I don’t know about you but I’m tired of hearing about the golden hour; perfect photos are boring. Seeking the golden hour may be appropriate for some situations, but a good nature and landscape photographer should never shy away from bad weather. Setting aside the fact that shooting in only one hour of the day is incredibly restrictive, bad weather photography contributes to the mood and atmosphere, sets your photographs apart from others, and forces you to get creative with the atmospheric conditions. So, grab your rain coat and let’s talk about what bad weather can do for you.
The threat of rain typically comes with cloud cover; a grey, overcast day is the best time to shoot landscape photography and any landscape photographer should look at a cloudy day with with glee – here’s why.
Morning foggy conditions lend themselves to beautiful, mysterious and spooky vibes that are unique to fog photography. In addition to adding a bit of drama to your images, photographing mist can mask unattractive backgrounds making it easier to capture nature’s beauty in urban environments and trick the viewer into believing the photo was taken in a calm isolated environment.
Snowy, wintery landscape photos are magical works of art that give a sense of time and location as snow doesn’t happen everyday or everywhere. Snow can give a dreary vibe, but I associate it with joy and cheer because snow always meant no school… snowball fight anyone? When the snow is falling it’s fun to get creative with a macro lens and shoot closeups of snowflakes, icicles, or snow covered plants. You can also add a sense of mystery by shooting the foot steps of a person not captured in the frame; who was here, where were they going?
Shooting in full sun gets a bad rep in photography as sunlight creates harsh shadow. But who said shadows were bad? There are a variety of types of photography that have a lot to gain from the sun, so leave the sun alone with your golden hour, he did nothing wrong. The sun is just misunderstood.
If you’ve read my About Me page, you’ll know rain wont stop me; I find accepting the imperfections of rain to be freeing. With a little creative thought, rain sets the mood with a range of emotions from chaos to serenity or from sadness to romance. Here are some unique ideas to help you embrace the wet weather rather than fear it.
The most important thing for new photographers to remember is there is no such thing as bad weather, only different photo opportunities.