The Digital Photo Guy

Collecting Cloud Photos

by on Aug.06, 2010, under Articles, Composition, Photo Editing, Photos, Photoshop CS2/4, Photoshop Elements

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Cloud Photos

I stepped outside the other day and was amazed at the clouds above the house. I don’t often see clouds in San Diego and I especially don’t see unusual or interesting cloud formations.


All these were taken within moments of each other but because I faced different directions, the light shifted, causing the colors to be different in each.

Below are different types of clouds. (The spots on the bottom right of 4645 are birds which I clone out before using these clouds)


So, what’s the big deal with photos of clouds? Anyone who has used PS or PSE for more than a week knows the answer. Here’s a blah photo of Paris. If you’ve ever been to Paris during the summer, you know this is pretty typical.


See how a totally blah photo can be turned into something interesting or, even, bizarre with a few clicks of the mouse.

Send Your ‘Shopped Cloud Photos

Send me your best effort at replacing a cloudless, blah sky with a better looking, cloudy sky and I’ll post them on my site.

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On all pages except the home page, you’ll find a red “ad” on the right side. It takes you directly to the Latest Articles and Tips page. You no longer have to return to the home page to get to the latest Monday Morning Tip or extemporaneous article. In the future, other direct links may be added as needed/requested.

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I’ve now figured out a way to implement these buttons to help you find related articles but, over the next few weeks, may cause you to receive extra RSS feeds and e-mail notifications. I’m apologize for any inconvenience but, in the end, you’ll be able to find all articles and MMTs about, say, Composition with one click. The Search button works when you know a specific term.

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3 Comments for this entry

  • Karen

    Lee, thanks for your tip on avoiding overexposure when taking cloud/sky photos. I don’t know why that simple thing was so difficult for me to see but I tried some high shutter speed settings and experimented the past couple of days. My results were much better. Sometimes the obvious is not so obvious. I forget too that experimenting with digital is so cheap–only your time. Sometimes the old days of being stingy with shots when using film cameras comes back to haunt me.Thanks again.

  • Karen

    You have such great cloud/sky photos. Any quick tips other than practice, practice, practice to get me going on some success with those. I seem to be disappointed with most of mine. Have a Canon 50d. Thanks for any tips/ideas.

    • Lee

      Thanks Karen,
      Clouds and sky are pretty much PDL (pure dumb luck). Of course, in photography, the more photos you take, the luckier you get. The most important thing is to watch your histogram to avoid overexposure. You want to retain detail in the clouds and not turn it into white mush. Aperture doesn’t matter because at typical cloud attitudes, depth of field extends to infinity. Keep shutter speed high to minimize camera shake and go for it. Good luck!

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