Pastel skies – Something I have been searching for, for a while now. A tutorial on how to create those beautiful pastel skies I see in so many photographs… But how is it done?
Capturing pastel skies
You need to be out shooting at the right time of the day. This is before the sun rises and just before the sun sets. You want to be able to capture those beautiful pastel hues and the soft light that is produced when the sun is much closer to the horizon than during the day, when the sun is high and the light is harsh.
Another tip for getting those pastel colours is turn away from the sun as the sun is setting, it is here you will get that beautiful soft light we are searching for and the bonus of this… The sun will be lighting up the foreground for you as it sets behind you.
Make sure you are shooting in RAW format so you are able to tweak the white balance in post production.
Editing pastel skies
I always take my photos into Adobe Camera Raw when I begin processing them. Others use Lightroom which is essentially the same thing – it comes down to personal preference.
As always I enable profile corrections and remove chromatic aberration. I adjust shadows, highlights and exposure if required. Then I pop into the Split Toning tab.
You may wish to tweak your colour balance if you found it was a bit off during shooting.
You would do this by adjusting the temperature and tint in the basic tab.
Firstly… Your hue won’t change unless you have added saturation.
- You will have a highlights and shadows section to play with.
- Choose a colour you want to add to your highlights by sliding the Hue slider
- Add some saturation. I use around 20 – 30 but it will change depending on the image.
- Now move the shadows slider to a colour you want to add into the shadows of the image.
- Add some saturation. I use around half the saturation for shadows as I do for highlights.
- Adjust the balance slider if required. By sliding towards the white side you will be influencing the highlights and by sliding towards the black side you will be adding more of the shadow hue to the image and reducing the highlight hue.
Sometimes you can add too much colour saturation to your image using the split toning. If this happens jump into the HSL/Grayscale tab and adjust the saturation for the individual colours. Your pinks and reds may be too much but you like the amount of blue in the image. Using this technique allows you to make individual adjustments rather than desaturating the whole image. Which is what would happen if you were to use the saturation slider in the basic tab.
As you can see – the colours have turned out amazing with just a few adjustments in Adobe Camera RAW or Lightroom.
I hope the this little tutorial is helpful and you have learnt to do something new. Any questions, hit me up in the comments below. If you want to stay up to date with more tutorials like this pop your email in the box below!
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