Skyscapes

Often while I am out in the field, I notice great cloud formations. So instead of photographing landscapes, I go for Skyscapes. They can be very dramatic and more fun then the landscapes I was thinking of when I started out. Sometimes the sky is just so dramatic you cannot not photograph them. Any lens seems to work well for this, depending on the effect and composition you are thinking of and the amount of obstacles in your way. Sometimes I use just the single frame for my composition. At other times, I shoot a panoramic series to stitch together later. I usually manually make my own in Photoshop, but there are many programs you can use to automatically do this. Photoshop can do this also, some friends use PTgui, but there are many you can use and there are some free ones you can download. Many times when I am out with a long telephoto on my main camera, I carry a Panasonic point & shoot camera that can shoot raw files along with a panorama crop. This also works well for skies. The examples here were photographed with a 24 -105mm to 400mm. For a single capture, I sometimes crop to a panorama format. If I use a series of images for a panorama, I zoom out to 75mm – 105mm to limit some distortion when combining them. I zoom to the height I like, then shoot a series horizontally for the length I want. Also use manual exposure so the frames all have the same exposure so it is easier to combine and overlap without variances in density. Depending on the clouds, I have also done vertical panoramas, that also give a unique & different look. Also try different crops, wider to tighter to see which ones you like better. If printing them, the crop depends on how large you are printing them. The larger you go the different the crop looks. Skies and cloud images are also great to use as a background in ebooks or books to put other photos on top with text, makes it look more interesting than a white page . So if it is a slow day out in the field remember to look up.

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