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Old Aug 18, 2005, 7:04 AM   #1
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What are some of the methods involved in avoiding blown-out skies in landscape photographs?Thanx,Andrew.
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 7:30 AM   #2
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The most important thing is to pick the time of day and light level. Take a meter reading of the sky and of the forest/field/mountain/... If they are more than 5 stops different, you are likely to have trouble. If they are more than 8 stops different, you are going to have trouble. (The number of stops depends on the dynamic range of you camera.)

Probably the best reading you can do is autobiographies of landscape photographers. Ansel Adams' for sure. Likely your library has it or can get it for you. And that has some of the best photos ever made as illustrations.
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 7:46 AM   #3
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shaggydoo wrote:
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What are some of the methods involved in avoiding blown-out skies in landscape photographs?Thanx,Andrew.
One thing is to take lots of pictures and train your eyes. After a while you'll be able to look at a scene and pretty well tell what kind of contrast range is involved, and whether you'll have blowouts. In any event, one of the best tools I know of is the camera's histogram. With a DSLR you have to take the picture and then look at the histogram afterwards, but if you have a prosumer rangefinder-type camera, it may have a live histogram display that lets you see the contrast range and placement before you even press the shutter.
It's rare that you get a "perfect histogram," but seeing where the right and left edges fall is the most important thing.

For an introduction, do a google for histogram, or see <http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/understanding-histograms.shtml>

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Old Aug 18, 2005, 4:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the insight,guys!
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Old Aug 19, 2005, 3:36 AM   #5
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If you find yourself in the position where you have to take the picture and there is a large difference between the sky and the subject there are two methods you could try:



1. Choose an exposure that would slightly over expose the sky and underexpose the subject and correct in Photoshop(method works best if you shoot in RAW mode). A number of tools exist to correct the problems such as a contrast mask.



2. Use the camera's bracketing function with the camera on a tripod and blend the images using Photoshop. There are plenty of tutorials around which detail the best way to do this.



Good luck
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