Sky Tones

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by arthur_gottschalk, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. I was photographing landscapes recently with an overcast sky, not dark or moody but more like light silvery grey. Unfortunately the result was virtually no tone what-so-ever in the sky. Would a yellow or orange filter made any difference? I have the impression that they would not. I've tried split contrast printing and while this helps a little, it's really not great. Are there any suggestions for adding sky tones in this situation?
  2. "Would a yellow or orange filter made any difference?"

    - No. Not to a grey overcast sky.
    Colour filters only work when there's some colour in the subject, such as a blue sky with white clouds.

    In ye olde days of blue sensitive only plates, it was common practise for photographers to print in a sky from another negative, or dodge and burn some tone into the sky area. Even using pencil on the plate to draw a sky was used.
  3. You can get a graduated neutral density filter, that will often times help.
    Sandy Vongries likes this.
  4. After some thought and research I realize I can probably add some tone to the sky by "flashing" the print under the enlarger. I know I'll have to test for this, and that it would reduce contrast and exposure time. We'l see.
  5. What's wrong with just burning in a sky tone Arthur? No need to fog the whole sheet of paper by flashing.

    If you have a scrap print, you can cut out the sky area from it and use it as a burning tool to print-in the sky.
  6. Arthur I suspect there wasn't much tone in the sky to begin with. You won't add much to it though you can darken it by burning it in or boosting contrast a bit. You can increase contrast in the film developing process but that can also mess things up in the rest of the picture which may already have plenty of contrast. I'm not sure how fogging the paper would increase the sky tones, the few times I've ever done that it was for other changes and I didn't care for it.

    Rick H.
  7. Yes, tried burning in the sky at low contrast with no success. Complex print presents no easy way to burn.
  8. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    Split filtering can help better control your burning problem.

    Use a soft filter to get some details back in the shy, then boost the filter to normal contrast and continue to work on the rest of the print.

    Ive learned a way to control my skys, over expose then under develop. This was taken on a bright cloudy day with the sun peeking in n out. Thats the sun behind those clouds above that would have normally washed out any detail.

    TMax400 ETRS 30mm (scanned neg)
    Wilmarco Imaging likes this.

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