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The Best Sky Replacement Apps in 2023 (Updated)

Last updated: November 12, 2023 - 9 min read
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There’s no doubt that a good sky can add to the beauty of a photograph. But what if you’re shooting in an area that doesn’t have very nice skies? Or what if you want to create a specific mood or feeling in your photo? In those cases, you might need to use a sky replacement app.

Luminar Neo is the best sky replacement software. It has a specific tool for replacing skies in images. And thanks to the AI technology, this once complicated task is quick and easy. It’s a two-click operation. And the software is packed with other AI tools for painless photo editing. 

Innovative AI Technology
Luminar Neo
Skylum Luminar Neo
Neo uses state-of-the-art AI technology to give you super-fast and easy to use editing tools like their advanced Sky Replacement feature. It’s also packed with other AI tools for complex editing made simple.

Testing Sky Replacement Apps: Reviewing Images and Options

Our test image has a washed-out sky and fine detail in the background trees. The tools that couldn’t handle these issues didn’t make the cut.

Also, while it’s nice to have sky images available in the program, these are made by other photographers, and we prefer to use our own replacement skies. So we’ll let you know if this is possible in the software, using a small replacement sky image from an iPhone.

Lastly, we also looked at how each tool managed file-size issues.

We’ve split the tools into apps and software. If you primarily photograph and edit on your mobile devices, focus on the apps. If you post-process on a computer, the software tools are for you.

Rusted shipwreck on icy water with cloudy washed out sky
Original icy shipwreck photo used to test sky replacement software

Best Sky Replacement Software

Now we’ll look at the best sky replacement software options in more detail. 

1. Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo from Skylum has the best sky replacement tool of any photo editing software. And that’s down to Skylum’s use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With the power of AI, they’ve transformed complex and arduous tasks into quick and easy operations. And the sky replacement feature is the best example.

Previously, replacing a sky in an image was hard work. But that’s not the case in Luminar Neo. Changing a sky is as easy as clicking a few buttons. The AI does all the hard work, and it does it in record time. You can literally replace a sky in seconds. 

Neo gives you a good selection of skies to choose from. The basic program gives you plenty of sky options. But you can also buy more additional skies if that’s not enough. Then once you’ve selected the sky you want, simply click apply. That’s it. 

There’s no cutting or copying. And there are no complicated layers. The AI bot does all the heavy lifting, giving you the easiest editing experience of your life.

Luminar Neo is also packed with other advanced AI features. There are AI background removal, AI masking, and AI relight tools, to name just a few. You can read our full Luminar Neo review for a more in-depth dive into the software.


  • Incredibly quick and easy to use
  • Plenty of skies included in the program
  • No editing experience required
  • Natural results
  • Automatically makes minor adjustments to image so the sky matches the scene


  • More skies have to be purchased

2. Adobe Photoshop (version 22.5)

OS X | Windows


With just a couple of clicks, Photoshop will change your sky. If you already use Adobe products, this is the quickest way to get the job done. The AI sky replacement tool does a good job masking around background details. It also blends foreground lighting and color with the new sky image.

The look is customizable. Easily change the sky temperature, horizon blending, and foreground lighting. Both sky and foreground changes show as editable layers, and you can adjust the mask if necessary. It masks better than Luminar AI, but it lacks creative options. If you want your sky replacement software fast and without bells and whistles, this is your program.

How to search Sky with Photoshop

  1. Open image in Photoshop
  2. Select Edit > Sky Replacement
  3. Select a sky or click the gear to add your own
  4. Click OK


  • Easy to use
  • Customizable lighting and color adjustments


  • Access by subscription
Rusted shipwreck on icy water with AI sky replaced using Adobe Photoshop
Sky replaced with Adobe Photoshop

3. Landscape Pro

OS X | Windows


Landscape Pro isn’t just for landscape photography. It has a lot of built-in presets that you can adjust with sliders. You can add your own sky image or use one of the presets. Along with skies, you can adjust lighting, atmosphere, and many other sky elements. You can even move individual clouds around and move the sun to paint on 3D lighting effects.

The precision of Landscape Pro relies on how well you label and mask the elements in your scene. The program helps, but you, not AI, masks around trees and other objects. There are a lot of effects but use them sparingly and at a low opacity. Many are over-the-top at full power.

How to search Sky with Landscape Pro

  1. Open image in Landscape Pro
  2. Label sky and other objects in the image
  3. Refine the masks
  4. Open the sliders tab in the Sky panel
  5. Select a sky or click + to add your own


  • Many lighting and atmosphere effects
  • Reflects sky in water


  • Manual masking
  • Unrealistic and garish effects
  • Can be a bit sluggish
Rusted shipwreck on icy water with sky replaced using Landscape Pro
Sky replaced with Landscape Pro. You can see my struggles masking the trees on the left-hand horizon.

4. PhotoDirector 365

OS X | Windows


PhotoDirector 365 has a nice AI sky replacement with additional lighting effects. The process is almost instant. Click a sky, and AI instantly finds and replaces it. It is as fast as having a magic wand. The AI masking was a bit inconsistent. For some of the skies, the background trees showed halos. But for our target sky, there was no problem at all. There does not seem to be a way to refine the mask. The sky and foreground color adjustments are basic. But there are many effects like lens flares, light rays, and even some animation that make this program worth exploring. All effects render instantly.

How to search Sky in PhotoDirector 365

  1. Open image in PhotoDirector 365
  2. Select Sky Replacement in the Photo Effects panel
  3. Select a sky or click the + icon above My Templates to import your own


  • One-click sky replacement
  • Many lighting and animation effects
  • Instant results


Rusted shipwreck on icy water with AI sky replacement using PhotoDirector 365
Sky replaced with PhotoDirector 365. Lens flare and light rays added.

Best Apps with Sky Replacement Feature

We also set out to find the best sky replacement app. Photo editing apps, which were once simply playgrounds for the casual photographer, now include powerful features like sky replacement. Not many can compete with photo editing software, but here are a couple of photo editing tools that try.

1. Lightleap by Lightricks

IOS | Android

Free with in-app purchases

Lightleap by Lightricks is a subscription app, but there are enough free features to whet your appetite. One of the features is sky replacement. You cannot use your own sky photos. But there are a handful of free skies and many more if you subscribe to the app. Click a sky background, and the program instantly masks and replaces the sky. The masks worked well with lighter skies. Darker skies showed a halo around the background trees in the target image. As the name would imply, there are other light tricks to play with including lightning effects and shooting stars. But results are not customizable.

How to search Sky with Lightleap

  1. Open image in Lightleap
  2. Select the Sky tool
  3. Choose a sky background


  • One-click sky replacement
  • Many lighting and animation effects
  • Instant results
  • Many freebies


  • Costly subscription
  • Inconsistent AI masking
  • Cannot import skies
  • Results not customizable
Rusted shipwreck on icy water with lightning in the sky
Sky replaced in Lightleap app with a lightning effect added

2. Picnic – Weather Genie Photo

IOS | Android


All Picnic does is change skies. One click instantly masks the sky and colourises the foreground to match. The masking works well with light and dark skies. You cannot use your own skies, and there are not as many choices as Lightleap. There are only two adjustments, one for the sky background and the other for the foreground. But the app is free and fast. If all you want is a quick sky replacement, this is your app.

How to search Sky with Picnic

  1. Open image in Picnic
  2. Select sky background


  • Free
  • Fast
  • Consistently good masking


  • Limited sky selections
  • Few customisations
Rusted shipwreck on icy water with a starry sky added using Picnic
Sky replaced in Lightleap app with a starry effect added


Replacing a sky in an image used to be a painful process. Even with the best editing software, it was a difficult and time-consuming procedure. But software has changed. And now replacing a sky couldn’t be easier. 

Luminar Neo is by far the best sky replacement software. The AI technology allows you to change a sky and transform an image in a matter of seconds. You can’t make the processes any quicker or easier. And the Neo program is also packed with other advanced editing tools. 

For an easy to use photo editing software, see our new review on InPixio, too!
Are you wanting to capture beautiful landscapes without going too far from home?  Check out our Simply Stunning Landscapes course for a fun and easy way to master landscape photography.

Innovative AI Technology
Luminar Neo
Skylum Luminar Neo
Neo uses state-of-the-art AI technology to give you super-fast and easy to use editing tools like their advanced Sky Replacement feature. It’s also packed with other AI tools for complex editing made simple.