Gray Skies with Drama

by Ken Milburn

Well, being in a foreign location certainly can force one to take one's Lightroom thinking a step further. Here in Costa Rica, at this time of year, it rains every afternoon, sometimes, in sheets. The result is a lot of dark green on the ground and some very bright but totally cloudy skies. There are lots of shades and shapes in those clouds, but normally, no matter how far to the right you slide the Recovery slider, some of the skies are totally blocked up, provided you've also got enough detail in the landscape.

One solution to this is to shoot all your landscapes early in the morning, before the rain clouds move in. That doesn't work too well when you're suddenly confronted with overwhelming beauty at 2pm. Besides the overcast skies provide a soft light that lets you see lots of detail in the dark green landscape...provided you expose for it.


2007-09-20 18:24:37
Surely you could save yourself all this hassle in front of the screen by just using an ND Grad filter in the first place. We are photographers first and foremost, we should be using the camera and its filters as the weapon of choice. There is no comparison to getting the shot right in-camera and having the highest quality image from it. I fear you may be pointing and shooting with the train of thought being “I’ll fix it later in Photoshop”, and too many people are thinking the same these days.

ND Grad filters are certainly worth having in your kit, but don't always happen to be there when that sudden opportunity arises. They also don't give you the same degree of control over the end result. I often find that the sky needs to be adjusted independently. -Ken

2007-10-03 01:31:20
Ken, can I suggest that you make your own post rather than editing reader's posts with your responses in the future? That's the more common and more obvious (easier to notice a response) way to do it. It's also less intrusive.