Thursday, May 5, 2011

Apply a sky

Been trawling though my photo archives looking for landscape references, I've found a few good photos that stand alone as a ref for a painting but many that worked in one way but not another. The Falkland Islands are a place that is dominated by the sky and in many of my photos that's the element that does not work. I photograph a particular scene that I like but so often the sky & clouds are uninteresting and this wrecks the feel of the image.

Recently I've taken to shooting images of 'good' skies with the object of using them to fix scenes, I have about 300 of these good sky images now, sunsets, sunrises, stormy, windy, broken cloud but all 'good' images. A suitable sky can be pasted onto a photo to jazz it up (I use Corel PhotoPaint for this but any decent photoeditor will do), Here's a few photos I've 'fixed' in this way, they don't stand up as a photo in themselves but it gives me a more inspiring reference for a painting (I hope).

This is a photograph taken by my mother of a scene looking south west from somewhere near the Black Hill in Chartres, I prefer to have more sky and I'm not entirely comfortable with the high contrast of the slab of rock in the it is cropped and with a new, more dynamic sky applied:

Here's a couple more:

Hill Cove

Hill Cove, this wasn't bad at all but again I wanted just a bit more going on, the Sky overlay came from another photo taken on the same day but about an hour later:

Fox Bay

Fox Bay, this was taken from our was the sky only about 5 minutes earlier but quite a difference:

Must crack on and see if I can get some decent paintings from these, I feel that this will prove to be a useful trick.


  1. Hi Ben, that's a great idea. Those landscapes look a lot like the ones where I live in Northern Scotland.

  2. Hi Keith, it is similar. Sadly we don't have the mountains that Scotland's blessed with. Some nice hills mind, loads more pics of the Falklands on my walking blog (such as it is):