Struggling to isolate skies in LR, is this a reasonable workflow?

Started Jul 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Struggling to isolate skies in LR, is this a reasonable workflow?
Jul 7, 2012

I am rather new to Lightroom, after using photoshop for a while, and one thing I'm really struggling with is how to isolate my skies to work on them when I don't have a flat horizon line and I have something large sticking up into the sky (like the sample images below).

I have some images where I need to vastly underexpose or make big changes to the sky that I don't want to effect the rest of the photo. If I use a graduated filter I can't work around the things sticking up into the sky, and the adjustment brush is an exercise in frustration for large areas. It drives me a bit batty that LR doesn't have Photoshop's selection tools to allow you to edit just a portion of an image.

The only workaround I can think of is opening the photos in photoshop, cutting out the sky, importing that to lightroom as a separate image, and then bringing it back into photoshop to merge back into the original photo. Of course, I would think I'd lose the RAW data in all that. How do you guys deal with wanting to isolate the editing of your sky when it's not a nice, flat horizon shot?

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