Turn Daytime Photos Into Incredible Sunset Scenes with These Easy Photoshop Tricks (VIDEO)

Landscape photography at golden hour is one sure way to capture truly stunning images. But what about all those photos you shot during the day that are really nothing special? Of course you could simply delete them, but a better option is to turn these so-so shots into jaw-dropping sunset images with a little help from Photoshop.

Photographer Colin Smith is an image-editing expert specializing in easy to-follow Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials. In the video below he demonstrates how to rehabilitate drab outdoor photos by turning them into amazing sunset scenes. In fact, with the tips he demonstrates, you’ll be able to simulate whatever time of day you desire.

In the video below, you’ll see how easy it is to turn a daytime landscape shot into a dynamic sunset scene by replacing the sky, modifying color tones, and simulating a long exposure by adding movement to the clouds and reflections to the water. It takes Smith less than 13 minutes to accomplish this transformation, and by employing his tricks you can do the same yourself.

Replacing a boring sky may sound like a complicated task, but with Smith’s step-by-step approach it’s actually quite simple. As you’ll see, the key to doing this properly is to make sure the light in the new sky is coming from the same direction as in your original shot. If the direction of the lighting is wrong, it’s a simple matter to flip the replacement sky to achieve a realistic look.

Getting the sky right is just step one in the tutorial. Next you’ll see how to bathe the scene in warm light, create natural looking reflections in the water, and create the impression of a flowing image captured with a slow shutter speed. Along the way, Smith demonstrates helpful keyboard shortcuts to simplify the process.

All that’s left is few quick adjustments to refine saturation and vibrance, align the position of the various layers, do a bit of blending with a gradient, and a couple other minor refinements. The final result is an amazing sunset shot with a dramatic but realistic look.

So grab a few of your uninspiring daytime shots and work some magic of your own. After watching the video, head over to Smith’s YouTube channel for more great tips. And don’t miss an earlier tutorial of his we posted, with five easy Photoshop tricks every photographer should know.