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Thread: blue sky help

  1. #1

    Default blue sky help

    Seen numerous photos with beautiful blue sky .Anyone here can teach me how to obtain the very blue sky without using filter? Do not know why every photo i took with the sky background does not turn out blue ,alway white only.What setting should i use in order to capture the blue sky?thks

  2. #2

    Default Re: blue sky help

    the sky must be blue in the first place. If too much contrast, then the sky will be over blown. Try using a polarising filter it may help. If the sky comes out totally white, it will be very hard to save ur photo even with photoshop.
    Chanxj
    my blog @ http://sgsnap.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: blue sky help

    Quote Originally Posted by chansw View Post
    Seen numerous photos with beautiful blue sky .Anyone here can teach me how to obtain the very blue sky without using filter? Do not know why every photo i took with the sky background does not turn out blue ,alway white only.What setting should i use in order to capture the blue sky?thks
    Hmmmm... what kind of metering are you using? It sounds like over-exposure to me. Try a lower exposure for comparision, dial in a -0.7 to -1.0 and see if there's any difference.

    A polariser does help to intensify the colour. But you need to get the exposure right first.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  4. #4
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    Default Re: blue sky help

    1) Circular Polarizer
    2) Gradual ND (neutral density filter)
    3) Photoshop
    4) HDR

    There should be other ways .
    Sony Alpha 700 hobbyist

  5. #5

    Default Re: blue sky help

    It's usually because the scene has a dynamic range higher than what you camera image sensor can capture. In such cases, if you meter at the sky to have it nicely exposed and captured as blue, the other much less bright subjects will be under-exposed and captured as too dark. If you meter at the other subjects to have them nicely exposed, the sky will be over-exposed and captured as blown out whites.

    To avoid this, you need to choose the right time (so that the brightness of sky and the ground subjects are not too large. E.g. certain time of the day when the sun is 45 degree high behind you and lit the ground subject brightly.) to shoot.

    E.g.
    When I reached the scene at 8.30am, the lighting condition wasn't ideal : The sun was shinning lowly from the front right side into the sky and the subjects on the ground were mostly in the shadows. So I knew the dynamic range was too high to capture the foreground and sky properly exposed at the same time and so I took a total of 4 shots at different exposure (using +/- EV), using a tripod and keeping the aperture and composition constant, with the intention to use HDR merge in photoshop. 2 of the pictures are as below. 1st one is to expose the foreground properly, inadvertently causing the sky and clock tower (lit by the sun) to be blown out white. The 2nd is to exposre the sky properly, unavoidably resulting in the foreground to be under-exposed.

    #1 (F/8 @1/36) & #2 (F/8 @1/158)


    Later on the same day when the light condition was more ideal at 4.45pm, the sun was coming about 45 degree behind me from my left and illuminating both the foreground and the sky very well and the dynamic range of the scene was within what the camera's sensor can capture. Both of them were properly exposed with a blue sky captured in #3 below :

    #3 (F/8 @1/359)



    Time of the day is very important as it determines the lighting condition and dynamic range of the scene. For the above, in order to capture the lush greenery, I should have arrived much earlier than 8.30am, before the sky became so much brighter relative to the foreground.

    If not, you would need to use filters to cut down on the scene's dynamic range.

    Alternatively, as Zcf mentioned but usually only possible in static or landscape scene), take a few shots of the same scene with a tripod at a few different exposures (3 to 5 different settings) so that each of the subject in your picture has been captured as properly exposed in at least one of them and then use photoshop HDR to merge them.

    Read this thread :

    http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=209830
    Last edited by Clockunder; 17th November 2006 at 02:02 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: blue sky help

    try shutter faster then 1/500...

  7. #7

    Default Re: blue sky help

    Try either 1 of the following:
    - Wait for better lighting like morning or late afternoon
    - Use Photoshop to balance the exposure between the sky and foreground.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  8. #8

    Default Re: blue sky help

    Another filter that is commonly used to get a good exposure of the sky is a Grad ND. It darkens the sky to give you a nice balance exposure of the sky and forground. Sometimes a grad blue filter or grad amber/red filter can be use for effects... but this effects can be replicated using the PS.
    Last edited by Scaglietti; 17th November 2006 at 10:53 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: blue sky help

    Quote Originally Posted by chansw View Post
    Seen numerous photos with beautiful blue sky .Anyone here can teach me how to obtain the very blue sky without using filter? Do not know why every photo i took with the sky background does not turn out blue ,alway white only.What setting should i use in order to capture the blue sky?thks
    If you shoot with the sun 45 degree above and behind you on a day without much clouds, you get a higher chance of getting blue sky.
    Last edited by lsisaxon; 19th November 2006 at 12:47 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: blue sky help

    thanks everyone, will follow the advice given

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