The Dreaded “White Sky of Death”

Everyone has a weakness, an Achilles heel if you will.  The one thing that in the heat of a creative moment they forget to do.  Rather than bore you with examples that I think other people might do, I’ll get right down to it.  When I’m deep in the creative process, concentrating on my subject, I forget about checking the sky.  Then when I am reviewing my images it hits me right in the eye.  The “White Sky of Death”

bwtestThere it is, a glaring white patch of nothingness ruining what could have been a wonderful photo.  The phrase “White Sky of Death” is not my own.  Years ago when I belonged to a camera club I had entered a photo contest, slide film, with the subject being a cemetery.  I sat proudly as my slide was projected and heard a judge proclaim.  “Too bad the shot was ruined by including the dreaded white sky of death”  He then went on to explain how the bland white sky in the background ruined the shot by drawing the viewer’s eye to an expanse of nothingness.

Despite many efforts, I could never seem to visit that particular cemetery when the sky was anything but a dull monotone grey.  So I practiced focusing closer, filling the frame and using fill flash to make the headstones pop.  But even though today I don’t take many pictures in cemeteries, I still sometimes forget to check the sky behind my subject.

This is something that I find extremely frustrating.  I should know better.  I should have learned my lesson years ago, many times over.  I should NOT have let this happen.

The only thing I could think of to try and save the moment was to put in some sky from another photo.  Not sure how well it worked though.shadbw


About view2013

I'm a photographer who enjoys working with natural light to help my camera capture what my eyes have seen.
This entry was posted in horse photography, natural light, photography basics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Dreaded “White Sky of Death”

  1. That is tough one, but it’s not so glaring in B & W. The problem with the inserted sky is that the trees are not in focus, but the clouds in the sky are.

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