Tip #1: Shoot the Sky

I’ve decided to start a new blog series to quickly leave tips for other photographers. For the first entry I am going to demonstrate why photographers should take a few seconds to photograph the sky when shooting non-nature images outside. Take for example this image that I shot at a Nissan dealership. My responsibility for this shoot was to feature the cars and staff at the Ocala Nissan dealership. The image was to be used in a full page magazine advertisement, and needed enough extra space to overlay text. I set my camera to expose the cars, building, and people correctly in this image, which meant that I had to overexpose the sky. Even with a set of powerful studio flashes, there is no way that I am going to be able to get that large of an area bright enough so that I can get a nice blue sky. In my original shot, the sky only had a slight hint of light blue in it. I could have tried to recover some of the color from the original photograph, or even add in artificial color to the image, but instead I took a minute to photograph the sky in the area. Then I combined the correctly exposed sky photograph with the group shot to get a nicely colored sky. In Photoshop you can either adjust the overall opacity or you can change the layer blend mode to “Color”. In the Nissan example at the top of the page, I set the Photoshop layer blend mode to “Color”. This simple trick gives you an extra resource for recovering details in the sky that might be overexposed in the original image..

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