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When the skies are gray

gedged Member
edited April 2013 in wedding photography
Over the summer months it gets very gloomy / cloudy where i live. Not the sort of clouds that can make an interesting photo, I mean dreary one large gray blanket.

How do you make outdoor wedding photos pop when there is no natural light or contrast? I know you can setup flash, etc. but nothing is better than natural ambient light. Any suggestions?


  • ZenonZenon Member
    You can't get much closer to natural light than flash. Overcast is not blue sky daylight but without flash things will look flat out of the camera. PP skills will come in handy in this case. The whole secret to flash is making it look like you didn't use one. I can't think of any other way to jazz up a gray sky. It is what it is.
  • TrevTrev Moderator

    Ditto Zenon, flash is used nearly every single time with me, since it helps 'clean' the skin, especially if in areas where a cast may be seen on skin, eg: in shade, etc.

    What you can do if it's a reasonable gray color is look for slightly darker patches you can put behind them, or, and I do this a bit, I'd deliberately underexpose the sky by 1/3rd to 2/3rds of a stop, have flash as dominant so you can get a moodier shot.

    The only other alternative is to try to keep the sky in frame down to a minimum.

    Sometimes you can get it terribly ugly with a bright plain white overcast color to sky and *nothing* will help there, you have to adapt to other scenes.

    Of course sometimes it's impossible, like a wedding on a beach day and it's overcast with nothing but white behind. I'd still slightly under the ambient and do flash to at least retain something in he sky.
  • ZenonZenon Member
    There is only a few times a year and usually for a short period of time when there is a thin cloud cover. Enough to eliminate shadows but the light still has a glow to it. My favourite mid day natural lighting.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    ged said: but nothing is better than natural ambient light
    Well, that's taken care of then.
  • it's a wedding... kinda stuck w/the weather/time constraints... Ed K
  • Ha... I had a feeling that comment about "nothing better than natural ambient light" would invoke a response from Neil!! Saw that one coming :-)
  • gedged Member
    I should have given that more thought before typing that :-) Since I came across your site and bought your Flash book I have significantly increased my use of flash.

    What I meant to say is that I would prefer to have some ambient light from the gray skies as opposed to try and bring everything out with flash.

    Foot hopefully now removed from mouth....
  • ZenonZenon Member
    It happens :) Still tough to make ambient any better. PP is still all I can think of.
  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited April 2013
    Thought of something. Maybe some selective tone mapping using Photomatix Pro or something like that.
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