How to Handle Overcast Skies

Give your outdoor photography a big boost with these tips and techniques!

by Linda Eodice

Vespa Victorian in S.F.
© Linda Eodice
All Rights Reserved

So often when I travel to locations where I want to shoot scenic views, I happen to arrive when the sky clouds over. Cloudy skies can take away a stop of light, and create cool color balances.

Unfortunately, dull, cloudy days are a fact of life in outdoor photography, but there is a way to get around their negative aspects. First of all, you can use your camera’s Cloudy Day white balance setting to warm up the scene. If the light is very low, you should either use a tripod or a higher ISO setting, such as 400 to 800. On the plus side, cloud covers eliminate all high contrast issues, and they provide a pleasing, wrap-around light. Eliminate the dull, gray skies from your composition and concentrate on the rest of the scene.

I photographed the entry to this Victorian house in San Francisco on a very overcast day. I liked the red Vespa motorbike, as well as the red doorway in this scene. I used Cloudy WB, and composed this image to include primarily the entryway to the house and the red Vespa on the steps. I also liked the balance that the foliage created on either side of the entryway.

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About Author Linda Eodice

Author: Linda  Eodice

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