Dramatic skies in vacation photos happens to be one of my favorite things! And I’m not talking about Photoshopped in skies, but actual in-the-moment beautiful colors and clouds that were really a part of that setting at that exact moment in time. And this photo tip isn’t limited to just Disney vacations either, although it can definitely enhance some of those photos!
My favorite component of a beautiful sky is the presence of clouds. Different types of clouds can give very different looks, whether they be wispy and light or fluffy and scattered. I love this photo on the beach, but the clouds are a major part of what makes it so lovely! As you go out and about each day, start training yourself to notice the sky around you. If you keep practicing, you’ll become quicker to recognize a beautiful sky photo opportunity!
I’d also like to note that this beach photo was taken in the early afternoon, during a time of day when the sun can still be quite harsh. The scattered clouds in the sky helped to soften that harsh light. So in short, clouds can be your friend!
A few other things to consider:
- Different areas of the world experience the best sunsets at various times of the year. Do a little research before you go on your trip to see if it falls within that time frame. If so, you can plan ahead to try to get a beautiful sunset image during your vacation.
- 2. Clean air is key. Cities with lower levels of pollution see many more brilliant sunsets than places like New York City.
- 3. The “golden hour” before sunset can have some of the best light of the day for photos, but make sure to stick around for awhile after the sun sets as well. You just might get photos like this:
4. Storms can dampen your vacation (pun intended), but those storms can sometime make your photos more dramatic, too! The following photo was taken in Florida during the fall/hurricane season. I love how the clouds add to the overall Halloween feel that Main Street USA has here.
A great way to train your eye is to look at outdoor photos in print or online. You’ll be able to quickly look at several types of skies and the different clouds & colors that make an impact in the images. Make notes about what time of day you think the images were taken and if it’s a picture on Instagram, a blog or other social media account, don’t be afraid to ask the photographer themselves!