Photography is all about adding your own perspective to images and today I would want to talk about the Sky and how it can bring about a different perspective.
Now, we all know the beautiful effect an orange sky has on your images (Silhouettes, against-light) but today I am going to talk about Blue skies.
I often see a lot of people choose the green/brown backgrounds over those involving the sky. When one starts of with photography, there is a notion, a mind-set that is developed that sky background = bad background. Well, I agree that washed out skies as background, and in a lot of cases just the sky as the background does not give the most appealing of images. Take a look at the following images. The one with the sky has a dull dead wash to it. Definitely not something that appeals to me.
Now, for a moment, imagine a background of a mix of sky and a bit of the surrounding. As long as the sky has a nice blue this works like a charm. Take a look at the images below for e.g. The image on the right gives a completely different perspective. One that is not normally seen and thats whats going to make your photography grow.
As is obvious, it is the same bird clicked at the same place during the same session. Now while the image on the left works perfectly fine, it looks a tad drab against the vibrant sky of the image on the right. How do you achieve it, well just go a couple of inches lower if possible. Incase the subject is on the ground, this means ditching the bean bag and going for either a ground pod or just plain keeping the camera on the ground, to go as low as possible.
Now lets talk about the sky and achieving that blue for a minute. Notice the two images below. What do you think changed between the two? Yes there is an approx. 2 degree change in the birds head angle, but apart from that what changed to get a rich blue and green in the left image vs the dull green and gray of the image on the right.
What changed is the White-Balance. I chose a cooler white balance to enhance the blueness of the image because I wanted a richer feel. That blue sky works better in this case than the drab gray. Next time you get an opportunity of spending some time with your subject, do try if you can include a bit of the sky and then go about framing the rest. Here is another one for e.g. where the blue adds a punch. It might be the water in this case but i’ve included it to show the value that blue adds..
Does the sky always have to be blue? Well not really. A lot of times the angle of the shoot defines the mood and in a lot of cases just having the sky there changes the perspective. Do I recommend including the sky always? No not at all. I just want you to be aware about the possibility of including the sky in your images and how it can enhance the appeal
Here are a few images made by my friends Yashpal Rathore, Aditya Dicky Singh, Laksh Kalyanaraman and Sandeep Mall. Take a look at how adding the sky has added to the effect that the image has. Do take a look at their work on their facebook pages as well. I’m sure it will be a great learning experience.
So next time you are out to click, keep an eye out for the sky as well and if you have reached thus far in the post then here is a brownie point for you : The Sky would generally throw off your camera metering so watch out for that and be ready to dial in an Exposure Compensation.
To end with a typical scene from Jorbeed (Bikaner) where you will get tonnes of opportunities to try these backgrounds that bring some more meaning to the image