HOW TO TAKE GREAT PICTURES IN BAD WEATHER

If you are like me, I am always wanting to take photos, and when bad weather approaches, I wish I could get photos of what’s happening outside. So, with that said, I am not alone in these feelings. I found this great article titled: DO THIS AND YOUR BAD WEATHER PHOTOS WILL SHINE, written by: Kent Dufault.

Nothing is worse than going on vacation with your photo gear packed, and it rains the entire time!

I love taking vacations in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It’s been my vacation destination for the last four years. Of course, I’m virtually guaranteed that it’s going to be raining.

I live in Minnesota, a midwestern state in the US. In my area, there’s snow on the ground at least six to eight months out of the year.

Yeah. When it comes to bad weather photography, I’m something of an expert.

example of a photo taken during blizzard
Photo by Kent Dufault

Shooting photos in lousy weather goes against a critical photography lesson that we all learn from the beginning.

“Look for the light.”

In bad weather, chances are there won’t be any light

I’ve learned that there’s an essential tool for producing fabulous bad weather pictures.

I want to share my discovery with you today in this Quick Tip so you can avoid the headaches that I endured, and you won’t feel compelled to put your camera away when the weather turns sour.

photo taken during rain and mist
Photograph #2 by Kent DuFault “Black Hills, South Dakota

Over a holiday weekend, I drove a total of 23 hours to spend one day taking pictures at the Mount Rushmore National Monument.

It rained the entire time.

I used the Quick Tip that I’m about to share with you, and it turned a potential disaster into a gem.

photo at night while it's raining
Photograph #3 by Kent DuFault “North Shore Lake Superior”

One of the best ways to overcome a photographic difficulty is to dissect what’s happening and correct it.

In bad weather, you can expect…

√ A lack of lighting.
√ Low contrast due to a lack of lighting.
√ A lack of color.
√ Obscured backgrounds due to haze, mist, and or other precipitation.

Here’s your Quick Tip!

When taking pictures in bad weather, place an object of interest in the foreground near the camera.

This object works best when it’s colorful, has an unusual shape, or is a light source.

Photo #1 has a bright foreground color.

Photo #2 has a bright foreground color and an unusual shape.

Photo #3 has a bright foreground color, unusual shapes, and it includes a light source.

An object of foreground interest defeats the problems created by bad weather!

photo with colorful object in foreground during snow storm
Photograph #4 by Kent DuFault “Blue Door in a Snow Storm”

When using this bad weather technique, even the most mundane objects can become a visual treat.

interesting shapes and colors in foreground on snowy day
Photograph #5 by Kent DuFault “Autumn Snowstorm”

Bright color in the foreground can help give the illusion of lighting and contrast.

You can also accentuate that illusion with some deft post-processing effects.

Remember, don’t put your camera away on a bad weather day!

Bad weather can really add drama to your pictures, mainly when you include something of interest in the foreground!

About the Author:
Kent DuFault is an author and photographer with over 35 years of experience. He’s currently the director of content at the online photography school, Photzy.

Here are a few photos taken in bad weather. What do you think?

red bus
Photo by Martin Alargent on Pexels.com
person standing in front of a train
Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com
woman in black jacket standing on snow covered ground
Photo by Eimantas Juskevicius on Pexels.com
black and white mountain under white clouds
Photo by Chasing Lyu on Pexels.com
woman walking in the street during night time
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

WHERE TO PUT HANDS IN PORTRAITS:

As photographers, even if you are a landscape photographer, you will eventually take pictures of people, whether it be your own family, or just a friend because they know you have a real camera. Well, even though this article is probably written for portrait photographers, we can all learn something about taking pictures of people, and in this case: what to do with those hands. If you put them in the wrong place, it looks pretty phony, and like you don’t know what you are doing. The placement of hands is almost more critical than how they smile (or don’t smile).

This article written by: Kent Dufalt for Picture / Correct is just an awesome article and I wanted to share this with you:

There are three modes of non-verbal communication in humans.

The first and most apparent is facial expression, including using our eyes and mouths.

The second is body language—how we position ourselves.

The third is our hands.

hands in photography
rom left: Photos by Cristian Newman, Kent Dufault and KTMD Entertainment

Immanuel Kant, the 18th-century German philosopher, has an excellent quote about hands. “The hand is the visible part of the brain,” he said. This phrase should be on the mind of every photographer who takes pictures of people.

Pay Attention to the Hands

Photographers tend to pay a lot of attention to the face, but sometimes pay little attention to body language, and even less toward their subject’s hands.

Here are some photography tips for shooting people in such a way that incorporates their hands, including do’s and dont’s.

Photo by Trevor Cole

Don’t place a subject’s hand close to the face, unless it frames the face or provides context to the expression.

In the example photo above, the subject’s hand attracts as much visual attention as the face itself, if not more. This may have been a jewelry shoot to showcase her rings, but if the prominence of her hands was not intentional, then the effect is often distracting.

how to place hands in photos
Photo by David Alvarado

When appropriately positioned, and with good lighting, hands can accentuate a face. They can provide an eye-catching frame that forces a viewer’s eyes right toward the subject of the portrait.

hand in photos examples
From top: Photos by Hichem Dahmani and Allef Vinicius

Keep the hands close to, or parallel to, the body. Placing one or both hands closer to the camera than the rest of the body rarely works out—unless you’re going for a unique effect.

hands in pockets photos good or bad
Photo by Michael Afonso

It is equally important not to let your subject push their hands all the way into their pockets—they will simply disappear.

An old trick used by wedding photographers is to have a subject hook just their thumbs into their pockets, while leaving the rest of their hands hanging on the outside of their pants. Another option is to have the subject slide the last three fingers into the pocket while keeping the thumb and forefinger exposed.

You may be wondering, why place their hands in their pockets at all?

The reason is simple and mostly psychological: when photographing subjects who are uneasy or not used to being in front of the camera, giving them something to do with their hands will often relax them.

how to pose subjects hands in photos
Photo by Nick Karvounis

When posing the hands, you must also take into account the framing of your picture. Is it a headshot? Is it a half body shot? Maybe it is a full-figure shot? The placement of the hands will change based upon the amount of body you include in your picture.

This last example photo is a perfect use of hands in a portrait. Here’s why:

  1. They don’t distract from the subject’s face.
  2. The hand placement provides a balance to the composition by giving some shape and contrast against the dark coat in the lower part of the frame.
  3. The body language of the arms and hands matches the expression of the subject’s face.
  4. Her ring becomes a small focal point, helping to tell a story about the subject’s sense of style and perhaps her personality.

About the Author:
Kent DuFault is an author and photographer with over 35 years of experience. He’s currently the director of content at the online photography school, Photzy.

Here’s some more portraits using hands.

woman sitting and smiling
Photo by Guilherme Almeida on Pexels.com
photo of person covered by red headscarf
Photo by Adam Sabljaković on Pexels.com
man in gray suit
Photo by emre keshavarz on Pexels.com
cheerful young black female leaning on hands
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

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