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Little photo editing tip for covering up overexposed skies

I was teaching a photography lesson last week and I took the picture below, and I quite like it. Problem is, I completely messed up the exposure on the sky. As you can see, it is blown out white and has no detail whatsoever, which is generally a very bad thing and doesn't look very good. I do like the rest of the composition of the image however. The thing is, when taking a picture of a person, sometimes you just don't have the time to take the time to deal with complicated exposure.

a) People move to much, so bracketing is not always an option and if shooting at an odd angle, its very hard to line up the multiple bracketed shots.

b) When taking pictures of people, you often have a short period of time to get the perfect shot, so taking the time to mess around with getting the exposure is not always possible.

c) Asking a complete stranger to pose for you is a bit weird.

Its not the worst thing ever, but I think the image above looks a little bit flat to me. This isn't in anyway a solution to fix all pictures, but can be used from time to time. The sun in this picture is slightly out of frame on the top right, so we can create the effect of adding light bloom into the corner of the image to make this more obvious to the viewer. This will create depth and dynamics by having an exposure gradient from top right to bottom left.

The above settings are the settings used for the radial filter above. Starting at the top left corner, the bright "sun bust" feathers out from the centre. Its important to make this filter fairly large, so that it naturally feathers out. Adding a little saturation will also add a little more colour to the image, and reducing the clarity will also create a natural blur and reduce contrast.

I really like how this turned out. It has now has a lot more dynamic exposure and the natural light gradient highlights the subject. The eye is now drawn towards the bottom left of the image towards the subject. Just a little trick to have in your arsenal if you are ever in a situation like this. It works especially well in portraits.

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