Adobe Lightroom: How to make your skies bluer

Author: Megan P. Galope

Have you ever had a photo that you really loved, but wished that the sky was bluer? Here’s how you can fix that in Adobe Lightroom.

Before:
Photo 1

In the Develop module on the right-hand side, scroll down to HSL / Color / B & W and click on the arrow to the right to open the panel. Be sure you are on the HSL tab (this is the default). Then click on the Luminance tab:

Photo 2One way to darken the sky is to move the slider next to Blue to the left. However, your sky may actually also contain some Aqua or Purple. The easiest way to darken the sky when you don’t know what colors it contains is to use the Targeted Adjustment tool in the upper left corner of the panel:

Photo 3

Click once on this tool, then go to an area of the sky in your photo. Click and drag the mouse downward. This will darken all colors in your sky. Dragging the mouse upward will lighten the colors in your sky. You can play around with dragging up and down until you get the color of sky that you desire. When you are done, click on the Targeted Adjustment tool again to turn it off.

Note that when you change the Luminance of a color, it will change it for the entire photo. So if you have other blue/aqua/purple items in your photo (e.g. water), those will also be affected.

After:

Photo 4

To learn more about Adobe Lightroom,  Arizona Highways Photo Workshops is offering Adobe Lightroom 101, 102 and 103 courses. Each course is one day and is instructed by photographer Suzanne Mathia. You can find out more about these courses here: http://www.ahpw.org/workshops/.

Megan Galope is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.

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