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Thread: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

  1. #1
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    Default How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Hi all,

    I am very new.

    I have trouble capturing the details/colors of the blue sky and clouds as background in landscape shots.

    I tried full metering + smaller aperture + slower shutter + higher ISO and play around with figures in that setting but the sky is still "less blue" than I thought it actually looks. In some case, the sky is "white"/over-exposured while the subjects in landscape (eg. buildings) look perfectly clear.

    I have tried lowering exposure too but cannot get the effect of capturing a clear landscape details on the ground + the blue sky?

    Am thinking of getting a CPL for this purpose but in the meantime, would like to ask everyone on what works for you.

  2. #2
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBogey View Post
    Hi all,
    In some case, the sky is "white"/over-exposured while the subjects in landscape (eg. buildings) look perfectly clear.

    Probably the dynamic range of the scene is too wide for the camera sensor.

    You can try
    - To capture in Raw format and see if u can pull any details from there postprocessing, or
    - Try multiple exposure blending, or
    - A graduated neutral density filter if applicable to darken the skies a little, or
    - Choose a better timing to make the shot

    ryan

  3. #3
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBogey View Post
    Hi all,

    I am very new.

    I have trouble capturing the details/colors of the blue sky and clouds as background in landscape shots.

    I tried full metering + smaller aperture + slower shutter + higher ISO and play around with figures in that setting but the sky is still "less blue" than I thought it actually looks. In some case, the sky is "white"/over-exposured while the subjects in landscape (eg. buildings) look perfectly clear.

    I have tried lowering exposure too but cannot get the effect of capturing a clear landscape details on the ground + the blue sky?

    Am thinking of getting a CPL for this purpose but in the meantime, would like to ask everyone on what works for you.
    A CPL can only help to polarise the light but if you're shooting in very bright conditions (i.e. noon), there may be only so much the filter can do to help.

    Consider shooting in mid-morning or late afternoon and see if there is a difference.

    e.g. Shot at abt 10plus



    Else you may need to consider using a grad ND filter to balance off the sky vs the foreground.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  4. #4
    Senior Member SilverPine's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    For landscape shots a GND is a must, since what you need is to darken the sky and bring out the details from the ground.

    This is what I mean below:








    .
    Canon 5D II, 20-35 f/2.8L, 28-80 f/2.8L, 70-200 f/4L IS, 100-300 f/5.6L, 100 f/2.8 Macro

  5. #5

    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by giantcanopy View Post
    Probably the dynamic range of the scene is too wide for the camera sensor.

    You can try
    - To capture in Raw format and see if u can pull any details from there postprocessing, or
    - Try multiple exposure blending, or
    - A graduated neutral density filter if applicable to darken the skies a little, or
    - Choose a better timing to make the shot

    ryan
    short and to the point.

  6. #6
    Senior Member SilverPine's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    One more example of GND used for the landscape shoot with blue sky and full details from the ground:





    Above photo no PP done, just resize and sharpen only.





    .
    Canon 5D II, 20-35 f/2.8L, 28-80 f/2.8L, 70-200 f/4L IS, 100-300 f/5.6L, 100 f/2.8 Macro

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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Thanks everybody for your enthusiastic and helpful tips.

    I will act on what has been advised and hope that I will have something to show for it. =)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Filter such as GND and CPL is a must for a good landscape shot. Other filter such as 81C warming filter is also used, however in this modern-digital world it could be easily corrected in Photoshop. But, the effect of CPL and GND filter is not something that you can edit in Photoshop or any other post production softwares.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Timing is important also.

    u dun get blue skies throughout the day.

    9-10+ in the morning and 4-5+ in the afternoon is the best time for blue skies.

    here's one example taken at 4+ afternoon:



    another example taken at 5+ afternoon:



    Because i am lucky, clear blue skies with no clouds on that day. I need not use any filters or do any PP to my photos. Both were straight from cam.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Diavonex's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Shoot on a day with nice blue sky or use a polariser. A polariser will only work if the sun is on your left or right. Some shots using polariser.






  11. #11

    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    I don't have any filters, so if I have a tripod or something handy for the cam to sit on, I'll do double exposures and layer them together in PS.

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    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sivakis View Post
    I don't have any filters, so if I have a tripod or something handy for the cam to sit on, I'll do double exposures and layer them together in PS.
    As mentioned, you don't need filters if you shoot at the right time. My shot is taken straight off the camera without filters.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  13. #13

    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    TS, you will need a blue sky to begin with. No amount of techniques will create a blue sky which can make a white dull overcast sky blue. Unless you use graduated blue filter or add filter effect in post process.

    If there is a blue sky, u can use a gnd, or double exposure (one for the sky and the other for the ground and layer in post process, or a circular polarizer ( depends on sun direction) to enhance the blue. Your best bet for a blue sky is in the morning and late afternoon.

  14. #14
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by silvergetz View Post
    TS, you will need a blue sky to begin with. No amount of techniques will create a blue sky which can make a white dull overcast sky blue. Unless you use graduated blue filter or add filter effect in post process.
    yes! especially the recent weather sucks! blue skies recently disappeared from singapore!

    i noticed that Kota Kinabalu skies is so much bluish then singapore (from my recent Mt Kinabalu trip in May)!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    yes! especially the recent weather sucks! blue skies recently disappeared from singapore!

    i noticed that Kota Kinabalu skies is so much bluish then singapore (from my recent Mt Kinabalu trip in May)!
    And that is because Laban Rata is already at +3000m. The higher you go the better chances of a blue sky.

  16. #16

    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Usually if I wanna catch skies in my landscape shots, I would use HDR to bring live to the clouds.(Y) Here's one example. *learn about HDR if you haven't heard about it. Something to do with multiple exposures and blending.



    A pity the guy in blue was moving.

  17. #17
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by my3k1z View Post
    Usually if I wanna catch skies in my landscape shots, I would use HDR to bring live to the clouds.(Y) Here's one example. *learn about HDR if you haven't heard about it. Something to do with multiple exposures and blending.



    A pity the guy in blue was moving.
    HDR overdone... too much artifacts...
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  18. #18
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daoyin View Post
    And that is because Laban Rata is already at +3000m. The higher you go the better chances of a blue sky.
    not true... i noticed blue skies even when i am not on mt kinabalu.





    i think the quality of air in sg is changing.
    Last edited by sinned79; 25th July 2010 at 10:34 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diavonex View Post
    Shoot on a day with nice blue sky or use a polariser. A polariser will only work if the sun is on your left or right. Some shots using polariser.

    Looks like Singapore is above cloud level and is a cold city. =X

  20. #20
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by my3k1z View Post
    Usually if I wanna catch skies in my landscape shots, I would use HDR to bring live to the clouds.(Y) Here's one example. *learn about HDR if you haven't heard about it. Something to do with multiple exposures and blending.



    A pity the guy in blue was moving.
    woah... too unreal.
    To me, I feel that HDR is to improve the dynamic range, but not to create unrealistic effects. It should be as close as possible to what the eye perceives the scene to be when you are actually standing there.
    Exploring! :)

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