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Sky-ography: Tips for Shooting Sky in Daylight & Moonlight

January 19, 2017

The sky can be bursting with color and sunlight one moment, then full of dark clouds the next. Mother Nature can be fairly unpredictable, which makes it a bit tricky for mobile photographers to snap the perfect shot in an outdoor setting. It can be even more difficult if you happen to be focusing your mobile photography on the sky itself. Here are key tips for making sure you capture all of the hues, light and glory of the sky, whether it’s during the daytime or evening.

Think About Exposure

If your mobile photography session is scheduled for the evening, the moon may not provide enough light with you to work with while shooting. That being said, you’ll want to adjust the exposure manually as you snap to make the most of the night sky. You can do so by tapping on your iPhone’s screen to set a focus point, then swiping up or down to increase or decrease the exposure.

Sky-ography: Tips for Shooting Sky in Daylight & Moonlight | Enlight | Enlight Leak

Not enough stars in the final photos? You can use Enlight to enhance your mobile photography and give them a bit more sparkle. Go to Brushes, then select Effects to access the twinkling stars. This will allow you to add a few “stars” to the dark night sky.

If you simply want to enhance the existing lighting in your mobile photography, tap Image and select Clarity in the Enlight app. Within clarity, tap on the Tools tab. Here, you can adjust the values of Blacks, Sharpen, Fine, and Clarity for the results you desire.

Shoot the Sky but Keep It Steady

Steadiness is especially necessary if you’re shooting at night, which is when your camera will try to use a slower shutter speed to capture more light. To avoid any unnecessary movement and blur, consider using a stand for your iPhone, rather than your hands. If you don’t have a tripod handy, lean your iPhone up against a wall or solid surface to capture a clear photo of the night sky.

Sky-ography: Tips for Shooting Sky in Daylight & Moonlight | Enlight | Enlight Leak

Be Prepared for Bright Sunshine

Exposure plays a large role in the outcome of your mobile photography when you’re shooting outdoors in the daytime – it isn’t just the evening hours that are tricky! Manually adjusting the exposure level on your iPhone camera as you shoot can help you achieve more clarity.

Sky-ography: Tips for Shooting Sky in Daylight & Moonlight | Enlight | Enlight Leak

Don’t rule out black-and-white filters for your mobile photography once you finish shooting under bright sunlight. The stark contrast that comes from the sun can make for more dramatic black-and-white images. For example, a black-and-white filter can help you bring out the details of clouds in the sky that would otherwise be faded out by bright sunlight.

Sky-ography: Tips for Shooting Sky in Daylight & Moonlight | Enlight | Enlight Leak

Don’t Forget About HDR Mode

High Dynamic Range mode on the iPhone can help you make sure you capture every little detail in the sky if you’re shooting during the day. With HDR enabled, your camera will take in shadows and highlights to create more balance mobile photos. Furthermore, your camera will maintain details in both the background and foreground.

Sky-ography: Tips for Shooting Sky in Daylight & Moonlight | Enlight | Enlight Leak

Whether your mobile photography is centered on the moon and the stars or a bright, sunny sky, these tips can ensure that you’re happy with the final product.


Written by Krystle Vermes.

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Krystle Vermes
Krystle Vermes

Krystle Vermes is a professional writer, blogger and podcaster with a background in online and print journalism. Passions include everything tech, sports, and the paranormal. When she isn’t freelance reporting, she’s running her paranormal blog, GetSpooked.net. Krystle is a graduate of Suffolk University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Print Journalism.

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