Moody Sky

Posted on Sunday 1 July 2007

My Sunday photographic shoot turned out to be a very foggy day, however, this provided some excellent opportunities for moody shots on the fringes of the fog. Looking down into the valleys covered in their bed of fog is always an inviting view.

I took quite a number of shots overlooking Queenstown, Arrowtown, the Gibbston Valley and Wanaka, but I think the best opportunities arose when I headed out to Lake Hawea near Wanaka. Looking towards the north west end of the lake, the sun and the dark clouds had some fantastic light.

I used the Canon 300D with the 300mm zoom lens at 130mm. To prevent the detail of the cloud from being lost, I metered off the top portion of the sky.

The original image was already pretty much a monochrome shot (with a blue tinge).

Original Version of Lake Hawea
Original, unedited version

I thought it might look better as a pure black and white image, so I just desaturated the colour in Photoshop and burnt the clouds in a little to bring out the detail.

Lake Hawea
Black & White, edited version

4 Comments for 'Moody Sky'

    7 August 2007 | 7:27 am

    hey, i follow your pictures on flickr and found your blog through them. i’m brand new to photoshop, just trying to work it out on my own, and i love how you’ve edited this photo. i know desaturation, but how did you isolate the clouds to burn just them a little? i would so appreciate any such informations.

    p.s. i’m from wellington, me, but haven’t been back in eight long years. you should know that your photos of welly warm my heart.

    Steve Duffy
    7 August 2007 | 6:37 pm

    Hi, looking at your G3 vs EOS300 photos shows up startling differences in image qulaity all over. What lens are you using on the EOS? I suspect a better one would serve you well. Cheers Steve

    10 August 2007 | 11:40 am

    Hi Leila.

    I didn’t use any special tricks to burn the clouds in. I just choose a large brush size and probably the most important thing to set is the exposure for the burn tool. I set this around 10-15%. If it’s set to high, it’s hard to control the results and you get a very obvious band between where you’ve burn the image and where you haven’t.

    10 August 2007 | 11:42 am

    Hi Steve.

    The lens I have on the 300D are the standard lens that comes with the 300D (18-55mm), and the rest are from when I had a EOS-50, ie:

    100-300mm Canon
    20-35mm Canon
    100m Tokina macro.

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