Back in the day when I was taking pictures with a simple P&S digital camera I much prefered cloudless, blue skys whenever I was going to take pictures at an airshow. The clouds would always cause focus and exposure problems rendering most pictures useless. Now that I have an SLR camera that is more sophisticated my opinion on the "perfect airshow weather" has changed.
There are many pros and cons for both clear and cloudy conditions:
- Much more insteresting background
- Adds dimension and scale to the image
- Shows more of the true nature of flight
- When presented with backlighting the clouds can help diffuse the light and provide softer shadows
- Evening lighting tends to really bring out the gold/red in the sunlight
- Vapor for those hard-turning jets
This picture would be very boring if it were taken on a cloudless day.
- With the sun to your back it can really make your subject pop
- Evening lighting can create spectacular effects
- Helps to isolate your subject as well
- Fewer focus/metering issues
This picture shows how the clear sky isolates the subject and really makes it pop.