Many photographers believe that on cloudy days you can not get good pictures and many others believe that there is no better situation to take pictures than when the sky is covered with clouds. The truth is that everyone is as wrong as they are right in such statements. There are no ideal conditions for taking photographs, what exist are opportunities for you to exploit them with your camera and your knowledge. Whether it's a day in full sun, a cloudy day, with fog, with rain or even with a lot of snow, what will allow you to take an excellent picture is the way you take your shots, the light in them and the elements with which Forms In today's article you will learn how to take magnificent photos of a cloudy sky, from understanding what are the main problems when doing so, and then give them a solution. Do not let the clouds stop you, take your camera and go out to take pictures!
THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT
- The camera: to take photographs of clouds it is not necessary that you have a super sophisticated camera, much less, since almost with any camera you can achieve excellent photographs. Of course, in order to capture the clouds in all their magnificence, your camera must have manual shooting mode.
- The objective: there is no valid rule here. You can use wide-angle, "normal" or telephoto lenses depending on how much of the sky you want to capture within your frames .
- The filters: filters are an excellent tool for you to add more drama to your cloudy skies. I recommend that, if you have a polarizing filter and / or a neutral density filter, do not forget to store them in your backpack for use in your next shots.
- The tripod: it is always essential in poor lighting conditions, or if you want to take long exposure photographs. If you are looking to photograph clouds at sunset, or you want to capture a few rays in a storm , do not forget to charge your tripod with you.
- Remote shutter: if you want to take long exposure photographs with a tripod, it will not be enough because, when you press the shutter button, you can end up moving the camera yourself. Therefore, to minimize the risks of moving photographs, try to get a remote trigger so you can minimize trepidation.
- Others: Try to carry well-charged batteries, empty memory cards, a good backpack and, depending on where you are going to make your shots, protectors for your camera and your backpack in case the clouds turn into storms and a cleaning kit in case the drops or dust dirty your camera and lenses.
THE PLACESIn the photograph of cloudy skies, how could it be otherwise, the protagonist is the clouds. The problem arises when it comes to surrounding your protagonist with elements that can reinforce his presence and help you give your photographs more strength. These elements can be from the sky and other clouds, to birds, trees, and any other element that you consider appropriate to find the photograph you are looking for. When photographing cloudy skies, you should not only focus on them, but you can use how many resources and elements you find on hand so that the messages that your photographs transmit are more effective.
FREQUENT PROBLEMS OF CLOUDY SKY PHOTOGRAPHSThe first thing you should do to solve a problem is to recognize it, so I have prepared a list of the main problems you will encounter when taking pictures on cloudy days, so you can start working on them:
- The intensity of the light: the density of the clouds and the amount of these directly affects the intensity of the light available in the scene. This means that the more stormy the weather, the slower the shutter speeds you should use, the more open the diaphragms and the higher the ISO sensitivity.
- The contrast between lights and shadows: although in the cloudy days the intensity of the light decreases with respect to the sunny days, obtaining details in both lights and shadows will be extremely difficult. If you plan to include part of a landscape to frame your cloudy skies or other elements, you should pay special attention to the way you measure the light in the scene in order not to overexpose the sky or underexpose the rest of the elements. I recommend that you take a look at the following article: " Detailed Guide: How to Make a Correct Measurement and Exposure in Your Photographs ".
- The color: the color of the light on cloudy days tends to be more blue than sunny days making the colors present in the scene you are going to photograph look more washed. On cloudy days, colors lose saturation and brightness, which can make it difficult to get photos with high visual impact.
- Variable Light: the conditions of the light will vary constantly depending on the size and density of the clouds. Depending on whether there is sun, if lightning strikes to cross the clouds, or if the sky is completely covered, your task will be affected since you must be constantly adjusting the parameters of the shot to achieve a correct exposure.
- The rains: the greater the amount of clouds and the greater the density of these, the greater the chances of it starting to rain. Keep this in mind if you do not want your team to suffer from the weather and take the necessary precautions.
HOW TO GET MAGNIFICENT PHOTOS OF A CLOUDY SKY?Now that you know what is the necessary equipment to take magnificent photographs of cloudy skies, what you should keep in mind when choosing a place to do them and the main problems with which you can find yourself, the time has come for you Give some tips to transform your photos of cloudy skies into magnificent photographs. 1- Add drama: if you want to add drama to a scene, few elements will be as effective to do as the clouds. These will provide your photographs with mystery, from heaven to earth, so you should not miss the opportunity to include them within your frames, and even make them your protagonists. 2- Set the alarm clock: both sunrise and sunset are the best times to portray cloudy skies. At that time the sunlight becomes more intense, of a golden color and with a lateral direction that adds spectacular tones and contrasts between the clouds and that end up drawing in the sky beautiful colors and with incomparable textures. Be sure to stay until the early hours of the night if you want to get the most out of these beautiful skies on cloudy days. 3- Adjust the white balance: to counteract the loss of color that occurs on cloudy days, you need to adjust the white balance of your camera in order to counteract this effect. You can try to adjust it manually or select the “cloudy” option (depending on the manufacturer of your camera, this option can be called in another way) within the default settings of your camera. If you have any questions about the term "white balance" do not forget to consult the following article: " If You Scare the Term" White Balance "You Need to Read This Article ". 4 - Do not be afraid of underexposure: the differences between the lights and shadows that occur when photographing a large sky with a portion of soil or a cloud with respect to another will force you to take your measurements to the limit if you want to obtain correctly exposed photographs . Therefore, to obtain the best possible exposure you must:
- Set the light measurement mode of your camera on time (this mode is the most accurate and least automatic of all).
- Adjust the exposure compensation in order to compensate for those scenes with very marked backlights. Remember: positive values ??will "clarify" the picture and negative values ??"will obscure it." Do not worry if you cannot master such adjustment quickly, since the secret to doing so is to experiment and practice. The important thing is that you know that this function exists and that you can use it for the benefit of your photographs.
- Shoot, whenever possible, in “digital negative” or “RAW” format so that you can adjust the parameters of the shot later on the computer.
- Braketing: is a function in which, when activated, the camera will take a burst of equal photographs but with different levels of exposure: light, medium and dark tones.
- Manual: it consists of taking the photographs but, since it does not have the braketing function in your camera, you will have to adjust the exposure values ??(shutter speed, ISO sensitivity or aperture of the iris) manually between shot and take.