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Thread: Making the best of bad weather

  1. #1

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    Making the best of bad weather

    I don't have as much free time as I'd like to get out and take photos, but when I do it seems to always either rain or look like its about to rain.
    In Japan during winter/spring, we often have grey skies. And when I say grey, I mean no clouds, no sun, not overly bright, yet not overly dark...just grey
    I understand that B&W photos would work well in these situations, but I was wondering if anyone could share any tips on making the best out of bad weather sans shooting B&W.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    Try your hand at macro or still life photography. Or open the window for a few hours and capture your immediate surroundings.

  3. #3

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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    When it's not raining, grey skies are great for taking photos of people, animals and flowers because of the diffuse light. When it's raining, photographs of people dealing with the rain, umbrellas, reflections displayed in the streets and photos shot through windows with out of focus water droplets work especially well.

  4. #4
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    One tip I read… compose your image to keep as much of the blah sky out of the picture.

  5. #5
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    I agree with Mike (actually both of them) - wildlife photography; and by extension other animals works really well when it is cloudy out. Harsh shadows from sunlight really is a negative when shooting these. I also find that urban shots like architectural details work as well; again the diffuse light does work wonders. On the other hand, avoiding getting a lot of sky into the shots helps and then being a bit more aggressive in post with both contrast and saturation can help too.

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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I agree with Mike (actually both of them) - wildlife photography; and by extension other animals works really well when it is cloudy out. Harsh shadows from sunlight really is a negative when shooting these. I also find that urban shots like architectural details work as well; again the diffuse light does work wonders. On the other hand, avoiding getting a lot of sky into the shots helps and then being a bit more aggressive in post with both contrast and saturation can help too.
    Except lack of light means you'll be opening up the lens, shooting slower speeds, or upping the ISO. None of those are ideal for those pesky critters who insist on running around instead of standing photogenically posed.

  7. #7
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisletts View Post
    Except lack of light means you'll be opening up the lens, shooting slower speeds, or upping the ISO. None of those are ideal for those pesky critters who insist on running around instead of standing photogenically posed.
    This is true, but you have to wait for them to sit still. Yes, one does need a long lens, matching shutter speed and high ISO, but I've gotten some great shots in the rain.

    Making the best of bad weather


    You can even make out the raindrops falling in this shot with the eagle.

    Making the best of bad weather

  8. #8

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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisletts View Post
    those pesky critters who insist on running around
    I lay down the rule: If they don't stand still, they don't get to have me take their picture.

  9. #9
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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    Nice Shots Manfred!

    Mars,

    I've sometimes turned up to get some nice sun rise shots at the beach and ended up with just sullen raining weather (image is not anything special but I had fun making it... rough edit to boot), but persistence and BW helps in times like these, but light is still pretty flat. A bit of dodge and burn helps a little too, if you are into that.

    With regard to portraits in cloudy weather, just be careful about shaddows under the eyebrows and under the bags under the eyes as if the sun is right above you (even when its cloudy) you will cast shadows. Have them face up, shoot from above and the beautiful soft light can make some nice portraits. Alternatively, get under some cover (a tree, awning, tunnel entrance, bridge etc) and have your subject face the direction of the open sky. The cover forces the overhead light to move more directionally toward your subject at more of an angle and this can be nice soft light. Keep an eye on where the sun should be at that part of the day as this is where the most light will be generated from even in cloudy weather. Colour is fine in cloudy days too you might just need to warm them up a bit.

    The window light suggestion is also a good one and saves you getting wet BW conversions from window light shots are often nice too especially if the light is directional.
    Last edited by Hans; 4th April 2013 at 03:48 AM.

  10. #10

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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    Mars I would suggest this, go out and shoot, make the best of the bad weather, it will force you to learn and you will come back with images that others would never get. All the things you learn shooting in foul weather will make shooting in so called good weather seem like a cake walk.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  11. #11
    CP140's Avatar
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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    I was going to suggest a Pentax K-30 or K-5 and to heck with the weather...

    Signed... a K-30 owner...

  12. #12

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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    Thanks everyone.
    I've always viewed rainy days as "days off".
    I'll give it a try this week as my day off is Sunday and the forecast shows rain.... Yeah...

    If anyone has any sample images in the rain, I'd love to be further inspired.

  13. #13

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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    For photos made in the rain, check out this thread.

  14. #14

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    Re: Making the best of bad weather

    Thanks for the link Mike

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