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Tutorials | Punchy Skies Made Easy


I can't claim this as my idea, that honour goes to David Williams over at

The technique is pretty simple but you'll need Photoshop to follow the instructions.

  1. Create a new layer at the top of your stack.
  2. Fill it with Black.
  3. Set the blend mode to either Overlay or Soft Light.
  4. Add a mask to the black layer then gradient or paint out where you don't want the effect to occur. I usually mask out from the horizon to the bottom of the frame which lets me keep the effect on the sky only. Remember, with masking, wherever you paint in black, the layer will be HIDDEN!
  5. Once you've got the masking done, you can also use the opacity slider to reduce the overall strength of the effect or you can increase the effect even more by duplicating the layer. Watch out for posterization when you push the effect too far - especially if you use Overlay mode. 


I'll cover the pro's and cons of the technique in the video below. 


video to come "real soon now"


Happy 'shopping...




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