Take Great Pictures of Clouds




Posted in TechnologyPhotography

Introduction: Take Great Pictures of Clouds

I don't know about you, but I think clouds are amazing, and I think that the best way to show people this is through photos. I'm no professional photographer, but here are a few tips on how to take great photos of them.

I suppose this could also be applied to photography of other objects, but I prefer clouds

Step 1: Your Camera

It doesn't really have to be that hi-tech, the only things I'd say are important are a good zoom and an option to change the exposure (this will normally be found under manual options).

I use a Canon Digital Ixus 75 for these pictures.

Step 2: The Right Conditions

You can have the best camera in the world, and be the best photographer, but if there's nothing to shoot, then you can take any pictures (obviously).

Mostly, it is a matter of waiting. Watch the weather and keep an eye out. After storms is a good time for interesting shapes, and was when I took these pictures.

Step 3: The Exposure

Getting the exposure right is very important and can really 'make' a picture.
Setting a high exposure makes the picture bright, low makes it darker (I normally do low-exposure photos - they look quite dramatic)

Normally, you will have to change your camera setting to manual.

In the picture below, the top-left picture is highest exposure, bottom-right, the lowest.

Sorry there are none of my own pictures - I can't exactly take pictures of my camera that well.

Step 4: That's It!

The best thing to do is practice - here are some of my pictures, I'll upload some more later.

Upload yours below!



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    25 years later and I'm still shooting severe weather. Shooting RAW is better than HDR because you can make exposure adjustments to the one image as many times as you like then stack and blend them together in PS. HDR in my opinion looks horrible and screams amateur. Good luck with shooting clouds.


    Have you ever looked into trying HDR? I hear it brings out amazing details in cloud photographs, and there's free software for tonal mapping.

    7 replies

    Tricky part about doing HDR on clouds is that you have to take 3 pictures in a row with nothing moving, hard to do on clouds real fast unless your cam does exposure bracketing

    Not so hard, with a good SLR that can do around 3FPS it's easy.  You just set it to auto bracket, lock the focus and fire away.

    Exactly what I said

    i heard if you take a RAW picture, you dont have to take 3 pictures (just one)

    No, RAW has 10 bit color but it doesnt have the same effect as taking multiple exposures

    You can save duplicat copies of the RAW file and open them in Photoshop (or any program that can adjust the RAW data) and adjust the exposure (leave one normal, one +2 and one -2) and use these to make the HDR. It isn't as great of quality as 3 seperate images taken at 3 seperate exposures, but it does work and still looks pretty good.

    You know thats completely pointless dont you?

    a polarized lens helps a lot too