Photo Essay

Cloudy Days

Cloudy Days - 5

Sunny days are sometimes not the best days for picture taking. Depending on the time of day you can get harsh shadows and unappealing light. A cloudy day can add drama to your image along with softer shadows. It's sort of like using a soft box outside.

A graduated filter is often a handy tool to use. It helps reduce the harsh contrast you sometimes get between the brighter sky and the foreground. I did not use one in the photos here but, I did use a polarizer filter which also can be used to add contrast in the clouds and foreground bringing out more detail. A polarizer can also be helpful in reducing reflections or even bringing out a reflection as shown here in the 5th image foreground puddle.

Exposure can be a challenge because you don't want to over expose and lose detail in the clouds but, you don't want to under expose again loosing detail and making post processing difficult. I always shoot in full manual mode in Raw format to get the most flexibility our of each image. When shooting outside I usually take a couple shots and preview them in the LCD screen on my camera and adjust the shutter speed when needed. The histogram on the camera (if you have one available) will also let you know if your image is too dark or too light. All of the photos you see here were "developed" in Adobe Lightroom 2.0. It has quickly become my favorite tool besides my camera.

I hope these photos bring you some inspiration and I challenge you to go out and shoot on a cloudy day.


David Eastham

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3 responses

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (26 Oct 2008):

    Oh yeah! Your essay rocks!

  • Sherry

    Sherry gave props (26 Oct 2008):

    I vote Yes. Very informational and lovely photos!

  • Michael Adams

    Michael Adams gave props (27 Oct 2008):

    Got a yes from me! Thanks for sharing this information.

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