constrain the right direction while applying the gradient)

Untitled-2.jpg

This way you also get rid of the noise in the sky.

I see you've got branches and leaves in the original top left side. Include them in your sky selection with the selection tool holding the shift key to add to the selection.
 
#3
Select the sky the way you like it best (I used color range)
View attachment 93587

Make the sky selection active (CTRL+click on thumbnail and you'll see the marching ants)
Apply a gradient by sampling the darkest blue on top and the lightest blue on the bottom sky.
(Hold shift to constrain the right direction while applying the gradient)

View attachment 93589

This way you also get rid of the noise in the sky.

I see you've got branches and leaves in the original top left side. Include them in your sky selection with the selection tool holding the shift key to add to the selection.

Hey there. Thanks for the tips. I see the approach, but I'm having a hard time editing the gradient once I put in on.
When you say "apply a gradient" you mean with the gradient tool ?

When I double click the gradient editor, any chances I do doesn't affect the gradient in my image.
The other issue I'm having is when I apply the gradient, if I want to sample from the sky, the sky has already been modified by the gradient applied.
So should I set the start and end color before applying ?

Thanks,
 
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Eggy

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#5
Untitled-2.jpg

When you click on the red color the color picker will appear and you can sample the color you need in the image itself.
The same goes for the green color.
 
#6
View attachment 93592

When you click on the red color the color picker will appear and you can sample the color you need in the image itself.
The same goes for the green color.

Ahh ok. I think I managed :) Thank you !
Man, it works really well to smooth it out. I'll definitly be doing that on other picutres :)

At the right of the house, there's a piece of sky between the wall and the tree.
How would be the best way to adjust the hue and brightness of that area ?

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 20.02.21.jpg
 

Eggy

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#7
Between the leaves on the right hand side you can see another blue.
It is inherent for a sky to become paler towards the horizon so if this is what the analogue Agfa Vista 200 captured it is the reality.
So I would advise not to touch it...
 
#8
Between the leaves on the right hand side you can see another blue.
It is inherent for a sky to become paler towards the horizon so if this is what the analogue Agfa Vista 200 captured it is the reality.
So I would advise not to touch it...
Well it got modified a bit by the gradiant that I applied as well because that area was also in the color range selection.
 
#9
View attachment 93592

When you click on the red color the color picker will appear and you can sample the color you need in the image itself.
The same goes for the green color.
Hey Eggy,

I'm having some trouble replicating your methodology on another image.

I've got this landscape shot I want to work the sky on..
Screen Shot 2018-12-03 at 22.08.40.jpg

When I apply a gradiant with the gradiant tool, I go in the Gradient Editor. That's where I can select the starting and ending color.
Screen Shot 2018-12-03 at 22.10.07.jpg

Problem is, when I have the color picker active and I select the color in the sky it doesn't work or any other part in the picture it seems to not select the proper color.
I tried for instance selecting the orange boat but it doesn't work.

Any idea ?

Screen Shot 2018-12-03 at 22.13.25 (2).jpg
 

Eggy

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#10
1. Click on the color gradient, the red color will appear in the 'color' box (2)

001.jpg

2. click on the color box, the color picker will appear and the color picker tool will be activated so you can use it on the whole screen

002.jpg
 
#11
Hey Eggy,

Yep, but that's the thing.
When I have the color picker activated and I click on the orange boat, it gives me the white color you can see in the box.
It's as if it's not picking from this layer or something.

Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 13.37.29.jpg
 

Eggy

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#12
Before being able to use the color picker tool you should open the color picker box by clicking on the color... (see my post #10)
Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 13.37.29.jpg
 

IamSam

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#13
If you don't have the "COLOR PICKER" open and your using the "GRADIENT EDITOR" to pick colors, it will only be able to chose colors from the selected and active layer. So, if you have an active adjustment layer selected, then the "GRADIENT EDITOR" will only choose white.

You need to use the steps that Eggy describes in post #10.
 
#14
If you don't have the "COLOR PICKER" open and your using the "GRADIENT EDITOR" to pick colors, it will only be able to chose colors from the selected and active layer. So, if you have an active adjustment layer selected, then the "GRADIENT EDITOR" will only choose white.

You need to use the steps that Eggy describes in post #10.
Ahh ok. I see what I was doing wrong. I was selecting the wrong layer when using the Color picker.
Instead of selecting the adjustment layer, I needed to select the main layer where all the picture is. Then once the starting and editing colors are set to the gradient tool, I applied the gradient to the adjustment layer by having the sky area selected.

Thanks guys !

P.S I still want to do some other changes to the picture and will be posting a new thread with a different question.

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 11.28.11.jpg
 

IamSam

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#15
Disregard my previous statement. Yesterday I was able to re-create your problem in a document that I have since deleted. Today I can't reproduce the same result in a new document. I'm not sure what the difference was.

As long as you have it working, then that's all that matters.
 
#16
Disregard my previous statement. Yesterday I was able to re-create your problem in a document that I have since deleted. Today I can't reproduce the same result in a new document. I'm not sure what the difference was.

As long as you have it working, then that's all that matters.
Well yeah, there must be a way of doing which creates that issue. In any case, I understand the concept of applying a gradiant and chosing its start and end colors.
 

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