Get dramatic skies without HDR

I used HDR a lot in the past and loved it. But as time passed by and I learned more about photography my taste also changed. So I stopped using HDR.

But I always liked the dramatic skies that HDR creates. I recently learned a nice simple technique to achieve the same without having to shot bracketed and create HDR shots.

You only need clouds, nice fluffy ones. If it’s during sunrise or sunset even better. You will have the chance of playing with rich saturated colors. But even this is optional. Take a look at the shot below. I took it a cols spring day using a 10ND filter with 30 second exposure. There was almost no wind so there’s very little movement on the clouds. But the water turned flat as I wanted.

I used Adobe camera raw to adjust highlights, shadows to bring all the details of the sky. Later in Photoshop I added B&W conversion using NIK Silver FXPro.

 

 

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