How to Take Great Landscape Photos Even With Gray Skies

When you think of the sky in landscape photos, I bet you think of gorgeous sunsets full of luscious, vivid colors or puffy clouds floating over a blue backdrop, perfectly complementing the elements below. You probably don't think of drab, gray skies. Nonetheless, it's still possible to get great shots with less-than-stellar views above, and this video will show you how.

Coming to you from Michael Breitung, this awesome video explores how to take compelling landscape images even when the sky is less than cooperative. Living in Cleveland, I can definitely attest to the frustrations of a nearly ever-present shroud of gray, but if I were to pack my gear in every time the sky wasn't a painterly vision, I wouldn't really need to own a camera at all. It turns out that it just takes a little modification of your shooting patterns. There are even some advantages: for example, I personally think a moody gray sky can complement blue water beautifully. On that topic, one of the biggest helping hands you can have is a polarizer, which works to reduce glare (especially on water) and can bring back some of the texture of an otherwise monotonous sky. So, to my fellow photographers who dwell in an eternally gray area, don't let it stop you!

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5 Comments

Deleted Account's picture

Winter in Minnesota usually has its share of boring grey sky. I'll whip our the CLP next time and give this a shot!

Alex Cooke's picture

Yeah, the problem with Cleveland is the microclimate from the lake. Lots of lake-effect clouds and precipitation.

Deleted Account's picture

Michigan gets a lot of lake effect clouds, too. :) I've learned to embrace the gray skies. Polarizer goes with me in my bag all the time. I like his tip about finding a scene by a town in order to create a false sunrise.

Alex Cooke's picture

Yeah, that's super clever; I honestly never thought of it before. Glad to meet a fellow Midwesterner! :)

Simon Patterson's picture

Excellent tips, terrific photos and I like his tone of voice.

He's one of the growing number of Youtubers who's figured out that he's talking to each viewer one at a time, so uses his "inside voice" (as I tell my kids to when they're indoors!). I'm glad he didn't feel the need to shout and carry on like some youtube educators do, as if they're talking to a crowd of thousands all standing outside together at once.