How To Create A Dramatic Sky In Adobe Lightroom

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Visual power is crucial if you want to generate more B2B sales and B2C sales. A picture can say a lot of words, and video can say even more. But with the power of Adobe Lightroom, you can make sure that you appeal to your target audience. You can ensure that you build your social media brand through grabbing the attention of the people who matter most to you.

But if you want to preserve your online reputation, you need to make sure that your images are in the best possible condition. The chances of someone reading your content increases by 80% when you use great colored visuals. This guide is going to show you the steps you need to take in order to create a dramatic sky in any image.

Prepare Your Image

For the majority of this tutorial, we will be relying on a series of sliders together with the graduated filter tool. You should know that the image you use will determine how successful this tutorial is for you. Don’t follow the numbers exactly. You will need to tweak them based on the type of image you are using.

For example, it will be much harder to create a dramatic sky when you have an image where the sky has been heavily exposed. Sometimes it may be worth using Photoshop to add a sky manually.

Step 1 – Create a Graduated Filter

To begin with, you need to take the graduated filter tool from the Develop module. You can also press the M button on your keyboard for a shortcut. Look to the drop-down panel that appears when you select the graduated filter and double click the Effect button.

Make sure you set all the controls to default. You want to be working on a clear canvas.

Step 2 – The Exposure Setting

The exposure slider should be visible on the screen. Drag it to the left. This step isn’t strictly necessary, but most people find it helps them to see what the graduated filter is going to do with their photo. It makes it easy to get the effect you want.


Step 3 – Grab the Graduated Filter

 The graduated filter can be created through clicking in the sky where you want the largest correction. To keep the gradient straight, hold down the shift key while you drag. You will have a gradient that goes from dark to light across the sky.

The black pin in the middle and the three white lines are the gradient. Above the top white line will be where the effect is at its fullest. Between the top and bottom lines is where the fade happens. Below the bottom line you won’t see anything at all. The darkest areas of your graduated filter will be where the effects are at their strongest.

Don’t forget that you can play around with these filters. Some of the settings you can play around with include the position, size, and rotation of the filter.

Just drag the black pin around, change how far you drag the gradient by adjusting the position of the top and bottom line and rotate the filter by taking the horizon line and dragging it around.

Step 4 – Grab the Graduated Filter Sliders

You will have to play around with the sliders at this point. Slide the exposure setting back to 0 and begin playing around with the filter. The reason why we can’t provide you with any real guidance is because there’s really no single recipe that will fix or enhance every sky to make it look dramatic.

Furthermore, the look each person is going for will be entirely different. In the following image, you can see an example of how your sliders may look after you’ve finished.


Step 5 – The Finishing Touches

You should remember that just because you have one graduated filter already in place doesn’t mean that you have to stop at that. You can add as many graduated filters as you want. Sometimes this can be essential, particularly if you already have an image of great contrasts.

To create a new graduated filter, you can go to the graduated filter panel and click new. This will add in another graduated filter so you can begin changing all the sliders again.


Creating a dramatic sky can completely revamp an image. Get it right and you can make an image a main centerpiece of any piece of content or social media campaign.

What do you want to know about improving an image using Lightroom to promote your services on the Internet?


We are influencers and brand affiliates.  This post contains affiliate links, most which go to Amazon and are Geo-Affiliate links to nearest Amazon store.