Two ways to add drama to an overcast sky
In this video I show you a couple of ways to add texture and drama to a dull and boring sky.
Maybe you avoid going out for a photo walk on an overcast day. I hope this post changes your mind!
Here’s a couple of photos showing the before and after of what I’m talking about doing here.
For these methods I’m going to demonstrate, you need a landscape photo that was shot on an overcast day, with a sky having little or no contrast.
Recipe 1 – Cell phone and Snapseed
- Take a couple of photos of your landscape with your smart phone.
- Download the free app called Snapseed. I’ve blogged about this app before, you can read that here.
- Scroll down to the filter section, and choose the Drama Filter
- Usually it boosts the contrast immediately to acceptable results.
- Lower the strength if you think it’s too much drama.
- Adjust the Saturation. The default is -40. I personally like a fully saturated landscape so that I keep any colour that is in the shot. So I usually put this slider back to 0.
- Save the photo.
- You can also transfer photos to your iPhone or iPad using WiFi or Dropbox, and then apply the filter to a digital camera file. This is what I usually do as I don’t like the quality of photos from my iPhone.
Recipe 2 – In camera method – For Lumix Lovers
Lumix cameras have a bunch of built-in creative filters. Other camera brands have filters too, but I only have first hand experience with Lumix. The camera shown in the video is the Lumix GM1, but all Lumix cameras have these built-in creative effects.
- You can set up your camera to take two photos with and without the filter effects.
- You can also shoot jpg + raw and only the jpg will have the filter effects.
- To get a dramatic sky, choose the Impressive Art filter.
- Take a test photo.
- Adjust the filter to suit your taste, as shown in the video.
- Take another test photo.
- You’re done!
There are more ways to juice up a flat looking sky, such as using other software filters, apps, Instagram filters, and pre-sets in post processing, but these are the two I use the most. My favourite is Snapseed.
Want some more fun?
Use these methods to juice up other photos too. I use it a lot to liven up my skateboard photos on a dull day.
If you’re interested in seeing more of my skateboarding photos, check out my Instagram feed. I’m @imagemaven
If you’re interested in learning more about filters, I’ve got blog post on editing photos using Luminar, which is a stand-alone photo editing app.
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