Wispy, pink-clouded blue sky

Soft Sky in a Winter Sunset

I enjoy photographing the sky. Blue sky in particular. Really blue skies, the kind you get with a polarizing filter. Today was not a good day for blue sky. It was cloudy most of the day. However, as I went out for my One Picture a Day journey, the cloud deck shattered for just a few moments. I had been walking around for some time looking for that One Picture for the day. I’d just photographed the heck out of a brown leaf somewhere. On my way back home, I looked up and there it was. In the light of a late-day winter sun, very wispy low clouds with a hint of pink opened up to peeks of blue. I did not have my polarizing filter, which was good. This sky was all about pastel, and polarizing filters don’t do pastels. The picture actually has a false quality to it, as though it were generated by a software program, or even painted. But it’s not.

Post-processing the Sky

In post-processing I did bump the blue up a little, just to bring the definition to the clouds as I remember them in my mind’s eye. I was a little surprised to notice a good deal of noise, though. I shot at ISO 250, so noise should have been minimal. I think the noise is probably emphasized by the simple color palette. I also had a blemish that I’ll need to sort out, either on the lens or on the sensor. Aperture retouched the photograph handily.

This was taken with a Nikon D90, and a Micro-Nikkor 60mm 2.8 AF, with a Hoya Haze 1A filter. The Micro-Nikkor is a macro lens, but I find it to serves well as a walk-around lens. On the DX D90, the crop factor makes in a 90mm, so it’s a little on the long side–wide angles are out–but it’s easy to fill the frame with closer subjects.