Helpful Posts: 0
10th August 2011, 02:17 PM
Shooting in clouds
I'm sure this has been asked before, but for whatever reason I was unable to figure out how to search to find what I was looking for - I keep finding pictures of clouds rather than tips for shooting in cloudy weather.
On to the question - I leave on Thursday for my Alaska trip, and having looked into the forecast for the next week or so, its going to be pretty cloudy. I've taken primarily indoor photos so far, mostly of my aquaria, and while I'm pretty comfortable with the options and mechanics of my camera I'm not entirely solid on the theory of everything and how it all works together.
I'm looking for any tips or suggestions the community has on shooting in overcast / cloudy weather without having all of my photos look a little washed out or grey. Is that just a byproduct of having too much of the sky in the shot? Is there something I can do while taking the pictures to avoid that? In PP?
I should add my equipment, in case that helps!
70-300 f/5.6 VR
18-105 f/5.6 VR - kit lens
10th August 2011, 02:51 PM
Re: Shooting in clouds
Hi Chris, I would try using a circular polarizing filter as the first attempt to bring out the marginal sky but if it is totally bland, you'll need to correct the problem in post processing. Here is a tutorial you can try.
Try to get pictures of sky that are as close as reasonable in color and cloud content to what would be in the image if it wasn't totally bland. A bright blue sky with white fleecy clouds won't work for a picture taken on a sunless day. Other things to try to match for your sky shots is sun direction, angle above the horizon, cloud distance and height, and sky color. I'd take some sky pictures and experiment with the tutorial before your trip and plan to take the sky pictures you will need once you are in Alaska on days where the conditions are similar, but better than the sky you want to replace. An interesting sky is rarely solid dull grey or cloudless bright blue.
11th August 2011, 02:55 AM
11th August 2011, 05:30 AM
Re: Shooting in clouds
I am just back from a cruise to Alaska, with very similar gear (D5000, 18-105, 70-300, and a Canon s95 backup). I cannot give you any good advice on shooting, but my images - http://www.flickr.com/photos/len_elg...7627406475244/ - may give you some ideas about what to expect. Not only a matter of clouds, but often foggy in the morning (especially near the glaciers) which lifted during the day.
I always shoot JPEG+RAW. The photos on Flickr are quick edits of the JPEGs for family and friends. If I find any keepers I will go back to the RAW versions later on. Getting rid of the washed-out look has been mainly a matter of adjusting levels in post-processing. Just make sure you do not blow out the details in the fog/mist/clouds..