Music Player Network
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Why I Finally Embrace Sky Replacement
#3017847 11/29/19 09:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,774
Likes: 11
10k Club
OP Offline
10k Club
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,774
Likes: 11

Now, you might be thinking, "Not cool. Sky replacement is cheating. REAL photographers do their homework and put in the time and wait for the best skies and the best light." And yeah, that'd be valid. I can see that. Replacing your skies is sort of cheating.

Except when it's NOT.

I want to replace the sky in one of my photos with the sky in another photo of mine.

When I do Milky Way photography, what I frequently do is do a very long exposure of several minutes at low ISO for the foreground so the foreground can be as clean as possible. Then after that, I also "stack" 15 or so successive high-ISO photos of the MIlky Way to create a much cleaner sky, with much less noise and such.

I can't use the foreground for the "stacked" images because I am stacking them using a program that follows the stars across the sky and combines them together, so I must blend in a foreground photo. So back at home in front of the computer, I blend the low-ISO foreground with the "stacked" Milky photo in Photoshop. Boom. Low noise image! Looks great!

Now, up until this point, I have been painstakingly stacking them in Photoshop. This can take a long time. I then discovered luminosity masks, which work somewhat. But really, I am not a very technical person and dislike sitting in front of Photoshop for long periods of time processing, and am consequently not very good at Photoshop. But I was able to do it all the same if I set aside a long time and sat there continually masking and blending.

Today, when I saw Luminar 4 advertise its new AI Sky Replacement function, I looked at the video just for fun, wondering if I could have their AI function do wh at I had been doing. I looked at the video, and couldn't get over how easy it looked. It was like magic. I had to try it for myself. I was amazed. It works every bit effectively as the video shows, which has got to be a first for me! I was able to easily blend in one of my own skies to one of my own photos and be done with it. And the photo I chose was one with mountains and lots of pine trees, something that I had struggled with when using luminosity masks or doing it "by hand" in Photoshop. I know other people seem to do these sorts of blends very quickly, but I've never gotten the hang of it.

I purchased Luminar 4 on the spot. I was instantly sold.

It does a bunch of other things too, some of which are AI-driven, so I will explore those later as well, but the impetus for the purchase was absolutely sky replacement, but for using as a blend tool.

NOTE: I get nothing from Skylum for saying this. I am not sleeping with anybody from Skylum or their daughters.

Re: Why I Finally Embrace Sky Replacement
KenElevenShadows #3017851 11/29/19 10:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 1,566
Likes: 53
Platinum Member
Offline
Platinum Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 1,566
Likes: 53
I think if you've found a better tool to create your images, more power to you!!
It is the image that matters, not how it is done.

I simply do not believe in "REAL" photography. History (and photography forums) show that there are many "cults" who attempt to adhere to strict guidlines but there doesn't seem to be any rational explanation behind these behaviors.

I am amused by the "digital is fake, only film is real" photographers who refuse to go back to their roots and take Daguerreotypes. For the most part, none of us get to see their image as a piece of film.
Often they debate their own merits vs the merits of others via the internet and are displaying the "purity" of their work as a relatively low resolution 100% digital pixel-based file.

I amused by those who do some retouching of their images but draw the line at any sort of compositing. It's OK to clear up a zit or remove a small tatoo but not to place the subject in a cabbage field instead of a parking lot because that would be wrong.

I am amused by the photographers who insist that what is taken by the camera is sacred and must be presented as it was taken. Then they get all picky about what paper to print it on and the color and nah nah na na nah nah.
Of course, if they are shooting digital, the camera has already processed their image prior to and if they shoot film they will ask for some dodging and burning when the print is made.

FWIW, I took 60 units of film based photography in college and worked as a custom printer (Type R) in a Kodak Q lab. I also worked at a one hour lab.

I've seen lots of great images in galleries, Ruth Bernhard, Ansel Adams, Jerry Uelsmann, George Hurrell and many others.
If you are an artist, you do your art the way you do it. If you make rules for yourself about how you create, those are your rules.

They may not apply to me or anybody else in the slightest. Which is perfectly fine!!!!!

Cheers, Kuru


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Why I Finally Embrace Sky Replacement
KenElevenShadows #3017852 11/29/19 10:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,774
Likes: 11
10k Club
OP Offline
10k Club
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,774
Likes: 11
Ansel Adams would fully embrace Photoshop. He was a fanatic in the dark room, often spending 8 hours to process a single image. I don't think people have any idea how much one can do in a darkroom for processing. I am always amazed that people think that HDR or sky replacement or any of this is a new technique...or a technique only in the digital realm.

I made my description the way it was because I'm actually trying to blend, not composite, and there's a very large difference between the two.

At any rate, yees, I found a way to do what I was doing quicker and easier. MUCH quick and easier. This is what prompted my post. If even a single person who has been doing blends this benefits, I say great.

Re: Why I Finally Embrace Sky Replacement
KenElevenShadows #3017859 11/30/19 12:28 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 1,566
Likes: 53
Platinum Member
Offline
Platinum Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 1,566
Likes: 53
I find it interesting, try to keep up with all the fun new stuffs.
I started in Photoshop with version 1.07 in the early 90s and have seen many evolutions.

The camera is a tool. Photoshop is s tool.
Luminar 4 is a tool.

Tools are useful, they help us to create the images/visions that are in our heads.
Time savers are precious, we have many things we can accomplish if we can find the time!

Cheers, Kuru


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Why I Finally Embrace Sky Replacement
KuruPrionz #3017895 11/30/19 02:28 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 11,493
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 11,493
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I think if you've found a better tool to create your images, more power to you!!
It is the image that matters, not how it is done.


+1


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Why I Finally Embrace Sky Replacement
KenElevenShadows #3017906 11/30/19 03:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,774
Likes: 11
10k Club
OP Offline
10k Club
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,774
Likes: 11
I don't think it matters how it's done either. But each of us have comfort zones, and for me, I generally dislike creating a composite image. But I'm okay with blending an image from the same setup during the same evening since I'm only doing that for noise reduction. But again, totally not a judgment.

Regardless, I'm thrilled with this. I cannot begin to tell you how well it works. I've never had anything work so well on such complicated matter. I have been saying for several years that AI is the way forward for photography, both for post-processing as well as eventually in-camera. And this Sky Replacement tool excitingly points the way.


Moderated by  KenElevenShadows, Mike Martin 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4