One nice thing about Adobe Photoshop CS6 (and those versions before) is that you can go places in your mind and translate them to an image. Today's image (the main portion at least) is at a parking area along the Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, USA, looking west. I'm pretty sure hot air ballooning isn't allowed in the White's. The reason would be that hot air balloons go where the breezes take you for as long as you have gas in the cylinder. Typically you have a "chase" crew that follows the route of the balloon as closely as possible. That's so the crew can pick up the balloonist when he/she comes down. That would be sort of a problem in the White Mountains. There's kind of a lack of roads to do the chasing. Imagine landing six or seven miles from the closest road. I'd recommend a rather big, burly guy as (at least) one of the crew. Somebody's going to have to lug that empty gas cylinder out to the nearest road, and those suckers aren't light. So, chances are hot air ballooning in the White Mountains is at least frowned upon. But, with a little Photoshop magic, it's no problem. Putting a balloon in the sky would be easy. Heck, putting an Army tank in the sky would be easy. Not believable, just easy. To find out how easy it was to put the balloon in the sky, hit the "Read More".
The day the image of the balloon was taken there was a solid blue sky. Not a cloud anywhere. It had rained the evening before, so any pollution had been washed out of the sky. Crystal clear (boring) blue sky was the order of the day when that image was made. The only nice thing was that the colors of the balloon stood out fantastically. I choose this particular balloon because of the contrast it would bring to the landscape shot. BTW: The landscape is about a six image panorama flawlessly put together by the magic of Photoshop. I caution I will give when creating a pano in CS6 is to be sure to check the radio button that says "Vignette Removal". It makes life easier.
The balloon was part of a multiple balloon image. Since I only needed one I used the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) to isolate the single balloon. I did a Copy (CTRL C) and Paste (CTRL V) into the landscape image. Once there I took the Magic Wand Tool (W) and clicked on the sky. The selection was then Inverted (CTRL I [eye]). The next move was to shrink the Selection (Select/Modify/Contract) by one Pixel. I always save any Selection, so I did a Right Click and chose Save Selection. No need to name it in the dialog box that pops up because it was the only Selection made in creating today's image. With the balloon still selected a New Layer Mask (bottom of the Layers Panel - looks like a front loading washer) was applied and the sky vanished. Due to the one pixel contraction there was a thin halo around the balloon. Using a black Brush Tool (B) the rind was painted out on the Mask.The only thing left was to use the Move Tool (V) to place the balloon in the best possible location. The whole mess was then brought back to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 (File Save/File Close) for finishing.