Enhancing your skies with Connie Lawson

Natalie Grounds

Enhancing your skies with Connie Lawson

Outdoor sunset sessions are the ultimate wow factor! Clients adore the incredible backdrops in their images and photographers everywhere happy dance when the sky is just right and and they manage to capture a serious show stopper.

Of course, while Mother Nature is often on our side, not every sunset session is going to be a winner. It’s extremely frustrating and stressful when your client’s expectations are not met due to the weather! It’s definitely something outside our control as photographers but it can be difficult for clients to understand why their images don’t look the same as the others they have seen on your website or social media accounts.

One of the greatest challenging when it comes to outdoor sunset photography is the rapidly dropping sun and our ability to expose for both our clients and the skies as we lose light. Most of the time we end up with a beautiful sky and very dark models or lovely lit models and white, blown out skies. This often happens when you are rushed for time, clients are running late or there is just no detail in the sky at all. Those flat days without clouds are some of the hardest to get right in camera!

Thankfully, as always, there are plenty of tricks we have up our sleeve as photographers when it comes to creating out of this world images. Thank you Photoshop – you’ve saved the day again!

You’ll love this lesson with Connie from Connie’s Magic Moments on the Gold Coast – a photographer who is most certainly known for her epic outdoor photography! Connie specialises in incredible imagery of maternity clients and families in a number of locations around the south east corner of Queensland. Whether it is the beach, creek, forest or fields, her images are truly spectacular. 

When Connie can’t get it quite right in camera, it’s sky overlays to the rescue. You’ll be pleased to know that adding them to your images isn’t as hard as it looks … and the final product is certainly incredible!

Watch these two videos created by Connie as she works in Photoshop to add skies to her images. Some beach, some forest, some fields. If you’re keen to find out more about layer masking, feathering and inserting sky layers into your images, these step-by-step instructions will be all you need.

There’s a few things to think about to make sure you get this process right and Connie talks through them all with you. How to pick the right kind of sky. How deal with the horizon – when it’s straight or interrupted by the trees or your models themselves. The sun direction is also important to think about … or what kind of colours are available in your chosen sky. With a few simple tips, you’ll be able to make excellent choices and start transforming your images from drab to fab! 

It’s easier than you might think! Have a go! 

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