Sky Abstractions

August 01, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Readers, my recently embraced sky awareness (see my May 2016 blog post) has become a budding infatuation.  It’s become my habit, when time and conditions permit, to grab my camera and go check out the sky.  There’s usually something interesting to see, and since the sky is always above, no travel is required!

Artistically, I enjoy the sweeping beauty of a full-sky cloudscape, but I also like to zoom in and frame an abstract image from a smaller piece of the scene.  A colorful sunset sky can be stunning, but a simple blue sky with white clouds can also be quite lovely, and the endless variety is fascinating.  Today I have a couple of blue sky abstract images for you.

For the image above, what struck my eye was the pattern of the wispy white clouds, and the added “bonus” of the jet contrail across the scene.   My image processing included basic adjustments, such as brightness and contrast.  I also applied the Topaz ReStyle “Pastel Flight” filter, which softened and enhanced the overall look and feel of the image, without significantly altering it.

Below is an image I captured on a bright day with a very blue sky full of small clouds that almost looked like they could be floating in water.  I chose a vertical orientation because, to my eye, it adds to the buoyant look of the clouds.  Image processing was very minimal: minor sharpening, vibrance, and brightness/contrast.

One thing to remember when shooting a bright sky is that the resulting unprocessed images will likely be darker than the sky actually was.  This is because the camera wants to moderate or “gray down” a bright image.  To deal with this, you can set a positive exposure compensation before you shoot.  This tells the camera to expose a bit brighter than it would otherwise, and you’ll get an image that is closer to the actual brightness of the scene.  Alternatively, you can increase the exposure in post processing using Lightroom, Photoshop, or other image editing software.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these images.  Please feel free to leave a comment and as always, I wish you happy shooting and a satisfying photographic journey!


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