How do you capture the skies in landscape shots?


BigBogey

New Member
Jun 2, 2010
6
0
0
West and East
#1
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.
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
6,232
2
0
SG
#2
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
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
11,755
0
0
East
#3
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.
 

SilverPine

Senior Member
Jul 8, 2007
4,539
6
38
Singapore
#4
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:




:)



.
 

night86mare

Deregistered
Aug 25, 2006
25,541
0
0
www.pbase.com
#5
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.
 

SilverPine

Senior Member
Jul 8, 2007
4,539
6
38
Singapore
#6
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.


:)


.
 

BigBogey

New Member
Jun 2, 2010
6
0
0
West and East
#7
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
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.
 

sinned79

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2009
10,868
3
0
Singapore
www.aboutlove.sg
#9
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.
 

Diavonex

Senior Member
Sep 23, 2008
3,641
0
0
Admiralty
#10
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.





 

Sivakis

New Member
Sep 26, 2008
569
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0
#11
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.
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
11,755
0
0
East
#12
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. :)
 

silvergetz

Deregistered
Jun 7, 2005
527
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0
zeonicphoto.multiply.com
#13
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.
 

sinned79

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2009
10,868
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www.aboutlove.sg
#14
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)!
 

Daoyin

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2008
2,808
6
38
West
#15
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.
 

my3k1z

New Member
Apr 27, 2010
60
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www.flickr.com
#16
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. :(
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
11,755
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East
#17
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...
 

sinned79

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2009
10,868
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Singapore
www.aboutlove.sg
#18
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:

my3k1z

New Member
Apr 27, 2010
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www.flickr.com
#19
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
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
9,522
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0
rainy Singapore
#20
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.
 

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