40 Beautiful Examples of Cloudscape Photography

Clouds are a timeless photography subject. They’re beautiful and constantly changing, giving photographers fresh inspiration every hour. They make great backgrounds, too. Depending on the weather or time of day, you can use clouds to evoke all kinds of emotions, from grief to bliss.

For these reasons, we decided to include clouds in our 2017 Photography Challenge. In the few months since January, we’ve seen a lot of incredible photos of clouds. If you missed this challenge, check it out! It’s never too late to begin.

Not sure where to start? Here are 40 inspiring photos from our Flickr group, as well as some tips to help you capture awesome cloud photos.

Ben – Wild sky
cloudy sky scotland

Go out in bad weather.

If you’re always trying to avoid rain, wind, and stormy weather, you’ll be hard-pressed to find truly amazing clouds. Though you can find nice, fluffy clouds in warm, sunny weather, you’ll miss the awe-inspiring beauty of storm clouds if you only go out in good weather.

Ben – Monifieth Burning
Monifieth beach sunset

Time your shoot for sunset/sunrise.

You can find great clouds in the middle of the day, too, but sunset/sunrise is the easiest time to find a sky worth photographing. Unremarkable clouds can become masterpieces as they take on a range of colors, from pink and orange to deep blue.

Clouds settling in – highlands
Jens Fersterra scotland highlands

Use shorter exposure times.

Clouds tend to move quickly, especially when they’re low to the ground. For this reason, you’re more likely to get well-defined cloud photos if you use shorter exposure times. A longer exposure can still be nice if you’re aiming for a surreal photo, but if you want as little blur as possible, keep the shutter speed fast.

gsketch2000 – Isolated Storm
storm with rainbow

Use filters.

When you’re heading out to shoot clouds, make sure to take along a polarizing filter and a graduated neutral-density (ND) filter. A polarizing filter will make the sky especially blue and give the clouds good definition. It will also help brighten colors in the foreground and reduce glare on the water’s surface.

A graduated ND filter is useful when there’s too much dynamic range in your photo. In other words, part of the scene is really light, while another part is really dark. This situation can lead to overexposure or underexposure, as you try to balance between the two extremes.

You might experience this problem during a sunset or sunrise, as the brightness of light is changing. You can easily end up underexposing the landscape or overexposing the sky. To fix this issue, try using a graduated ND filter. The top of the filter is darker, while the bottom is lighter. This change can help balance the two extremes, making it easier to capture gorgeous sunset/sunrise clouds.

Robert Felton – Summer Clouds
Robert Felton - Summer Clouds

Shoot on a tripod.

Always a good idea.

Hille Thomasson – magellan…
Hille Thomasson - shipwreck

Jens Fersterra – clouds!
clouds skyscrapers

Greg David – Clouds settling in
Greg David bird clouds

Manuel Palma – Monument
Manuel Palma Italy Mountain

david constance – Cloud Design 2
david constance bird shaped cloud

aminefassi – Oukaimeden
Oukaimeden mountain

Ahmad Syukaery – Vang Vieng Landscape
Ahmad Syukaery - Vang Vieng Landscape

Ahmer Inam – Cascades
Ahmer Inam - cloud over Cascades

noureddine zekri – arbre en fleur
noureddine zekri - tree and clouds

Peony71 – Reflecting Memories
reflecting clouds

Carina – I’m chasin’ the clouds away
fluffy clouds

Azfar Nasirudin – In Another Life.
Azfar Nasirudin hot air balloons above clouds

Елена Пејчинова – Layers, light and clouds
clouds above mountains

Barbara Schultheis – Serenity
Barbara Schultheis - open field

Robert Felton – Cardington Cloudscape
Robert Felton - Cardington Cloudscape

Josu Txintxurreta – Aketxe
Josu Txintxurreta small island

Jens Fersterra – clouds ‘n lights
Jens Fersterra cityscape

the__edge – Halfway
clouds reflection sunset

aminefassi – Before the Rain 2
storm lighthouse

Елена Пејчинова – Impelling clouds
Елена Пејчинова korab mountain Macedonia

Carina – a cloud
polarizing filter blue white

Robert Felton- Summer Clouds
Robert Felton - Summer Clouds

Richard Watkins – Field, Sky & Clouds
Richard Watkins - Field, Sky and Clouds

Peony71 – Let the Sunshine in
beach sunrise

vittorio vida – Arizona cloud
vittorio vida - Arizona cloud

Peony71 – Grey Skies and Cloudy Days
Grey Skies beach

Robert Felton – Another Day Another Sky
Robert Felton sunrise

Robert Felton – Dog Farm Lake Cloudscape
Robert Felton - Dog Farm Lake Cloudscape

Clif Fodge – God’s Country
Clif Fodge clouds reflecting in water

aminefassi – Oukaimeden
Oukaimeden mountain

Ansgar Trimborn – Change
Ansgar Trimborn storm

Greg David – Fire in the sky
Greg David - Toronto Sunrise

Fotis Mavroudakis – Field of sunflower
Fotis Mavroudakis - Field of sunflowers

Philippe ABOULIN – Clouds
Philippe ABOULIN - photographer above clouds

Silvio Prahl – Clouds
Silvio Prahl Alpen landscape