Looking to replace sky in Photoshop or your preferred photo editor like Gimp? Download over 500 free sky and cloud images and learn how to use them.
Sky and cloud overlays help photographers and photo retouchers save time if they need to fix a photo’s skyline. Unfortunately, when you need to replace the sky, you may not always have access to a perfect sky photo. We are here to fix it for you.
In our collection of free resources you will find over 70 free sky and cloud photos and textures that you can use in your creative work. We also list several more free photo sites where you can download over 500 free sky photos. At the end of our list you will find two quick tutorials about how to replace the sky in Photoshop and Gimp.
70+ free sky overlays from our site
Here is our own collection of free sky overlays. They include clouds, blue skies, golden hour skies. Occasionally, you will find “intruders” in our photos, like planes, boats, birds. We leave that to you to decide if you want to download these photos and use them in your work. All these visuals are free to use in personal and commercial projects. We’ve taken photos of skies during different seasons and on different devices from Android devices to iPhone to a mirror camera.
The images are located in a shared Microsoft One folder. You can download the images one by one or all together. Cookies should be allowed in your browser so that you can see the contents of the shared folder. No credit is necessary, but we will appreciate a link back to this free collection.
180+ completely free sky photos
This exciting collection of free sky overlays includes over 180 visuals. All of them are located in a Dropbox folder. Download them one by one or all together. You will also find some PSD files in that folder.
Free sky photos on FixThePhoto
The FixThePhoto site has a collection of free sky and cloud visuals. You can check the collection and download the visuals that are appealing to you.
100s of free sky photos on Unsplash
Unsplash, a popular free image site, has several hundred free sky and cloud photos that you can download for free. Unsplash may ask to provide credit if you use their free photos in commercial projects.
More free sky photos
Here are more websites offering free images of skies and clouds.
Pexels: you can download 100s of cloud images for free on this site.
Pixabay: here is another free image site that has a large collection of free cloud images and overlays.
Free sky footage
If you are here to download free sky footage, check out Mixkit’s collection of free footage. You will find over 1,000 video clips of skies and clouds here.
How to change sky in Photoshop
Here is a way to use the free sky overlays in Photoshop. Follow the steps outlined in this video tutorial.
Let’s outline the main steps in using sky overlays in Photoshop.
- Open the photo that has a sky that needs replacing.
- Open the sky overlay of your choice.
- Paste the sky overlay in the photo file as a layer.
- Create a duplicate of the photo needing sky replacement.
- In the duplicate layer us the magic wand tool to select the sky to replace. Select the whole sky.
- Remove the old sky and use the sky layer to put it instead. Adjust the semi-tones and shadows.
How to change sky in Gimp
If Gimp is your preferred image editor, this 7-minute tutorial will help learn how to replace sky using this editor.
In conclusion, sky overlays are useful elements that can help fix uninteresting and bleak skies in no time. We recommend adding the above sky and cloud photos to your arsenal of creative assets. Well, they are free, which is always pleasant!
How to create sky and cloud overlays
Sky overlays are easy to use. They are also easy to create. You have access to tons of good sky photos above. But you don’t always need to search for and buy sky stock photos. Create your own collection of sky images by building a new habit: take photos whenever you see a particularly beautiful sky. You can have your own categories of skies: clean blue skies, clouds, overcast skies, golden hour skies, blue hour skies. Add sky photos for different weather and lighting conditions.
When you take sky photos, use these simple rules. Avoid background objects like hills, houses, trees. Otherwise it will give you more work when you need to remove these objects from the image. Without background objects it’s also easier to get a balanced exposure. With objects present you may get a shadowy background and you will need some ND filters to darken the sky.
Spend several days watching the skies above your head and taking photos of the most interesting cloud patterns. In a matter of weeks you will have a sizable collection of sky overlays.
If you don’t have time for that, you can always refer to the free sky collections above.
Need more overlays and textures for your videos and graphic designs? Check out these other free collections available on our site: