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Thread: Better Pictures on a Grey Day?

  1. #1
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    Dylan Morton

    Better Pictures on a Grey Day?

    As a complete DLSR noob, I was wondering are there any tips to producing better pictures on a dull grey British day?
    I am going out into Cambridge today armed with my new Canon 550D and was wondering how I could make any shots a little more appealing.
    Is this something you improve in post processing or are there any useful tips I can utilise to help me out when taking the picture.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    JK6065's Avatar
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    Jeroen

    Re: Better Pictures on a Grey Day?

    Basically a grey day is far from ideal for shooting outdoors in general. And despite of any post processing the photograph has to be right in order to get a good shot. But when you have no choice there are some things you can do in post processing. As you said a grey day provides dull shots, so increasing the contrast and saturation would get it all better.

    At the time of shooting what you can do is make sure to get the exposure correct and pay a lot of attention to composition. With filters you might be able the cope better with the dullness when shooting, but I reckon that would be more a bit of advanced method.

    Doing the two things I mentioned above is a good way to start. When you've done your shots I advice to share some of your shots and ask than for further post processing advice. It much easier to help (and for you to learn) from a specific example.

    These tutorial about curves, levels and local contrast enhancement would give you some post processing help.

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Better Pictures on a Grey Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
    As a complete DLSR noob, I was wondering are there any tips to producing better pictures on a dull grey British day?
    Hi Dylan,

    Welcome to the CiC forums (just in case I missed that earlier).

    It is an all too common problem - so why not take advantage and try shooting the kinds of scene that would be too contrasty on a sunny day?

    e.g. architectural subjects springs to mind, shots of buildings with deep recessed arch/doorways, verandah things (not what we call them, but the proper name escapes me ).

    Normally the sort of shot where the sunlit front face (especially if pale) would be too bright to expose the dark interiors sufficiently.

    Reflections of lights in puddles and rain soaked pavements is another idea.

    Well, that's all too late for today, but I'm sure it won't be long before we have another grey day

    Cheers,

  4. #4

    Re: Better Pictures on a Grey Day?

    Dave beat me to it. Look for contrasts and try to think in black and white. B/W conversions can work surprisingly well on those flat grey days

  5. #5

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    Re: Better Pictures on a Grey Day?

    One approach you might try is to use your flash - bounced if possible, to illuminate your subjects. The difference between the gray ambient light, and what the flash will produce, which is basically a sunlight spectrum, will make your subjects appear very warm and detailed compared to the bluish low contrast ambient lighting. You could even underexpose the ambient light a couple of stops to exaggerate the effect.

    Here is an example:

    Better Pictures on a Grey Day?

  6. #6
    rob marshall

    Re: Better Pictures on a Grey Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    B/W conversions can work surprisingly well on those flat grey days
    They can, and I often resort to that. But you can also get some good colour shots on grey days. The cloud-cover acts as a very big diffuser for the sun, creating a very soft look. If you can get a few chinks of light coming through it can work very well, as here...

    Better Pictures on a Grey Day?

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