How depth of field affects the sky

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by in2thewild, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. in2thewild

    in2thewild No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi,
    My question on the photo below regards the sky. When I tried to edit it in Lightroom and make it blue (because it's boring right now) it wouldn't let me. The sky was a little dusty so I'm wondering whether if I adjusted my depth of field, this would have allowed me to capture more detail in the sky?

    This photo was taken in Saudi Arabia. The sky is always dusty so I'm trying to figure out how to capture the detail under these lighting circumstances!

    Or if you have any other comments about the photo, they're welcome also.

    Thanks _20160315_074051.JPG


     
  2. JamesScott86

    JamesScott86 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Beautiful shot - so pretty too.
     
  3. John Hunt

    John Hunt No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Try the remove haze slider in lightroom.
     
  4. in2thewild

    in2thewild No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks!
     
  5. in2thewild

    in2thewild No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks, I'll try that!
     
  6. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Depth of field just determines how much of your shot is in focus, (I think of it as a "slice" of focus that is at 90° to the direction you are pointing your lens. It can be any thickness from less than 1" to miles, and sometimes infinite) so wont have affected the detail in your sky unless you have shot at far too wide an aperture and focused on something close which would likely have thrown the whole background of the shot out of focus.

    Forcing colour into a scene can be tricky, often it doesn't work and looks obviously pushed in post. Saying that I'd probably try to even up the gradient in the sky a bit using the gradient filters in lightroom. The photo looks like it comtains a lot of yellow, that may have thrown your white balance off a bit, so adjusting the white balance to contain less yellow might bring out the blues a bit more. If that still isn't to your satisfaction then I sometimes bump the luminance of the blues up a bit in the HSL panel.

    Ultimatley though, contrast helps resolve detail and if there's vey little contrast in the sky it will be pale and lacking detail. There's a couple of photographic things we can do about this though. A circular polarizer will bring out colours a bit, boost the contrast in a sky and cut down on reflections at the expense of a stop or two. A GND filter can help retain detail in the sky by selectivley darkening it so often helps in order to not "blow out" clouds and the like
     
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  7. in2thewild

    in2thewild No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks, I'll try those techniques in Lightroom and see what happens.

    Maybe I'll need to use a polariser a lot here because the sky is usually dusty and grainy.
     
  8. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Depth of field does not really affect the sky. The sky can be assumed to be at infinity so any distant landscape will have the sky in acceptable focus. Besides clouds are normally soft anyway.

    What affects the sky is the sky itself, as in the lighting and the type of clouds. What you have here is high level hazy cloud. It will never look like side lit cumulus and will always be obscured by distant haze.

    I would agree with weepete's advice, and use either a polariser or a graduated ND filter.

    But first and foremost the most important thing for contrast is difference. If your colour balance is off then you have a colour cast and you have already lost some of contrast between colour that would make things stand out more. So before you do anything else edit the WB. :)

    miod-1.jpg
     
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  9. in2thewild

    in2thewild No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow, that looks much better - thanks. OK, so the white balance gives more ' colour ' to my clouds? Great advice - thanks.

    What do you think about the composition in this photo? I wasn't sure about it.
     
  10. in2thewild

    in2thewild No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a circular polarizer but the problem is I bought it for the lens that came with my camera (55mm I think) and now I use my 16-35 mm or 24-70 mm lens for landscape shots. So I think I'll have to get one for each of these?
     
  11. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    No. It doesn't give the clouds "more 'colour".
    Changing the white balance changes the color.
    Plus the white balance of the entire photo can be changed (global edit), or the white balance of the only part of the photo can be changed (local edit) using LRs Adjustment Brush.

    Ideally the white balance would have been adjusted in the camera to make all the colors in the scene more accurate, before you tripped the shutter to make the photo.
    We have to tell the camera what kind of light is lighting the scene - direct sunlight, cloudy sunlight, shade, tungsten light, fluorescent light, or flash.
    Understanding White Balance

    Here is what I did using ACR (Adobe Camera Raw/LR Develop module).
    Note: Because the photo has a limited 8-bit color depth and is a JPEG file there is some posterization in the sky after the editing. JPEG was not designed to be edited outside the camera.
    Image Posterization
    Bit Depth
    Basic Panel
    Temperature: -33
    Contrast: +30
    The bottom 3 sliders are known as the Presence sliders.
    Clarity: +62
    Vibrance: +30
    Sharpening Panel
    Amount: 25
    Radius: 1.0
    Detail: 25
    Masking: 0

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
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  12. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What you want to capture in one frame is probably outside the physical Dynamic Range abilities of your image sensor.

    This is how GND filters came to be.
     

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