How to get blue sky?


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CreaXion

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#1
Singapore sky is quite difficult to get blue sky in comparison with temperate countries. When I try to get the blue sky with a subject in front, it tends to underexpose the subject. If I use flash, sometimes, it tend to blow out.

Can anyone here advise how to get it right everytime? Care to share some general settings?
 

CreaXion

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#3
synapseman said:
Try a neutral-density (ND) grad filter?
I am currently using the B & W UV and anti haze filter. Does it help? Cost quite a bit
 

CreaXion

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#5
JLee said:
ND Grad is a good suggestion and also use Polarizer. After that use PS to adjust. Well I really don't know how to get deep blue sky like Fuji Velvia film without PS. You can browse through my blue sky pic from my Singapore album http://www.jinolee.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album51
Tx for the information. Will try.
 

Snoweagle

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#6
CreaXion said:
Singapore sky is quite difficult to get blue sky in comparison with temperate countries. When I try to get the blue sky with a subject in front, it tends to underexpose the subject. If I use flash, sometimes, it tend to blow out.

Can anyone here advise how to get it right everytime? Care to share some general settings?
U can also use a polariser.
 

CreaXion

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#7
JLee said:
ND Grad is a good suggestion and also use Polarizer. After that use PS to adjust. Well I really don't know how to get deep blue sky like Fuji Velvia film without PS.

You can browse through some of my blue sky pics from my Singapore album http://www.jinolee.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album51
I saw those pics. Nice pics. Tx for sharing.
 

Stoned

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#8
A big step is to expose it right on the right day at the right time. The other thing that helps a lot is a polariser. The second doesn't work without the first.
 

synapseman

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#9
CreaXion said:
I am currently using the B & W UV and anti haze filter. Does it help? Cost quite a bit
I'm no expert in filters, but methinks UV/anti-haze filters are supposed to give "clearer" images over distance. The problem with shooting skies is the high contrast between sky and foreground, so UV filters would not really solve the problem of getting both exposed correctly. UV/skylight filters are usually just used as a protection for the front lens element, and not so much for the effect they're supposed to have on an image.
 

synapseman

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#10
JLee said:
ND Grad is a good suggestion and also use Polarizer. After that use PS to adjust. Well I really don't know how to get deep blue sky like Fuji Velvia film without PS.

You can browse through some of my blue sky pics from my Singapore album http://www.jinolee.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album51
Nice. Your Chinese Garden CH21 blew me away, man... :thumbsup:
 

Apr 30, 2006
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#11
The thing is that you have to have blue, clear sky. Not light blue sky. Time of the day also affects the effect of the polarising filter.

You seem to be caught in a backlit situation. Use your camera to meter off the sky to correctly expose that, and let the flash light up the foreground where you subject is.
 

CreaXion

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#12
tamiya_model said:
The thing is that you have to have blue, clear sky. Not light blue sky. Time of the day also affects the effect of the polarising filter.

You seem to be caught in a backlit situation. Use your camera to meter off the sky to correctly expose that, and let the flash light up the foreground where you subject is.
Pardon my ignorance and stupidity. Can u explain more on meter off the blue sky?

I have also tried a method used by my friends. Aperture not less than F7.1, Full power. Results of those experiment is not very consistent though.
 

Apr 30, 2006
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#13
I assume you are on Aperture Priority, at f/7.1. You point your camera to the sky to get the in-camera's suggested metering for the sky, that is the correct exposture your camera shows you so you don't underexpose/overexpose the sky. That is metering off the sky using your camera's metering system.
I would suggest the following procedure to achieve consistent results. Set to manual mode using the metered shutter value and the aperture (f/7.1), while leaving the flash to auto. The flash would correct for the lack of ambient light/backlighting on the portraits. Plus and minus power on the flash when necessary. You would realise that using a manual setting would prevent your in camera meter from running loose and choosing whatever exposture it likes. Flash control on the flash unit also becomes more easy.

Tweak the manual settings accordingly to changing situations.

I do this for my events too. By setting my camera on manual, say 1/100 at f/4 depending on situation, I let my flash compensate for the lack of light. This way, I can be sure that I don't get subject movement. Moreover, you will notice that plus minusing flash power makes a difference. I.E. more control.
 

CreaXion

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#14
tamiya_model said:
I assume you are on Aperture Priority, at f/7.1. You point your camera to the sky to get the in-camera's suggested metering for the sky, that is the correct exposture your camera shows you so you don't underexpose/overexpose the sky. That is metering off the sky using your camera's metering system.
I would suggest the following procedure to achieve consistent results. Set to manual mode using the metered shutter value and the aperture (f/7.1), while leaving the flash to auto. The flash would correct for the lack of ambient light/backlighting on the portraits. Plus and minus power on the flash when necessary. You would realise that using a manual setting would prevent your in camera meter from running loose and choosing whatever exposture it likes. Flash control on the flash unit also becomes more easy.

Tweak the manual settings accordingly to changing situations.

I do this for my events too. By setting my camera on manual, say 1/100 at f/4 depending on situation, I let my flash compensate for the lack of light. This way, I can be sure that I don't get subject movement. Moreover, you will notice that plus minusing flash power makes a difference. I.E. more control.
Thanks for the information. Never tot of setting the Flash mode to auto when going for blue sky. I actually used full manual control most of the time for my body and flash. Seems very very logical to me with regards to your suggestion. Will try out tomorrow.
 

Chris Lim

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Oct 24, 2005
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#15
hmmmm how about praying? :bsmilie:
 

lsisaxon

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Nov 29, 2004
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#17
CreaXion said:
Singapore sky is quite difficult to get blue sky in comparison with temperate countries. When I try to get the blue sky with a subject in front, it tends to underexpose the subject. If I use flash, sometimes, it tend to blow out.

Can anyone here advise how to get it right everytime? Care to share some general settings?
Shoot with the sun 45 degrees up directly behind you. Your subjects are illuminated, the sky 45 degrees above in front are the most strongly polarized. You will get nice blue sky. Of course you must not have those overcast skies, otherwise you can try what Chris Lim suggested. ;)

D70s - resized only, no other PP.
 

fWord

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Jun 23, 2005
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#18
Stoned said:
A big step is to expose it right on the right day at the right time. The other thing that helps a lot is a polariser. The second doesn't work without the first.
Simply put, but I got to agree with it too. Assuming you shoot when the sun is low in the sky, near the horizon (near sunrise or sunset), and on a very clear day, it is possible to get a pleasing blue sky without the use of any filters or aggressive post-processing.

Setting an increased Saturation on your camera may also help.
 

lsisaxon

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Nov 29, 2004
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#19
fWord said:
Simply put, but I got to agree with it too. Assuming you shoot when the sun is low in the sky, near the horizon (near sunrise or sunset), and on a very clear day, it is possible to get a pleasing blue sky without the use of any filters or aggressive post-processing.

Setting an increased Saturation on your camera may also help.
Always remember.. the bluest part of the sky is always 90 degrees from the sun. So if you make an L-shape with your thumb and forefinger and point the forefinger at the sun, the bluest part of the sky will be where the thumb is pointing. So you can rotate the arm while keeping the finger pointed toward the sun and the arc that the thumb traces will be the zone of blue sky.

Which is why you get the bluest sky when the sun is about 45 or 60 degrees up and directly behind you, so that the blue sky is 45 to 30 degrees up from the horizon in front. So sunrise and sunset are not really good to get blue sky unless you're just shooting the sky which is almost overhead or shooting north or south.
 

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