This week, our theme was “sky” as the Great American Eclipse was on everyone’s minds. Our community shared some gorgeous and unique sky shots, from sunsets to flare to stunning cloudscapes. Take a few minutes to read the tips here on the blog, then go check out these ladies on Instagram to see more of their great work!

– Kelley K (@kelleykphoto)


Julia wrote: For this shot I was using my sigma 15mm fisheye and my settings were: ISO 2000 f/11 1/640sec. In LR I used a brush with increased contrast and dehaze in the sky and another brush to brighten my son. In PS added a warming filter to the sun and dodged and burned the sky a bit.

The dehaze slider is a great tool in Lightroom and it really brings out the detail in those skies! Several of our featured photographers mentioned using it this week on their skies. 


Naomi wrote: My settings were ISO 100, f 1.8 and shutter speed 1/8000. When I saw the dramatic cloud filled sky this day, I knew I really wanted to try and get some shots. I went out with my little girl. As she walked, I just observed a bit to see how the sun and wind hit her. When I saw the shadows on her face created by having the sun slightly to the side, I loved it! By having the sun in front and to the side, I was able to capture the dark clouds behind her and not have the sky blown out. I still find shooting in harsh light tricky, but am trying to work on it as often that is when we’re out and about adventuring. The biggest thing I’m learning is to embrace the shadows. They can add emotion and interest to your photos.

People are often afraid to shoot in full sun, but it does let you capture beautiful blue skies and stunning clouds!


Bethany wrote: I shot this at the very end of my session with this family when the light was almost completely gone. I love that that little sliver of the moon was there because they had traveled to my city to see the eclipse earlier in the week. To shoot this, I got really low to the ground so nothing from the horizon would be in view, and I exposed for the sky. I used my 35mm. My settings were ISO 3200, SS1/1000s f2.5. I processed it with @triciavictoriapresets and removed the grain.

Silhouettes are always so striking. Getting low to the ground for this really strengthened the composition here.


Mickie wrote: I decided to get it early this summer to take underwater images. I previously used a dicapac bag but wanted a less clumsy setup without springing for housing. Beyond underwater I’ve enjoyed using the app to take unique perspectives. If you look at my feed there is one from earlier this summer where I put my gopro in a hole my son and his cousin was digging at the beach. It’s so fun!

The GoPro lends itself to such unique photography perspectives and compositions for creative images like this one.


Nancy wrote: I used my 15mm fisheye for this pic. ISO 160 f/7.1 and 1/2500. I slightly underexposed to keep the sky. I did some basic adjustments in Lightroom and then lightened where needed in Photoshop as well as bring out some more contrast / pop.

Wide angle and fisheye lenses are great for capturing expansive skies like this image. I love all the details in the clouds here!

Laura-Jane wrote: It took me a few goes to get it right but I got there in the end. I first took an image that already had an incredible looking sky, I opened the app plotograph and imported my photo I used the mask tool on anything I didn’t want to move like my son and the pier, I then used the animator tool to put arrows in the direction I wanted the cloud to go and now the important part that took me a while to figure out use the anchor points to hold areas in place otherwise you get a weird movement. I’ll try post a tutorial in my stories when I get home later today.

Instagram has been full of these super fun plotograph videos lately. Laura-Jane gave some great tips on how to use the app to create your own.


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