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Author Topic: Sky: Looking Into The Landscape’s Soul  (Read 395 times)

drralph

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Sky: Looking Into The Landscape’s Soul
« on: July 11, 2018, 12:24:16 AM »

I am intrigued by the idea of collecting skys, and re-using them down the line when nature did not provide a good one for an otherwise pleasing landscape.  The practical aspects of such a collection seem a bit daunting:
  • Most of the places where I shoot have obstructions on the horizon, making re-use of a sky difficult or impossible.  It seems inclusion of the horizon is key to making a drop-in sky look believable. 
    I am also interested in how folks manage a collection of skys in a DAM. 
    I shoot a lot of stitched panos.  Is it important for the angle of view of the sky to be the same as the ground subject?
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joolsb

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Re: Sky: Looking Into The Landscape’s Soul
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 05:16:11 AM »

There is a further consideration which the article perfectly illustrates: if you have water in your image, you have to make very sure that it's reflecting the sky to a degree that is believable. The images in the article simply show the sky as reflected when the image was shot but not the skies that were dropped in.

Which brings me to another point. Whilst the 'right' sky can undoubtedly make or break a good landscape photo, what is more important is the subtle lighting change that each type of sky brings with it. An underlit cloudy sky (i.e. cloud covers most of the sky but a small strip of sky is visible where the sun is setting or rising) creates a beautiful warm glow light, for example, which is non-existent in clearer skies and very difficult to fake unless you are a skilled Photoshop artist.

Personally, I don't much go for this type of 'bolt-on' moodiness. The most important thing is to capture what you felt at the time not to attempt to tart-up a so-so image after the fact. That said, there's a case to be made for this sort of manipulation in the advertising world where expensive shoots can't be re-scheduled simply because the weather isn't co-operating but, for the rest of us, most of the challenge of landscape photography is finding (or waiting for) the perfect conditions.
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Geoff Wittig

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Re: Sky: Looking Into The Landscape’s Soul
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 01:22:41 PM »

I get the idea that art is whatever we want it to be, that there are no rules in art, and so on.
But I have to say that the bombastic, neon, in-your-face skies demonstrated here are nails-on-a-chalkboard to my aesthetic sense. I have a bit of the same feeling about Alain Briot's intensely punched up colors, and all the millions of images on Flickr etc. where the hand of Photoshop's vibrancy slider is all too obvious.

I do like the concept of sky as the photograph's emotion. That's precisely why seeing it presented as a three-handkerchief weeper strikes me as so wrong.

Just me! Others are surely free to love this stuff.;
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MattBurt

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Re: Sky: Looking Into The Landscape’s Soul
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 01:39:59 PM »

It seems like you could create a keyword you label all your potential re-use skies to get back to them easily. Then you could make a smart collection (Lightroom) based on that keyword and your sky images will always be there if you need them. Just pick a keyword you aren't going to use for anything else. CompositeSky or something like that should do it.

That being said I'm also not a fan of this practice but I do understand that in some commercial applications it could be handy.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 01:52:49 PM by MattBurt »
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-MattB

Jonathan Cross

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Re: Sky: Looking Into The Landscape’s Soul
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 06:20:02 PM »

I found this article interesting as it made me relook at my personal style.  I agree that sky can make or break an image, but those in the article made me question what was the main focus.  Is it the building, its remote environment or the sky?  The sky tends to be very strong thereby making a case to be the main focus.  I am not sure I would want such a strong element to be dropped in sky.
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Jonathan in UK

Peter McLennan

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Re: Sky: Looking Into The Landscape’s Soul
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 09:47:43 PM »

I've said it before and it bears repeating here: "Many landscape pictures are really weather pictures".

That said, I subscribe to the practice of sky replacement and I have a directory called "Skies", especially for that purpose.

For many of the reasons already stated, sky replacement is more difficult than it might first appear. Matching perspective barely scratches the surface.
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Tony Jay

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Re: Sky: Looking Into The Landscape’s Soul
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 10:51:45 PM »

I have never replaced a sky, and probably will forever remain too chicken to try...

And this from a guy who has no problem attempting multi-shot panorama's and HDR (not so much these days with the better sensors in cameras)!
I do like outdoor images that have dramatic colours (because they were there in the scene to be recorded), but also really enjoy very subtle (from a colour perspective) images (again because that was what the scene reflected).

I cannot criticise those who would replace a sky from an artistic perspective, but I cannot bring myself to do the same...

Horses for courses I guess!
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nirpat89

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Re: Sky: Looking Into The Landscape’s Soul
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2018, 07:19:07 PM »

I get the idea that art is whatever we want it to be, that there are no rules in art, and so on.
But I have to say that the bombastic, neon, in-your-face skies demonstrated here are nails-on-a-chalkboard to my aesthetic sense. I have a bit of the same feeling about Alain Briot's intensely punched up colors, and all the millions of images on Flickr etc. where the hand of Photoshop's vibrancy slider is all too obvious.

I do like the concept of sky as the photograph's emotion. That's precisely why seeing it presented as a three-handkerchief weeper strikes me as so wrong.

Just me! Others are surely free to love this stuff.;


For me the challenge of landscape photography is the hunt for that image and the feeling of "being there" when I look at my photograph.  If I can just create the scene out of prefabricated elements, what is the fun?  Again, I have no moral problems with others doing it that way like the author of this article and I even enjoyed the result of his efforts.  I would have taken any one of his examples if a scene presented me as such. 

Again, that's just me.  Not judging others who choose to do this.


:Niranjan.
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