Your best advice on techniques for photographing the daytime sky

john m flores

All-Pro
Aug 13, 2012
Sometimes telephone poles and birds get in the way


Cable Guy's Nightmare by john m flores, on Flickr

Sometimes it's cloudy


Passing Storm by john m flores, on Flickr


Mostly cloudy by john m flores, on Flickr

Sometimes it's blue


Roof, Chimney, Power Lines, Moon, and Some Clouds by john m flores, on Flickr

Sometimes it's a little bit of each


Partly cloudy, Somerville NJ by john m flores, on Flickr

And sometimes it's better to wait it out


Sunset over Asbury Park by john m flores, on Flickr


Sun Setting over the Manhattan Skyline, as seen from Flushing, Queens. by john m flores, on Flickr
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
Melbourne, Australia
Sometimes telephone poles and birds get in the way


Cable Guy's Nightmare by john m flores, on Flickr
Wow I can't tell you how much love this photo. I'm not even sure how to explain why I love it, I think it's the lines and the form, the composition and the medium depth of field that gets shallower in the background. Also the minimalist white background. The colours are just great too, not desaturated but sort of subdued.
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
Melbourne, Australia






I took these photos earlier today. I would say:

- shoot raw.

- stop down, depending on the level of light maybe anywhere between f/5.6 to f/16 (not anymore of you may get a bit of diffraction). This is so your photos are sharp. There's no need for any shallow depth of field in landscape or any scape kind of photos unless you're intentionally wanting to incorporate nearby objects into the photo to convey depth and distance.

- in post, reduced exposure even more (and compensated using white/light/highlight sliders in LR).

- use graduated neutral density filters if you're incorporating both land-horizon-sky in the photo. If not, use a straight neutral density filter. The photos above were taken with a straight .9 ND filter.

- use a polariser filter to get a bit of clarity in your photos if you have one (I don't have one though).

- try different focal lengths. Most people might advise wide angle lenses for landscape/sky, that'll work sometimes. The photos above were taken at around 60mm equivalent. It works for me because I wanted to take a photo of a specific part of the sky, namely where the light rays were emerging from the clouds.
 

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
Troy, NY
Sometimes telephone poles and birds get in the way
John,

I was admiring this shot when I realized that it reveals either incredible bravery or a failure to "think it through." The point being that if anything at all disturbs those birds in any way you, as the shooter, could find yourself in a -- how can I put this in a seriouscompacts family friendly way -- fertilizer storm, a guano "event"!

Cheers, Jock
 

john m flores

All-Pro
Aug 13, 2012
John,

I was admiring this shot when I realized that it reveals either incredible bravery or a failure to "think it through." The point being that if anything at all disturbs those birds in any way you, as the shooter, could find yourself in a -- how can I put this in a seriouscompacts family friendly way -- fertilizer storm, a guano "event"!

Cheers, Jock

Or to put it less delicately, a sh*tstorm LOL.



Oh, and full disclosure, it's a composite image. I hope that doesn't disqualify me.
 

HeatherTheVet

Top Veteran
Apr 23, 2011
Scotland
Heather
What a cracking thread this is, I am loving the photos. Lots of them.

I am teetering on the brink of starting to play with filters (ie looking at them on ebay) but I'm not sure how and why to use them really. Is it a homework job or do you learn very quickly once you get them and give it a spin?
 

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