Shooting in “Poor” Weather

If you think about it, photographically speaking, you can make photos in just about any weather conditions. My wife is from the west country of England and one thing she likes to say is “If we waited for nice weather, we’d never do anything.” While the west country has a fair amount of nice weather, we have had great weather for some of our visits, it certainly says bit about not using what are considered less than idea conditions to make photos.

Here are a few examples:

Takeoff at National AirportI made this photo at a Night and Low Light Meetup one January evening. The Meetup had been scheduled for weeks. A few days before the Meetup I checked the weather forecast as I usually do so I can let everyone know what to expect weather wise. The forecast was for a very cold night! If I remember correctly it was 17 degrees that evening, well below freezing. And freeze we did! Now, would I have ventured out in the cold that night if it had not been for that Meetup? Probably not but we all had a great time! If you visit the link above you can see some of the photos.

Morning FogI actually look forward to predictions of heavy morning fog. I know those of you who commute do like it but I think it’s great! I didn’t have to go far for this photo. It’s literally right in my front yard. After getting the boys off to school I grabbed my camera, walked out the front door and that was it. Did I venture out for more fog photos that morning? I tried! But once I was dressed and ready to go the sun was burning off the fog and it was gone within a few minutes.

A model on a beach in California.This photo is from a very overcast evening in what is usually sunny Southern California! It was not at all sunny on this evening. There was a breeze coming off the Pacific Ocean and with it a lot of cloud cover. I was out in Orange County, CA with a video crew working on a lifeguard training textbook. I had arranged to work with a local bodybuilder who wanted photos to start a modeling portfolio. We had to fight the wind and poor lighting conditions. Unfortunately I did not have any lighting equipment with me on this trip as all the photos were to be shot in nice weather with reflectors hence the trip to the LA area in February! We did find an outcropping of rock near some cliffs that helped to shelter us from the wind. Again, would I have gone out on a spur of the moment shoot? Maybe not but we made the best of our time together and got some nice photos.

Morning LapsEveryone seem to think a photographer’s life is great. You get to travel to great locations, work with fantastic models and have fun “working.” Well this is an example of what happens when you are put in a holding pattern before a shoot. This was made at an Orange County public pool. The video crew and I arrived early for a shoot. The weather was not in our favor as there was another breeze off the Pacific creating less that ideal conditions for a shoot. Then the sun started to high enough to peer over the hills to the east and the light was great! We had been sitting there thinking that the morning just might be a wash with all the overcast. Once the sun hit the clouds cleared pretty quickly and it was a very nice day!

US Capitol at ChristmasHere is one from another Meetup on a cold and rainy evening in December. The Meetup was in DC and we were there to photograph the Christmas Tree at the Capitol and the Christmas trees near the White House. The night was cold but was dry when we started out. During our walk it started to rain and the clouds were hanging very low over the city. The sky in DC does not usually look like some post apocalyptic acid rain is about to start pouring from the sky but on this evening the clouds were very low. The light from the city is reflecting off the clouds to give it this effect. Not something I would have gotten had I stayed home that evening.

I know my first instinct is to stay in when the weather is not great and I know you probably think the same way as I do. Getting out in bad weather often does not feel right some how. We should all get out more in less than ideal conditions because if we do venture out we are sure to be rewarded for your efforts!

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