rendering photo realistic outdoor setting? need advice..

What settings are the best to use to render an outdoor setting mainly just a metal tower and crane… I tried a few but so far they come out to dark or not looking photo realistic

Blenderguru has a city tutorial that has great exterior rendering directions.

To begin using an overcast sky requires a duller softer darker lighting setup. I would suggest going with a brighter clearer sky and turning the sun lamp value way up like 3 times what you have it at now. I’m not sure if this is cycles or BI but either way it looks like your lacking some bounce lighting from the sky. If BI rendering you need to add an additional sun lamp with shadow and spec turned off and color set to a dull darkis blue and angle the lamp to come from the opposite direction as the real sun lamp. Next remember that once you have a proper background image or modeling the realistic feel will get better. Meaning a tree line image or city skyline in the background. Realistic renderings are all about lighting and materials not necessarily modeling:) You can make a chunk of clay or dirt look real with the right material and lighting:)

Good Luck…the modeling does look pretty good so far:P

I am using BI but having problems setting the bounce lighting still, also another problem is in the new blender I am not sure how to set the skybox setting since I installed the latest blender my background image is no longer working.