Find out how to use gradients to add colour to sky and fix exposure problems in your photos
This is a great tip, first seen in Photoshop Creative and also featured on Photoshop Daily.
Gradients are often called upon in digital design, but rarely do they come into play for photo edits.
However, they can be useful especially when they are teamed up with blending modes. In our example here, we have a photo taken on a dull day. The sky is grey and washed out, while the buildings look very underexposed. By applying a gradient, it’s possible to add colour to the sky and also deal with the exposure problem. And it all starts with a selection…
Isolate the sky
If you would like to use the same image as us, you can click here to get it. We start by isolating the sky. Use the Magic Wand if there is lots of contrast. Once selected, create a new layer and then click the Gradient tool. Make sure you have Linear Gradient selected and then click the Gradient bar to open the Gradient Editor.
Apply the gradient
Click the Black,White gradient from the Presets panel and then click the black colour stop below the gradient bar. Click the Color: bar at the bottom of the screen and then select a dark blue. Click OK to return to your canvas, hold down Shift on your keyboard and drag the cursor from the top to the bottom. Fill the sky area with blue.
To let the gradient colour merge with the photo, pick the Overlay blending mode. Now create a new layer, go to Select>Inverse and then Edit>Fill and pick White. Apply the Overlay blend mode again and the dull foreground will zing!