.Bright Cloudy Skies | Chroma Key Software Bright Cloudy Skies

postheadericon Bright Cloudy Skies

Unless the sky is a rich, deep blue, the contrast between it and the ground is likely to be very high, to the point where it appears washed out. In landscapes and other views that included the horizon, 100% cloud cover alters the tonal relationship between sky and land. Without cloud, the difference in brightness between the two is usually fairly small; quite often, the subjects are lighter in tone. This is not the situation when cloud extends all over the scene. Then the cloud cover is the light source and, if you include it in the view, you will have a contrast problem. In other words, if the scene includes the horizon, you will inevitably lose detail either in the sky or in the ground. If the subjects or the ground are properly exposed, the sky will be white, without any visible texture to the clouds.

 

Many photographers simply avoid including the horizon and sky in a shot under these conditions, but you may occasionally find that you have no choice. One answer during shooting is to use a neutral density graduated filter over the lens, aligning the soft edge of the filter’s darkened area with the horizon line, so that the sky is made darker.

 

There is also a purely digital answer, which works best if you use a tripod and can keep the framing perfectly steady. Make two exposures, one good for the subjects on the ground, the other good for the sky (dark enough to show cloud texture). Later, in an image-editing program, the ground from one and sky from the other can be combined to get the best of both worlds.

 

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