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Went after Sky & Clouds at a local lake today...almost got soaked

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by roundball, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA

    Beautiful bright sun / blue sky / white clouds kind of day today before the approaching storm front was to arrive later in the afternoon so I ran up to a local lake to try for some sky/cloud shots.
    Hiked in along the woodsline and set up, was getting into some good scenics across the lake when I began to notice a change in the overall light levels...looked around and this was almost on top of me over my left shoulder…grabbed a couple shots and high-tailed it out of there…back to the house 10 minutes away just as the thunderstorms let loose, and the good news is nothing got wet.
    (Haven't culled the main scenic photos yet)
    Was using a Canon FDn 28-85/4.0 on an NEX-7





     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
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  2. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Yep, about like us. One minute I'm looking at the sun beaming through a bunch of billowing clouds, 2 minutes later I'm staring at a wall of grey. No sunset to see tonight.

    TT
     
  3. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Examples of Blue Sky / White Cloud Scenes Before The Surprise Thunderstorm






     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
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  4. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    All are beautiful, roundball, but they're all underexposed. :(
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Interesting...must be the laptop screen tilt angle thing because I actually thought they were properly exposed, good and bright, etc...at any rate, not going to fool with them now, hitting the sack here on the east coast
     
  6. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I really like the last three!!! :thumbsup:
    And they don't look too underexposed to me :)
     
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  7. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Underxposure works good for me as it gives a nice mood. At the end this is no right exposure.. For me the big improvement would be a polarizer.. That would have boosted clarity and reduce the overall haziness
     
  8. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    I always use my Hoya C-PL filter on such shots.
    A lot of the darkness in the first two was because of the heavy low dark thunderstorm clouds that were coming over blocking the sun...notice the blue sky and white clouds through the opening in front of and out further past the storm clouds...but the trees right underneath the storm had no light on them except for a couple small beams of light through holes in the clouds.
     
  9. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    intresting thanks.. Have you thun turned the polarizer accordingly? Btw some vignetting would give a bit more of this dark mood
    Alex
     
  10. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    To me, when something in a scene is white, such as the brightest parts of the clouds, then they should be white in the image. Here the brightest parts of the clouds are still a muted grey. And parts of the forest are almost black, with no visible detail. So yes, they look very underexposed to me.

    Now, if you were trying to achieve a darkish mood in the images, then obviously that's different.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  11. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Wasn't trying for any mood, just trying to shoot what I saw.
    You do get that in the appended photo for example, the clouds in the foreground are heavy, low, dark, rain filled thunderstorm clouds, right?
    And that part of the dark thunderstorm cloud mass is sitting right over the top of that block of trees shutting out the sun, throwing them into dark shade?
    And looking past the dark thunderstorm cloud mass, there are white clouds, blue sky, etc?.

     
  12. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Just for something to do, I made a copy of this photo, and used Lightroom's 'AUTO TONE' feature to see a before and after. The tweaks are displayed in the panel on the right, and all those tweaks lightened it but then the way I was viewing it on my laptop, the whole scene seemed lighter than reality, with some of the whites of the distant clouds looking like they were actually starting to look over-exposed...but both images look like what I saw depending on where I tilt the laptop screen for each one of them...and it only takes changing the tilt 1/4" or so one way or the other. Wish I could figure some way to determine the proper laptop screen tilt angle, and then be able to set it to that same spot every time.


     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  13. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Yeah, auto tone is usually the fastest way to ruin a photo. :laugh:

    In photos with a very wide dynamic range like these, it will almost always blow out the highlights. So I never use it, even when I'm in a big hurry.

    One trick is to hit the J key, which will show blown out highlights in red, and clogged lowlights in blue. Then you can adjust the white and black sliders until those colors almost disappear.

    Another trick is to hold down the option key while adjusting the whites and blacks. Then you can easily see where the threshold is.

    But the best thing, and this is especially true because you shoot only jpegs, is to use the histogram while shooting and expose to the right. That will keep you from blowing out highlights while keeping as much noise out of the shadows as possible.

    As I said in my first post, they're beautiful scenes. I don't know what you can do about the tilting screen problem. But my main computer is a laptop with a 27" inch calibrated display hooked up to it. A good external monitor is cheaper than a new laptop, and solves the problem nicely.
     
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  14. jeffmurray

    jeffmurray TalkEmount Veteran

    246
    Dec 18, 2014
    Hobart, Australia
    Jeff
    Lovely scenery. A beautiful scene - captured perfectly.

    Agree on the auto-tone - never use it. We use similar settings - I am often lowering the highlights and brightening the shadows.

    If you click on the two triangles top right and left of the histogram it will permanently turn on the red and blue highlights for over or underexposed sections.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    I just revisited the original JPEGs (above) with an eye towards improving their exposure and I believe I made some improvement.

    STORM CLOUDS ROLLING IN






    BLUE SKY / CLOUDS AT THE LAKE





     
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