Question about skies

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by PhotoDonkey, May 31, 2008.

  1. PhotoDonkey

    PhotoDonkey TPF Noob!

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    This picture was taken close to sunset with a point-and-shoot.

    [​IMG]

    That's generally the bluest sky I get unless I do some post-processing.

    But I see these photos with bluer skies than I see when I look up at the sky on a given day.

    I'm just wondering if the skies are actually bluer in different locations (due to elevation, etc.) or if there is something I should be doing with color balance to bring out the bluer sky.


    I use a circular polarizer but my skies still look blown out compared to the next guy's. I have tried the 90 degrees to the sun at close to sunset, but I'm just wondering if my location is playing into it (as you can probably guess from the above shot, I live in South Dakota).
     
  2. Coldow91

    Coldow91 TPF Noob!

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    I would think that a polarizer should help but I would also make sure that your WB is correct and you can do some PP to get it how it looked when you shot. I really dislike shots where the sky is extremely blue, like there is no way the sky would ever be that blue. This may just be me but I find that skies get bluer the further north I go.
     
  3. Ben-71

    Ben-71 TPF Noob!

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    Please don't get insulted, I ask this because the sky
    should be bluer:
    Do you rotate the polarizer to its maximum effet?
    Otherwise, it doesn't do much.
     
  4. PhotoDonkey

    PhotoDonkey TPF Noob!

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    I do rotate it (something I figured out not too long ago). Under the right circumstances I can tell when the polarizer is at it's maximum effect.

    And, don't worry, I don't find that comment insulting at all. Hell, if you asked if I bothered to take the lens cap off I wouldn't find it insulting. I know you're just trying to help, and I really appreciate it.

    Should I try playing with the white balance more?
     
  5. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually in the winter here and, when a cool front moves through, our skies here get very blue. Being in the mountains may make a diffrence.
     
  6. LateModelSedan

    LateModelSedan TPF Noob!

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    what are you shooting with? try adjusting your settings.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. PhotoDonkey

    PhotoDonkey TPF Noob!

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    I've been using auto color balancing. Should I be trying other types of color balancing, or is it a function of being over-exposed?
     
  8. STICKMAN

    STICKMAN TPF Noob!

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    Rotating the cir. pol. filter to its max effect??? Can you explain furthur I have a D-40 which i use a cir. pol filter on. No one ever explained it to me I just threaded it and started shooting. I prob just made a a_ _ of my self but hay thats how we learn sometimes. So please feel free to spell it out for me. Like stated above nothing insults me at all I need to learn and no better place to here.........
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    oooo... welcome to my personal obsession.

    You can certainly do stuff post-shoot to help your skies, up to and including doing nasty tricks with overlaying your shot on an underexposed copy, but all of this is cheating.

    The real trick is this:

    - Underexpose blues! :)

    Up to a certain point, the less you expose a blue sky the bluer it will be. This of course can be kind of complicated since, in reality, you're really focusing on your subject and the exposure of the sky is more of a background thing... so then you ask yourself... "well, how do I get my subject exposed right and underexpose the sky at the same time?"

    There is really only one sure-fire way to do this, and that is to make sure the sun is on your subject (and generally this means the sun will be more or less at your back)

    This end result of a bright subject is often an underexposed sky, or at the very least a properly exposed one. :) (which will give you the blues, just not the deep dark ones you sometimes see)

    One of my favorite examples of this is a shot I did of a local hotel for one of my customers...

    [​IMG]

    I've had a couple people accuse me of photoshopping this sky in, but it's real. You can see the sun is right on the subject building itself. and in fact the sun was so bright I had no choice but to underexpose the sky... poof. Deep blue.

    In your particular pic, the sun appears to be off to the right there, so you got the "not too bad" light blue sky. Were the sun right on the flag and at your back? Deep blue.

    Notice that LateModelSedans pics all have the sun right on them, and his skies are quite blue... though it also looks like he has the saturation tweaked a bit on at least one. (cheating!) ;)
     
  10. PhotoDonkey

    PhotoDonkey TPF Noob!

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    If I could get a nice blue saturation in the sky like that, I'd be thrilled. I'll give that a try.
     
  11. jg123

    jg123 TPF Noob!

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    I had a similar shot as yours today and my sky looks even less blue.

    [​IMG]

    But the truth is that this is how it looked to my eyes.....I think too much PP on the sky makes it look fake.
     
  12. PhotoDonkey

    PhotoDonkey TPF Noob!

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    That's essentially what I'm seeing. The sky I capture looks like the sky I see, but I know film (and digital sensors) "see" light differently than our eyes do.
     

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