Shooting in cloudy weather

edited March 2012 Posted in » Canon 60D Forum
I am currently in China visiting family and sight seeing. I am using the 60D with the kit 18-135mm lens and a uv filter. The big issue that I am running across is the weather over here is really dark and cloudy. I've been here close to three weeks now and that sky has been the same and I haven't seen a blue sky with clouds since. Its always a dark sky and really foggy.

I looking for some advice in shooting landscapes, cityscapes, etc... in this type of atmosphere. All my shots are turning out dark and gloomy. I have been using "cloudy" in the white balance, but it only does so much. In addition, when I shoot from a distance there seems to be a cloudy mist in front of the subject.

Also, why is it when you are taking evening shots that you wouldn't want the f/stop to be the lowest? My thoughts would be the larger the opening the shorter the shutter speed could be used. I've been seeing pictures of the evening sky (skyline, landscape) with f/8.0+. Thanks for all the help!


  • edited March 2012
    Hi @gon1885 - This is a situation where you need to experiment with the exposure compensation button. You move the exposure indicator to the + to lighten your pictures.

    Remember that exposure compensation isn't reset when you turn the camera off so you need to put it back to zero (the middle position).

    As for the cloudy mist, that is exactly what it is - damp in the atmosphere. Not much you can do about that one except pray for some sunshine. Regards - PBked
  • Howdy @gon1885 - Cloudy (overcast) days aren't great for landscape photography, unless you're shooting near water and plan on converting the image to black and white. When coupled with the use of a tripod and slow shutter speeds, this can create a really nice "dreamy" effect.

    The nice thing about cloudy weather is that it softens harsh shadows and gives you nice, natural looking color when capturing things like flowers, portraits and single subjects.

    In regards to the aperture, generally you want to use higher aperture f-numbers (greater than f/8) when shooting landscapes and cityscapes. This lengthens the depth of field, putting more of the scene into focus. A lower f-number (less than f/4) will shorten the depth of field and only put a portion of the scene or subject into focus.

    Hope that all makes sense. Happy shooting! :)
  • edited March 2012
    I will definitely give the B&W a try later this week, thanks for the great tips!
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