A cloud archive creative or manipulative

You are on vacation or on a tour and its the best weather ever, blue sky, sunshine. As someone on vacation you might feel that’s the best that can happen to you, but as landscape photographer you might search for at least one or two clouds to make your images more interesting.

Initial position

You probalby come across such a situation a lot of times, best weather and you’re standing in a very picturesque landscape, but for a really interesting capture it would be nice to have at leat a couple of clouds in the blue sky.

A cloud archive creative or manipulative
El Torchal

Just like in this image, the yellow flowers are a good contrast to the blue sky, but a couple of clouds would make the image more interesting.

A cloud archive

I started to capture cloud formations every time in the last weeks having my camera with me. This led to a multiplicity of captures just with clouds. Just let me show you a small selection.

A cloud archive creative or manipulativeThis small selection should help us with the above image. But take care that your cloud images have the light in the same direction as the capture to be manipulated. You can do this with Photoshop CC oder Affinity Photo or any other program capable of layers. The result will look like this example:

A cloud archive creative or manipulative
El Torchal

I think the resulting is better than the original, even though this depends very much on your personal taste.

A cloud archive creative or manipulative?

You might think this is a manipulation of the reality, but take a look at the following examples.

A cloud archive creative or manipulative
Serrania de Ronda

This is the original scene, but processed in Lightroom by adding more contrast and saturation mainly in the sky area.

And now some combinations with images from the cloud archive:

A cloud archive creative or manipulative
Version I
A cloud archive creative or manipulative
Version II
A cloud archive creative or manipulative
Version III

Version I and  II just look right too me, while on version III the clouds look abnormally big compared to the landscape. So you must pay attention which parts of the different images fit together. Maybe you don’t place a complete new sky into the image just take one or two clouds.

But to answer the question, too me this is a creative manipulation but ok because you might happen to see such a cloud formation or weather condition at least for version I and II in nature.


I will add images to my cloud archive and use the opportunity of modern software like Photoshop CC. What’s your opnion, manipulation and therefor a nogo? May you playe your opnion into the comments.

ciao tuxoche

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