Cloud Photography Techniques
Although clouds are rather easy to take pictures of, they do present certain challenges. Most clouds have either a tendency to reflect light from behind or sides, especially if they are in front of the sun or bring too much exposure which may make the highlights too strong. You can fix these two common problems by using a graduated density filter. The filter will also ensure easy post processing and minimize the chances of over exposure.
A polarizing filter can also be used to adjust contrast and bring out any fine details in your cloud photography.
It is recommended to shoot in RAW mode if you are using a digital camera and it has the ability to shoot in RAW. This will help preserve greater detail. RAW records all the details of a photograph compared to let's say, JPEG, and hence it is ok to shoot in black and white when using RAW mode . However be careful when you cannot shoot in RAW mode; in such cases it is a better idea to shoot in color and then change it later on. In this case black and white picture of clouds just like any other black and white photography can be shot in color and then changed to black and white in post production, it is best to do so.
Black and white pictures of clouds shine best when there is some kind of contrast present in the picture. Although too much contrast can be distracting and over-bearing to the eyes, a little bit of contrast can bring out more detail where color is absent. A technique used to give more texture and increase contrast to any photo is side lighting. This kind of lighting cannot be created artificially for clouds, but the natural lighting surrounding the clouds and the position of the sun can be take to your advantage to produce interesting pictures.