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How to Shoot in Ever Changing Weather Conditions


Different weather types can give you numerous photographic opportunities, but some can more problematic to shoot in rather than others. Whether it’s cloudy or overcast, rain, bright sun, high temperatures or snow, each of these conditions have their own benefits and restrictions. It is vital to know how to tackle and be prepared to shoot in every weather type, so that you never miss out on some high quality photographs.

Cloudy or Dull Weather

Cloudy weatherA cloudy day can bring out diffused lighting. Therefore it is unlikely that you will overexpose your image as there will be virtually no harsh lighting. A reflector can be a handy tool to have in order to manipulate and reflect light on a specific side of your subject. Overcast skies tend to have greyish tones running through them. Therefore it can be slightly challenging to make your landscape shots more interesting. However stormy weather clouds can give you a sense of setting and add dimension. Putting your picture into Lightroom or Photoshop can fix any elements of the photo you are unhappy with. Cropping your shot allows you to choose a better composition if you need to, while you can also add contrast and adjust colour levels to get a more dramatic result.


Raining weatherIt’s best to equip yourself with an umbrella whilst shooting in rainy conditions. You can incorporate it into your shoot by getting your subject to use them, it enables you to capture great motion with the raindrops by using various shutter speeds. The umbrella also forms great shapes with the water as it can be manipulated with slight manoeuvres. Water is used is various shoots as it gives an entirely different image, as each subject reacts differently to liquid. However rain can also work against you, which is why it’s important to make sure your equipment is protected. Camera and lens covers can be purchased to ensure your gear isn’t damaged, some equipment are already weatherproofed. However it’s best to double check that your gear is safe before shooting in rainy conditions.


Landscape photography exampleSnow scenes can be quite beautiful when captured correctly. As you are working with pure white, it’s vital that you photograph it as accurately as you can. Make sure that you are using your light meter and using exposure compensation if you need to. Quite often, you may need to overexpose the image by 1-2 stops to keep the snow looking white.

Sunny/Bright Weather

Bright WeatherBright sun can give you strong but beautiful light that enables you to play with shadows. By default the cameras meter will try to expose for the super bright background or subject in front of you. This can cause either your subject or background to be super dark or blown out. By shooting in open shade, you place your subject in the shade but on the light peripheral, then use a reflector (either a natural or industrial one) to bounce light back at them in order to get an even exposure. Exposure is key when shooting in bright light, therefore it’s essential to do a light meter reading and get the right aperture and shutter settings. Using the weather to your advantage improves your photography skills and makes you prepared to shoot in whatever conditions that may come your way. Once you have mastered shooting in all of these situations, you’ll find shooting outdoors a good deal easier, and not as daunting as you initially believed.

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Shaw Academy

Updated: Apr 07, 2015