Bad weather is coming! Here is how to take good photos in that bad weather :
For most of the photographers of the world, we are approaching the worst time of the year for storms and bad weather. Although, we also have to realize that this is also some of the best photo opportunities there are for taking photos. Whether it is rain, or snow or wind, or whatever type of bad weather, it is the perfect time to brave the weather and take some of the most unique photos ever. Let’s take a look at some of the things you need to do this time of seasonal stormy weather to A- protect your equipment, and B- be ready to get the most fantastic photos ever.
- First of all: just like always, have your camera with always. But, if it’s cold weather, and your concerned about how batteries will play a part on the function of your camera, here is what I do. I do not leave my camera in the trunk of my car overnight, nor do I leave it in the trunk while I drive. My cab of my car or vehicle is acclimatized. So, it’s just the right temperature for my camera. And then I see something I want to take a picture of, and I jump out of my car, and my batteries are just the right temperature.
But, how long can you be out in the cold before the camera starts to malfunction? That will depend on your camera. One thing that is good to do, and this I have heard from reliable outdoor photographers, is to keep a spare set of batteries in your pocket. Your body is warm, but, you probably should change the cold batteries to the warm batteries, back in the car.
- If you want to take photos in the rain or snow, you must do one of two things: A- find something that will protect your camera. Water spots on your lens does not make for a good photo. Should you bring an extra person along to hold the umbrella?
That person won’t do that for long, because that person gets wet and you don’t. What’s the fun in that? What is their reward? The best thing to do is to get some protective gear for your camera from the local camera store. Yes, they actually make such stuff. Most camera stores sell cheap rain covers that only cost a few dollars and wearing a poncho will keep you and your camera bag dry. These highly packable items will become your best friend when you’re photographing in the rain. While there are many rain covers out there, I like the Op/Tech USA rain sleeve for its simplicity and ease of use. DIY trick: If you forget to bring one and can’t find a camera store where you are, improvise by wrapping a Ziploc bag around your camera (secure it with rubber bands) and poking a hole for the lens. Trash bags double as ponchos, too.
B- The one thing I do, and I enjoy doing is have a good, and I mean a good quality waterproof camera. Almost every camera manufacture makes a good waterproof camera. Why would I suggest such a thing? Because a waterproof camera from a camera manufacture means that they invested into a good lens on that camera. They usually have some actual settings for the camera too for the conditions you might be in. So, this is a good choice in my book. Get wet, get the camera wet. Who cares. The one I currently use is one from Pentax. It is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and has given me years of great photos. I have seen other manufactures make some good ones, but, the Pentax is a generation or two ahead of the others, I feel.
- Study human behavior during a storm. What classic photos you will get. People either love getting wet, or they are scurrying around like scared animals. Truly an interesting sight. Could you put together some interesting photos of what it’s like in the storms? Here is rain:
- Go Inside. Walking around in the rain can be enjoyable, but when you have expensive camera gear you may not want to risk getting it wet. This is the time to go inside–to museums, shops, restaurants, people’s homes if they let you. If you want to be outside, but out of harm’s way, find a covered area, or shoot from inside a car.
- Take advantage of what the light does to your photos. It is amazing how light can make your photos go absolutely spectacular now. Look for amazing sunsets, sunrises, lights reflecting off the roads, lakes, rivers, and from all sorts of reflective things. This is your time to make incredible photos. Examples:
- And then finally: look down. Look at the puddles. What kind of reflections or photos can you get from puddles? Most of the time we look at puddles as a nuisance. Try looking at them as a photo opportunity, and see what you can find. Examples:
Whatever the case is, there are many opportunities to take photos is bad weather. Just look around and see the good…… in the bad. If it gets real bad, such as hurricanes or tornadoes, or cyclones, if you are brave enough to be out in that kind of weather, be aware that your photos may be very valuable to the press. Although, your life is the first and most important. And it’s really hard to be thinking of taking photos when your life is at stake. So, please don’t be crazy about that kind of photography unless you know your are safe and can take photos.
Article written by: Lanny Cottrell for 123photogo