Cloudy Day Photography Settings

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Finding the right cloudy day photography settings can be a challenge for many amateur shooters. In this video, professional photographer and instructor, Layne Kennedy, shows you some landscape photography tips on a dark, overcast day.

The photography in cloudy conditions lesson begins in the woods at the Eloise Butler Sanctuary in Minneapolis under a canopy of oak trees draped with green leaves. Layne explains his method for choosing a photograph. “With a long lens, I try to isolate spots where color and design composition jumps out at me.” Despite the task of doing his photography in cloudy conditions, Layne decides against adjusting the white balance to the cloudy settings. Instead, he sets the camera on auto to record the variety of tonality from the bright sky, dark trees, and the shroud of green leaves. Focusing his camera on a chosen spot, he shows you how to use a telephoto lens to capture a pattern of tree branches and the layers of light between them.

To photograph the tree canopy with the long lens, Layne recommends several exposures. He suggests going from f5.3 to f.22, adjusting the shutter speed to accommodate the focal length changes. With a wide open depth of field, he isolates the oak tree branches so that the sky and greenery drop out of focus. As an alternative, he shoots the image with a shallow depth of field, allowing everything in the frame to hold focus.

In order to get coverage of the scene, he also encourages trying different angles, wide, medium, and close. “But I don’t see that as a requirement,” he counters. “Follow your instincts and shoot what you were attracted to from the outset.” Trusting your creative instinct will help you develop your own individual photographic style.

In this video on photography in cloudy conditions, tag along with pro photographer, Layne Kennedy, as he captures creative images under a dramatic canopy of oak trees.



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