ASSIGNMENT #52 + INSPIRATION
Blue, clear skies usually mean happiness and it is not different in photography, but if you are after a little (or a lot of) drama, set up the kit when clouds start to form. Storms, lightning and rain make remarkable photographs that often leave us breathless and contemplating the greatness of Nature.
There is so much to see up there: stars, clouds, sun, moon, rainbows. All of it can become a subject for your sky photograph. Make the most of the ever changing colours that tint the sky during dusk and dawn. Try different white balance settings to better capture the “feel” of the moment.
Talking about composition, use the rule of thirds to place the horizon line on the lower third as this gives emphasis to the sky. As a general rule, use medium to small apertures (high f/number) to have deep depth of field, but beware of your shutter speed in case it gets to slow resulting in camera shake.
A tripod or gorillapod always comes handy but nowadays you can also increase the ISO on digital cameras without having too much noise (grain).
Here are a few tips for different subjects, all found in the immensity of the sky.
Rainbows: Underexpose one or two stops to deepen the colour tones. Set focus to Manual and focus manually on infinite. On default focus settings, your camera will try to focus elements in the foreground.
Clouds: try to use a polarising filter in the front of the lens to increase the contrast between clouds and sky and saturate the colours, especially blue.
Sun: avoid looking directly at the sun through the viewfinder, experiment with silhouettes and bracket exposures (over and underexpose) to check if any result is best. Try HDR if your camera has this setting.