This time of year the weather can be unpredictable and even the forecasters often gets it wrong. As a photographer this can make taking outdoor shots challenging, but the changing weather can also help you to capture exciting and unique images.
Even if you are mainly studio-based, there will always be times when you need to know how to take outdoor shots in challenging weather conditions. This guide will help you to take great photos no matter what the weather.
Taking photos in the rain
One of the most common types of weather conditions is rain. Whether it is light rain or a downpour, rain can cause problems in that it can ruin your equipment, which can make many photographers shy away from heading out in these conditions. The key to photographing well in the rain is ensuring your equipment is well protected; you can do this in several ways from purchasing specialised camera covers to finding a good shelter point that enables you to still capture great shots.
A useful prop to use for rainy shots is an umbrella – it will help to keep your subject dry plus it provides a great focal point. A clear umbrella often photographs well, however a brightly coloured one often contrasts well against a gloomy background. Technically, it is important to ensure that the settings on your camera do not focus on the raindrops leading to the subject or landscape becoming blurred; unless this is the specific image you are looking to create.
Capturing stunning snow shots
Snow can create stunning images, however it can also be one of the most challenging weather conditions to photograph. Again, remember that if you are out while it is snowing the snow could damage your equipment so it is important to ensure that your camera is protected at all times. Another important aspect about shooting snowy scenes is that to remember snow is very bright, so you should adjust your camera settings accordingly. Visually, the best snow shots are normally created when the snow is contrasted against a dark background.
Making the most of direct sunshine
The sunlight during the summer months, particularly at midday, is normally eschewed by photographers for being too harsh. While it is easier to capture softer and warmer lighting early in the morning or late afternoon, occasionally the midday sun can help you to capture vibrant and stark images. Look at the ways direct sunshine creates shadows and how these can be used to create interesting images. As always with photography, experimentation and a willingness to break the rules can often create the most exciting shots.
As many couples choose to get married in the summer months, it is important for wedding photographers to learn how to capture great images in strong, direct sunshine. Again, this takes a lot of experimentation, but once mastered becomes a vital skill for photographers who specialise in this area.
Photographing stormy weather
Stormy weather can create the most striking and startling images. A bolt of lightning against a picturesque meadow or waves crashing against rocky cliffs; storms are nature at her most dramatic so it is no wonder that they inspire so many photographers. The sudden nature of storms means that they are often unpredictable, so to capture a storm shot requires either luck or patience.
If you are determined to photograph a storm be prepared for the types of conditions you will face, always remembering to protect yourself and your equipment, you will also need to be able to move quickly to capture the best shots so only carry essential equipment with you. While difficult to capture, the drama storms create often make them well worth the wait and challenge.