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Nature's Image Photography Workshops and Tours

SUNLIGHT AND DARK CLOUDS: A RECIPE FOR GREAT LANDSCAPES

June 2018

This simple photo of a wave crashing on a rock is effective because of that dramatic contrast of the white water against the dark sky. Let’s look beyond the image to the elements in the shot, and consider the process I went through to achieve such a result.

The clouds were grey; dark-ish but not quite so dark as you see them here. The sun was shining on the rocks and the water in the foreground, and the sunlit white water was by far the brightest part of the scene. In order to prevent overexposing the crashing wave, I had to take a darker photo than the camera wanted me to. As always I was shooting in Manual mode, so this was a simple matter of setting the shutter speed a few stops faster than indicated by the light-meter.

But when I darken the exposure to control the water, I also darken every other part of the photo including the clouds in the background. So at the same time as not overexposing the water, I have actually underexposed the sky, making it look darker and even more ominous. Whenever you find yourself in a situation with a sunny foreground and a dark sky, you can take advantage of the naturally occurring contrast to produce dramatic results.

TOURS

NULLARBOR AND EYRE PENINSULA PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR 2022

March 4, 2022 - March 15, 2022
11 Days photography tour with Andrew Goodall and Sacred Earth Safaris

NEW ZEALAND: SOUTH ISLAND PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR 2022

April 27, 2022 - May 7, 2022
11 Day photography tour with Andrew Goodall and Grand Pacific Tours

ULTIMATE SOUTH AFRICA PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR 2022

May 16, 2022 - June 5, 2022
21 day photography tour with Andrew Goodall and Bushbaby Safaris

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