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01-28-2016, 02:13 AM   #1
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In praise of blue skies

I was viewing an On1 tutorial video today about replacing "boring" skies with something more interesting. This comment was made:
"One of the saddest things you can have is a completely blank blue sky". This seems to be a common mantra amongst photography professionals.


But I simply don't buy it. I LOVE deep blue skies. They can perfectly set off an interesting foreground, and produce wonderful clarity and colour contrast.

Am I alone in this view? What do you think: are plain blue skies a photographic crime? Should we all be keeping a library of thunderous clouds and slotting them in to all our "boring" blue sky scenes?





01-28-2016, 02:24 AM   #2
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I think for your graphic style of photography that makes a lot of sense
01-28-2016, 03:10 AM   #3
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Hi Paul. I think your photographs are very good " plain skied." as your subjects are framed wonderfully. We shouldn't start doubting our tastes and abilities because the " professionals " prefer this our that. Keep doing what you're doing. Opinions are just opinions, not facts. IMHO !!!
01-28-2016, 04:33 AM   #4
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I think you should take all of my pictures for me.


Excellent work. Too bad you can't become a professional with that much blue sky -- your photos would attract too much attention from the other pro's.


Is it just me, or would B&W freaks go nuts over that sort of gradient if it were gray instead of blue?

01-28-2016, 05:28 AM   #5
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With all due respect to the folks over at On1, they are in the business of selling software so they will naturally gravitate toward additional processing. There is a place for cloudy skies and there is a place for pristine blue skies. You are the artist, it's really up to you to decide what you want to convey.
01-28-2016, 07:19 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
This comment was made:
"One of the saddest things you can have is a completely blank blue sky".
We've had one sunny day here over the last 2, maybe 3 weeks. Seeing a big, bold, blue sky in a photo makes me sad that I can hardly remember what one looks like in person.
01-28-2016, 09:05 AM   #7
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Blue skies are okay; shoot for the conditions. The "before" sky in that video was fine because it didn't dominate the image. The photographer composed (or cropped later) to feature the terrain not the sky.

I'm not a fan of composites, but I understand why someone might replace a sky if they can't easily return to a site on a different day. At least the tutorial is smart enough to deal with reflections off the water.
01-28-2016, 09:12 AM   #8
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Different tools as means for different ends.
Never hurts to have one more weapon in your arsenal, one more creative possibility, if you know how to use it.

01-28-2016, 11:14 AM   #9
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I have no problem with plain blue skies, but puffy "fair weather" clouds breaking up continuous blue certainly liven up landscape images. My hateful condition is a uniform, featureless, "flat" white or gray sky.
For some images a plain blue works fine.

Last edited by WPRESTO; 01-29-2016 at 12:34 PM.
01-28-2016, 01:14 PM   #10
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Blue skies without anything are EVIL!!

Cloudless blue skies? Utterly despicable, one of my pet hates. They are going to ruin just about any composition you could imagine. Learn from the pros and take your photography to the next level by eliminating this common mistake from all your images. You can make your skies look as if they had been captured on Venus! Or just add a giant Blood Moon to balance your composition. See for yourself how bland and boring mere blue sky shots are - you can do better than that:

https://500px.com/photo/115407677/herring-gull-in-low-level-flight-by-marc-s...ser_id=2738079

https://500px.com/photo/125546315/statue-of-laurens-coster-detail-by-marc-sy...ser_id=2738079

https://500px.com/photo/127131159/untitled-by-marc-synwoldt?ctx_page=3&from=...ser_id=2738079

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Last edited by Madaboutpix; 01-28-2016 at 03:01 PM.
01-28-2016, 04:03 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for your comments. It seems you all think there is a place for the stark blue sky. Glad to hear it!

In any case, I will continue to seek them out. Which is not to say of course that clouds can't add interest or drama. But space, emptiness, can be a wonderful resource in art.
01-28-2016, 04:07 PM   #12
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“Excuse me while I animate the sky!”

.
Whole sky 360 spin around and round – winter in the Everglades.

Do you ever look straight up at the sky and spin yourself around?
This one will really screw your head on right!




Click for more fun GIFs!
https://kayakfari.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/animated-everglades-skies/
01-28-2016, 06:05 PM - 1 Like   #13
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^ that spinning sky reminded me of this song:
01-28-2016, 08:11 PM   #14
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lol that's a good one DeadJohn!
I was actually thinking of another 80s song:
01-29-2016, 07:00 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by digital029art Quote
lol that's a good one DeadJohn!
I was actually thinking of another 80s song:
Ratt - Round And Round (Official Video) - YouTube
If it's too loud, you're too old.
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