Cloud Photography Tips

Cloud formations can make interesting photos due to their different formations and movement. There are different cloud formations that can be photographed. We are going to cover those formations as well as tips to get the best shots when photographing clouds.

Cumulus Clouds – These clouds are often seen on a summer’s day or also when a cold front is moving in. These are the clouds that are often seen the most and are very thin and you can usually see the blue sky behind them. A low ISO and a polarizing filter is best when shooting these clouds.

Cirrus Clouds – These are usually high level clouds that are seen prior to cold fronts as well. These clouds are not that great to shoot but if you do indeed want to shoot them then use a polarizing filter.

Altocumulus Clouds – These clods usually look like stacks of small bundles of cotton in the sky. They can give some great sunsets but it’s very brief.  Another set of clouds that I suggest using a polarizing filter with.

Cumulonimbus Clouds – These clouds are also known as thunder clouds and rank first among photographers to shoot. These clouds offer some great photo opportunities as they roll in from start to end. As with the other cloud formation I would suggest a polarizing filter.

Polarizing Filter – This camera filter will reduce the glare in the atmosphere. The clouds in your photos will look more outlined but at the same time the image will be much darker. The polarizing filter is best used when the sun is completely to your right or left.

Shutter Speed – Reduce your shutter speed by a few stops when taking pictures of clouds. These will give the clouds in your photo a more textured and defined look.  This will also darken your image a bit just like the polarizing filter.

We hope these explanations on cloud formations and some of the equipment needed help get you started in the right direction for cloud photography.


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