How do you usually correct blown out skies?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by haring, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. haring
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    haring New Member

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    How do you usually correct blown out skies? I know there are so many tutorials on youtube but I want to know which method you prefer the most. Which is the fatest, etc.
    I mainly shoot weddings so HDR doesn't really work for me. People just move all the time...
  2. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    'Correct' blown out skies? :scratch:

    Just don't blow them out in the first place. And if the sky is overcast and bland looking, then compose your shots to avoid the sky.

    If the sky is just a little too bright, then I might reduce the exposure slider in Lightroom, then up the fill to lighten up the shadows again.

    If it brighter, I'll use an adjustment brush to reduce the brightness/exposure in the sky. With automask turned on, it shouldn't take long to make a quick pass over it.
  3. ghache
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    ghache New Member

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    if its completely blown out there is pretty much nothing you can do about,

    to bring skies back, underexpose them in pp a little bit and add some clarity to bring back some details
  4. skieur
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    skieur New Member

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    The fastest approach is to use (create if necessary) a graduated blue filter in Photoshop or PaintShop Pro.

    skieur
  5. Overread
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    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member

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    It depends on the shot. I shoot in RAW all the time and sometimes the sky areas will be slightly (very slightly) overexposed compared to the ground areas - sometimes you can claw this back by processing the RAW twice (false HDR).

    You process the shot normally for the ground areas and save it as a TIFF then open up the RAW again and this time process the shot exactly the same, but slide the exposure slide down so as to darken the shot and show up the details in the sky areas (if they are there to be shown - as said if you totally overexpose the sky then you won't have any detail to restore). Then just overly one shot over the other and use a layermask to remove the unwanted parts - leaving you with the ground from one shot and the sky from the other.

    Other methods are the one that Skieur mentions and also replacing the sky with one from another shot (this latter one can take a longer amount of time to get the proper effect).

    Idealy though you want to get both sky and foreground exposed correctly at the time. Keeping the sun behind you help as does shooting at points in the day when the sun is not as intense. Finally using reflectors and/or flash can allow you to boost lighting in your foreground whilst allowing the sky to expose correctly.
  6. phiya
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    phiya New Member

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    I usually just correct the sky on the raw ignoring everything else, and process it twice, then use photoshop to mask the sky back over the blown out sky on the normal photo
  7. terri
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    terri Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm having trouble figuring out why this thread is in the Alternative section. :scratch:

    No matter; I'll deposit it someplace more appropriate. :sexywink:
  8. clanthar
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    clanthar New Member

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    You can't correct or fix or improve or repair a blown out sky.

    Photoshop can seemingly work miracles with data that missed the mark and needs help, but Photoshop, Lightroom, ACR, etc. can't help when there's no data. If you didn't capture information then you've got nothing and nothing equals zero -- 0 times anything = 0.

    You can replace a blown out sky with a sky from another photo or you can manufacture a fake sky. These operations are not corrections; recording nothing can't be fixed.

    Joe
  9. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I try not to allow them to be blown out in the first place. I use the light meter in the camera, and shoot with the tone curve set to LOW if the scene dynamic range is high.
    Get it as good as you can in-camera.
  10. pbelarge
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    pbelarge New Member

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    Mistakes can be made, or lack of skill could lead to blown out skys. I think that for important images, the chance to replace the sky with some skies you may have shot at another time and layer into the image could be the best result.

    In camera is generally the way to strive, but we all know how well plans sometimes go...;)
  11. michaelleggero
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    michaelleggero New Member

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    you should post some of the pictures you're having trouble with. .every image is different and what you consider "blown out" might simply be an easy adjustment to someone else

    Mike Leggero

    http://www.michaelleggero.com
  12. skieur
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    skieur New Member

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    Sure that is the ideal, but in some situations it can be an extreme challenge when you are down deep between two rock faces shooting up or in the deep, dark forest where the sky is still peaking through in some areas of the background. The ground often is not ideal for a tripod which when combined with a strong ND filter might have been a potential solution.

    skieur
  13. inTempus
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    inTempus New Member

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    It sounds to me like the OP is asking how to prevent blown skies (since he said HDR wasn't a possibility).

    Use a flash.
  14. Dao
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    Dao Well-Known Member

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    Yes indeed!!

    Meter the sky and flash the subject.
  15. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Yep! Strobed light.

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