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Tips for Taking Sky Pictures

written by: AlyssaAst•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 9/22/2009

Taking sky pictures is an amazing way to capture beautiful and unique images. Taking great pictures of the sky can often be difficult to do. There are many photography tips you can use to capture the best pictures of the sky.

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    Skies

    “Wheat Field” By Chemtec
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    Taking Sky Pictures

    There are many tips you can use when you are taking sky pictures. Cloud formations, weather conditions, and changes in lighting offer great opportunities to photograph the sky. Many people prefer to photograph the sky during the dawn and dusk hours, but any time of day can produce a great image. The most important tip to remember when photographing a sky is to try and predict the exposure of the picture. This is important so all the details of the sky, such as the clouds, are captured accurately.

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    Equipment to Use

    Using a polarized filter is a great way to darken the sky. This will ensure all the details of the clouds are captured in vivid color and detail. A polarized filter can be combined with a neutral density graduated filter to add drama to the image.

    When a neutral density graduated filter is used by its self, it can give a sky a sepia shade. Although it will have a sepia shade, it will still capture the vivid colors and details of the clouds.

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    Shooting Sunsets and Dawns

    When photographing the sky during sunsets and during dawn it is very important to work quickly. The sun and lighting changes very quickly during this time and if you do not work fast enough, you may loose the perfect shot. Since the sun changes the sky so quickly during these hours, you can capture numerous different images from the same viewpoint.

    When photographing during these hours, choose an area you know well. Shooting a place you know well is a bonus because you are more able to notice the patterns in the sky and the way the lighting changes. Use of a tripod can be very beneficial during this time.

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    Viewpoints

    There are numerous viewpoints that can be used when taking sky pictures. If you want a picture of a large sky, use a low viewpoint. Take the picture using a wide angled lens. This will keep the ground in the image but emphasize on the sky.

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    Water Reflections

    A great way to capture a beautiful sky is to use the reflection of water. By taking a picture of calm water with the skies reflection is a great way to produce a mirrored image. This can be done using large bodies or water, or small puddles.

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    References:

    “Skies” Practical Photography by John Freeman

    Photo: “Wheat Field” By Chemtec September 2, 2009 stock.xchng