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Old Jun 12, 2007, 8:15 AM   #1
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It doesn't matter how you spell it, I find grey days are horrible for photography.

Every shot I take seems lifeless and flat. It's these horizon to horizon grey clouds that bug me. You know the sort, a continuous stretch of blandness. No shadows, so no depth. No interesting reflections of the sky in water. No damned inspiration!

So is it just me? Do I need to look harder at the world or do other people just leave their cameras in the bag on days; well on days like today. Here I am in Oxfordshire and all I see is a bland, grey world. It's boring, I tell you. But then again perhaps I just need to exercise my imagination.

As an example, this shot I took about 6 weeks ago in Inverness. I just find it sooooooooooo dull. A little bit of sun or even a break in the cloud might have given it a highlight or a bit of depth.

The way this spring is going, plenty of cloudy days interspersed with very hot and sunny days, I'll get a lot of opportunities to improve my composition skills. Probably starting next week when I'm on holiday in north-west Scotland. The long range weather forecast doesn't look too hopeful at the mo'.


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Old Jun 12, 2007, 10:36 AM   #2
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I often have the same problem, so I was happy when I discovered the levels adjustment tool. It has a cost - might blow out some of the lightest areas, but to me it allows an overall improvement. Better yet if it's done before conversion from RAW.

Kjell
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Old Jun 12, 2007, 6:57 PM   #3
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I used a graduated Tobaco filter to add some colour to a grey winter sky.

One thing in winter is that you get a lot of even light and no problems with the contrast range being too large.
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Old Jun 12, 2007, 7:43 PM   #4
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Keithw wrote:
Quote:
It doesn't matter how you spell it, I find grey days are horrible for photography.

Every shot I take seems lifeless and flat. It's these horizon to horizon grey clouds that bug me. You know the sort, a continuous stretch of blandness. No shadows, so no depth. No interesting reflections of the sky in water. No damned inspiration!

So is it just me? Do I need to look harder at the world or do other people just leave their cameras in the bag on days; well on days like today. Here I am in Oxfordshire and all I see is a bland, grey world. It's boring, I tell you. But then again perhaps I just need to exercise my imagination.

As an example, this shot I took about 6 weeks ago in Inverness. I just find it sooooooooooo dull. A little bit of sun or even a break in the cloud might have given it a highlight or a bit of depth.

The way this spring is going, plenty of cloudy days interspersed with very hot and sunny days, I'll get a lot of opportunities to improve my composition skills. Probably starting next week when I'm on holiday in north-west Scotland. The long range weather forecast doesn't look too hopeful at the mo'.

It may be a bit dreary. But Kjell did some improvement. Not bad. Why you did not stress the pict itseft. It is some kind of a liftlock as I know. We have quite a few in Ontario for moving boats from one lake to the next (of different water level) . Very cool and impressive when it is in operation.

Daniel, Toronto
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Old Jun 12, 2007, 11:16 PM   #5
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Grey days (they call it June Gloom around here for a reason) are good for visiting the botanical gardens and other places where diffuse light is desirable, or where you might otherwise have too much dynamic range for the sensor.Flowers do well in less than bright light - often you'll get more color saturation. You go indoors to museums and interesting old buildings. Outdoor sports aren't so bad without bright sunlight casting strong shadows, as long as it isn't too dark.
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Old Jun 16, 2007, 4:46 AM   #6
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Keithw wrote:
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It doesn't matter how you spell it, I find grey days are horrible for photography.
And sometime it just depends on what you ASSUME....

Nice thing about of a 2x4mi island doesn't take that long to get anywhere even on a bike....

Espected VERY little of this sunset... and this not the best just quick chosen........ maybe not great but then again...... hardly bad.

Even totally overcast days I have gotten surprising results out of at the last moment.... not necessarilly sun... just cloud contrast.

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Old Jun 16, 2007, 8:16 AM   #7
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Hi Keith,

When I used film on day like that I would use a skylight 1A filter. It would help take out the dreariness look of the day somewhat. Now I use a Circular Polarizer. Sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn't.

Like Kjell I tried some playing with your picture. I hope you don't mind.. I didn't use the Levels, But instead clarified it, some saturation then a duplicate layer and clarified it again in that layer to 48%. Then ran the High Pass sharpening and the digital camer noise removal tool in Paint Shop Pro 11.20.

I hope you don't mind and may like it. I tried not to blow out the sky. It still may be a little dark for some.

Rudy
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Old Jun 16, 2007, 8:25 AM   #8
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Even if they don't say it that is VERY nice and effectrive daylight like play..... though not reality
Not that I don't PP anything, but there is something to be said for reality when contrast are present.... vs just gloomy gray, this was.... even though I know reality... your render is VERY nice... if I didn't know... and still even then.

Mine just reduced out of cam.... and it looked worse on LCD (but used to that dif) and as far as REALITY looks actually pretty darn close though not to blown out yellow sky, MAY have been a 1/2 stop under, but still what they eye saw..


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Old Jun 16, 2007, 6:48 PM   #9
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Have you thought about shooting something other than landscapes on days like these.

Try some close ups, abstracts, odd angle shooting.

Try Black and white and sepia tone post processing.

Posted this before, but it was shot just before sunrise in that predawn neutrallight.

Crash


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Old Jun 23, 2007, 4:25 PM   #10
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Thanks guys

Sorry for the delayed response but I have been up in Scotland for a week. And guess what? Yep! We had some bits of grey. Of course, by the sea I found that even grey days could be interesting. If any of the 1,000+ shots I took last week are any good I might just post some.

Does look as if I'm going to have to learn how to use a proper editing tool. I have never bothered before, except for ythe merest tweak of the brightness/contrast but seeing the difference some PP made to my dull photo I'll have to learn.

Re-reading my original post I did sound a bit negative! OK a lot negative!!! Probably down to that photo being taken on a trip to Inverness (I was up there on business) and it being my first real outing with the GX-10. And I was disappointed with the results. Obviously it couldn't be my fault so it must be the weather's.

Keith
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