How to get beautiful blue skies..?

Started Apr 1, 2009 | Discussions thread
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How to get beautiful blue skies..?
Apr 1, 2009

If you looked at all my pictures, I'd say 95% of them dont' include the sky. I tend to shoot down a lot... focusing on people or flowers from a higher vantage point... or at their level looking straight on... but rarely do I look up. It's sad really... So why do I do that? Because my skies always look white or grey and it's too depressing!!! Occasionally I'll happen upon a blue sky and be able to capture it, but it's the exception and not the rule in my gallery. Because "technically" I'm not sure how to do it!

I'm getting ready to go on vacation in May to the beautiful grand canyon and some other parks, and I'd really like some tips on how to get dramatically beautiful pictures. I've got a lot to learn before I go but I'm willing to put in the work.

What tips can you give me for getting consistantly gorgeous "Olympus Blue" skies? Do I need to always shoot and meter a northern sky? Do I need to avoid shooting mid-day? Do I need graduated ND filters? Or just ND filters? Or do I just need to photoshop them. :)- Do I need to start exploring HDR? I'm willing to invest a little in filters or software if need be... I don't go to the Grand Canyon that often. I want to know the technical nuts and bolts of how this is done! And can it be consistantly done on the 510? I will bring my E-1 on vacation too just to test the differences....

I've seen some gorgeous landscapes on this forum... Bootstrap has some goregous skies, Bob Kaune keeps em blue too.. but I think the most amazing travel gallery I've seen on here is from Julian_K. The most amazing one he's linked (that I've seen so far) is

I tried e-mailing him but no response yet... so maybe you can give me a hint as to how this is done!!!

 Cathy1973's gear list:Cathy1973's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D600 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +5 more
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