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09-28-2007, 09:20 AM   #1
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Blue Sky

I just got my K100D and love it. I still need to get some otherlenses (using my 24-135 Sigma for now).

My only complaint is the lack of blue sky in some of my pictures. When I shoot a pic with the sky in the background, I am getting a white sky. I tried every setting on the AWB and got the same results. I found the situation is improved if I stop down, but its still not perfect. Is there anyway to get a bluer sky?

Thanks!

09-28-2007, 09:39 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by runjmb Quote
My only complaint is the lack of blue sky in some of my pictures. When I shoot a pic with the sky in the background, I am getting a white sky. I tried every setting on the AWB and got the same results. I found the situation is improved if I stop down, but its still not perfect. Is there anyway to get a bluer sky?
What colour sky do you get if you just take a picture of the sky with nothing else in the shot?

If blue, then I fear the problem is simply that when the sky is the background it is very over exposed - at a guess you're exposing for the foreground, but the sky is much brighter.

This is a tricky problem to overcome if there are large brightness differences between parts of your photo.

You can reduce the brightness of the sky by using a graduated neutral density filter, but this won't always work, since often foreground detail protrudes into the bright area.

Usually better to expose more for the sky (by stopping down you're effectively doing this), then carefully selectively increase the brightness (on the computer) of what will then be underexposed foreground. This can often give good results, whereas severe overexposure ensures that no detail is recoverable.

There's no single perfect answer to this one, sadly. Shooting RAW will tip the odds a bit in your favour, since you get all the data recorded by the sensor, but once detail is burnt out, it's gone for good.
09-28-2007, 09:45 AM   #3
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Hello,

I found that when I switched from slide film to DSLR I experienced a general "desaturating" of the colors in the photos. You can get some of this back (including big blue skies) using some postprocessing and adjusting the saturation in the photo. What I've also found with DSLRs is that there seems to be a greater need for a polarizer filter. The slide films like Velvia and Provia really "popped" the colors in the photos just by their very nature, but not so with the DSLR. A polarizer really seems to help bring out some of the blues that can be washed out.

Like ChrisA said too, the exposure makes a huge difference too.

Good luck
09-28-2007, 09:50 AM   #4
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Adding a Circular Polarizer to your arsenal will really bring out the 'rich blue' you might be looking for, but only when the sun is at certain angles to the sky. For example, at true noon, the effect would be minimal. However, my skies are blue whether or not I'm using a CPOL, so, I'd go with ChrisA and say it sounds like an exposure issue.

!c

09-28-2007, 10:13 AM   #5
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the problem is your exposure. The sensor is setting the exposure on a much darker object. This is typical with almost (if not all) digital cameras. Even more so when shooting with backlighting. Shooting with front lighting will help and try setting your exposure against the sky.

Circular polarizer. This will help...once you get past the initial issue. It works best when shooting at right angles to the sun. Use it with side lighting. Honestly...I hardly take mine off, regardless of the time of day.

I'd go with the Grad ND filter for natural shots.


Of course you could always delve into the realm of HDR and not have to worry about filters. Just don't overdue the tone mapping!
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