It’s time for another Lightroom tutorial. Are you ready? If you are unsure, go to our first Lightroom post (Lightroom: Add a Photo) and catch-up, then follow along. We are in the midst of a 100 DAY Project, taking a photo every day. Feel free to join us, and set your own 100 days!

I’ve already added & picked a photo for my Sky Enhancement.

  • Click on the Edit icon

As soon as you click on the Edit icon, the Edit menu will “fly” open on the right side of your workspace. Now, I picked this photo because it will also let me demonstrate the Texture slider. The Texture slider visibly makes a my grass *pop*, but it also helps my clouds pop. It’s step one for making the sky a little more dramatic.

  • Slide the narrow scroll bar down the right side of the Edit Menu
  • Stop when you see the Effects Heading

If needed, click the tiny arrow next to Effects to open up the sub-palette.

  • Slide the Texture Slider to the right to increase texture
  • Then click on the Masking icon on the very right

The Masking Menu will fly out, replacing the Edit Menu.

  • Click on Linear Gradient to create your mask
  • If this is your first go around, you can choose to take a Quick Tour, otherwise click Later to follow along

As soon as you click on Linear Gradient a second menu will fly out. This one is smaller. You do not need to click on Create New Mask. You are already in the “Create new mask” mode because you clicked on Linear Gradient.

Make sure your mouse is over your photo and drag your Linear Gradient from the top to just below your sky line. The Linear Gradient is a gradient of the effects we will apply next. The darker the red, the strong the effects will be.

  • Drawing gradients can be a little tough, go slow

Once you let go, your Linear Gradient is in place and you can begin editing. The second you slide a slider, the “red” will disappear from view. But. You can see by the “white” in my Mask 1 which section of the photo is being edited.

My goal is to have those white puffy clouds show up a little better.

  • Click on the Contrast slider and slide left
  • Click on the Highlight slider and slide left
  • Click on the Whites slider and slide right
  • I also decrease the exposure a little on my Sky Mask (aka Mask 1)

I played with this until it was right for me. It’s a subtle difference, but I’m very happy with the improvement. At any time you can click on the Edit Icon and go back to editing the entire photo, and then click on the Masking Icon to go back to editing just your sky.

  • Be sure to click on your Masking Icon, to fly out the Masking Menu
  • Then click on your previously edited Mask 1 to edit just your Sky