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I typically do something other than photography under leaden skies, but I've noticed that picture editors seem to prefer some grey sky shots when there are plenty of bright and cheerful alternatives.


There are some photos that sell time and time again (wish I had a penny for every use!), despite the greyness within the shot, and used to illustrate stories that are not linked to gloom and despair, and, yes there are loads of brighter alternatives available.


I recently struggled to find a photo used within a newspaper website and eventually found it way down the pecking order, a gloomy overcast shot lacking contrast or any kind of sparkle, and in competition with photos of the same subject bursting with life!


I'm not advocating seeking out grey days for shooting, but maybe a small percentage of the portfolio needs to have these alternatives?


It'll need a grey depressing contrast free pseudonym  to go with it   dreary_pics_unlimited  :(

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I travel a fair bit and often the only skies I have are grey and overcast. These sell, but I try to ensure that the sky is not the main object of the image, the subject is.

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I found someone else's pic last week, and posted in the 'pix found' thread. It was a very dreary shot of a tropical beach: in fact, the only shot on the page of results that didn't have blue skies, fluffy clouds and limpid blue-green water. In the context it was used, I can imagine any of the other shots would have made the visual point more effectively. Someone obviously picked the gloomy, dreary shot for a reason (it was well down the page). The moral? "There's nowt so queer as folk" (as we say in Yorkshire)...


I love grey skies. But there's grey... and grey... :)

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I've had a couple of grey day images sell recently, coincidentally both from Scotland. With one of the images I minimised the sky because it really was rather bland and with the other I left the sky out altogether. I usually take off up there two or three times a year for some walking and stock and more often than not its grey and/or raining.

While I'm out taking stock I also look out for potential images suitable for National or International Exhibition. One or two of my successful ones result from a grey day and I particularly remember one where I was caught about five miles from my car in a Glen in torrential rain. But....the cloud base was low covering the mountain tops and it was misty and a bit of digital manipulation produced an enhanced atmospheric result. This stuff I don't submit as stock - it's where I migrate to as a hobby, but that's another subject.





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My best grossing sale was a sign in Woolwich, London with a horrible, dead grey sky behind. Another of the Mathematical Bridge in Cambridge looks dreadful against the competitors, but it too sold.


I am currently processing a few huge batches from a recent trip to Australia, and whilst the majority are in bright sunshine (and up to 43c in heat!), I am certainly not discarding any that happen to have grey skies in them if they are otherwise good enough.

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our home post includes a lot of small catalogues of women's fashion which are almost invariably shot against grey skies with somewhat muted colours for the jumpers,skirts etc. Seems to work for that subject. I also wonder about monitor calibration which can exaggerate punchy colourful pix. I can think back to the days when we all submitted transparencies which were going to be viewed on a light box. When I visited design departments it used to astound me how often the light box would be under a fairly bright window. Hopeless! Then there were some editors who would join the fray waiving a lupe while holding the trannie up to the window. They would not claim to be very techie but in fact, they were often the main selector of the images.


I have a shot in Northern France which sold to-day yet again (not complaining) which was shot on a disappointingly dull day but it seems to work better than the competing images shot in better light. But I'm still loath to upload lots of stuff with what seems to me, unsuitable lighting. The unthinking lottery approach to image selection doesn't appeal.



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Work with what you are given by mother nature.


On a grey day I go inside a building or the forest. This means light filtering in from windows, or the spaces between trees, is now within the dynamic range of the camera. Also good lighting for close ups of objects.


I am presently processing some intentionally depressing cemetery images taken in a thick fog.


If you use flash outdoors make a flash exposure for the subject in the wide angle foreground and allow everything beyond 10 feet to go 3 stops underexposed and with a warm/cold colour contrast. Impressive sky, impressive foreground.!!!


Expose for the foreground and allow your skies to go very bright. This allows the designer to drop type in the sky area, and have it readable.


Get a waterproof camera and go out in the rain.


Do not try to software fake a dark sky into a grey day bright foreground unless your intention is to make the subject look sinister. A sinister castle ruin would be OK.


On a grey day go out at dusk, morning and evening, during the blue period, to shoot night shots.


On a grey day, as a last resort, go out and scout locations, clean and test equipment, have a leisurely dinner in a good restaurant. If you are on a road trip use the grey day to move your centre of operations 100 miles down the road.


Keep in mind that most of your competition goes out only on a sunny day, and they all take essentially the same image.


Never stay in because the day is grey. You may be out taking grey day pics only to have the weather clear off. There is nothing more beautiful than a landscape under a clearing sky, but you have to be there.


Grey day in Toronto but I was out early. I have to admit that I have time to write this because I also came home early.

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Made most of my sales when I started out with cloudy skies - and Grade 6 Agfa or Grade4 Ilford paper... 17-20mm lenses, immense cloudy dark skies, steep perspectives, high contrast. I got back a box of prints of regular travel shots (mono!) from the same 1970s period and they are all absolute rubbish. Bland, boring, suitable only to be pulped or burned. The cloudy sky stuff, on the other hand, lives on and still sells on Alamy.

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You don't have to be born and bred in the Lake District tha knorrs. You CAN actually have been born in Yorkshire and moved?

Grey skies? If that's what they want...............



Incomer. eh?  I think you get your Yorkshire passport when the first handful of dirt lands on your box :D!


Us soft southerners on the other hand don't have any foreigners - everyone is from somewhere else - and everywhere else is foreign to us :o:D !

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