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Picture This: Poor Weather

So I confess: I didn’t make it out to take photos this past week. The weather was just awful where I live with rain and sometimes even thunderstorms every single day for the entire week. Expensive camera + water = not my favorite combination. So what do you do when the weather doesn’t agree with you?

Photographer and Persephoneer Christen Grindahl (code name: xennicole) took this awesome photo on a very cold Minnesotan day of the ice crystals on the window of her house – genius!

Well, you have a few options. First, you can obviously choose to stay inside. You might choose to use this time to focus on one object in the house or you might get creative and focus your photos on windows – you might be amazed by the wide range of options you have. If you choose to photograph the weather from your window, you might focus on raindrops on the glass, patterns, fog, ice, or condensation. You know what I want to see? I want to see a photo of someone’s pet steaming up a window with their hot breath as they look longingly outside. It’s perfectly okay to think of a photo scenario you want to see and create it!

If you want to actually go outside, the water will obviously cause some problems, so what do you do? You can enlist someone to hold an umbrella for you (boyfriends make excellent assistants) or go solo. If going solo, I suggest putting together a rain kit with a plastic bag, an umbrella, a water proof camera bag, a towel, a lens hood, and maybe even a camera cover like these cool ones (Storm Jacket Covers), which seem to be pretty popular for their versatility but you can find hundreds of things just like this on other websites. A large gallon-size ziploc bag can make a good raincover in a pinch – just put a hole in the end and tip your lens out while sticking your head in the other end. Ponchos are also a good idea because you can fit a lot of camera gear underneath the cover which might be useful if you don’t have a water proof bag. (Side note: it’s important to consider weather proof material when choosing your camera bag. My new one is not weather proof and my first time caught in the rain with it almost turned disastrous because the side pockets filled up with water and threatened to flood my camera from the inside out!) Be on the lookout for awnings, porches or dense trees for cover and don’t be ashamed to photograph from your car!

My boyfriend and I recently did a hike through the rain and found ourselves a bit disappointed when we summited the hill/mountain. But that doesn't mean there wasn't anything to photograph!

So, now you’re outside with your camera – what are you going to shoot? Here are a few subjects you might consider:

  • Splashes – individual rain drops or big puddles with boots and cars and pets!
  • Heavy rain falling from the sky – to capture rain trails, set your camera on a tripod and use a low shutter speed with a low ISO.
  • Wet roads – these can lend fabulous reflections of city lights or sky detail.
  • Dark clouds – why not look up? Be sure your look for contrast in shades and cloud definition as a big grey blanket of clouds will look exactly like a big grey blanket of clouds in your photo and not at all interesting.
  • Reflections – in puddles, rain drops, windows, car mirrors, on roads, signs, lakes! Seriously, #1 tip: look for reflections.
  • Rainbows – this is of course harder to predict and find but if you catch one, use it. Try to include something in the foreground in order to give your photo some dimension.
  • Fog – low clouds can make a very dramatic and moody landscape if you’re able to get above the cloud line.
Getting above the clouds can really work for you! Try to catch fog rising rolling across a rocky landscape or consider photographing in black and white to bring out more contrast.

Of course, all of this extends to snow too! I know some of you in the northern hemisphere have been experiencing a great deal of snow these past few weeks – get out there and photograph it! Persephoneer Hillary was really onto something with this photo of ice that she took for the Between Places challenge, as was LilCrow with her moody evening sky photo! These badass ladies are getting out into the element and coming up with some creative ideas – what will we see this week? Your assignment is to follow suit and get some photos of the weather in your neck of the woods. There are no requirements on weather – rain or shine, either is fine! Hey, I rhymed! Report back this week with your photo in the comments section and don’t forget to weigh in on the photo adventures of other Persephoneers either in the comments here or on our group discussion board! If you still haven’t posted for on last week’s icons challenge, don’t worry. You can either go ahead and post now or resolve to get started again! So what are you waiting for? Get going and make it snappy!

By Thelma

Thelma is a photographer and traveler currently residing in Sydney, Australia. In her free time she can be found with her nose behind a camera or obsessing over koalas.

16 replies on “Picture This: Poor Weather”

Wow, Rotterdam is, um… lovely? I would definitely say this is a good example of poor weather but maybe also just a poorness of spirit? The weather is so bleak and the landscape mimics it. I can imagine old men in crumbling coats huddled around burn barrels with cigarettes, trying to stay warm out there. Good job! I think desolate is the perfect descriptor for this.

Aha! Well, the weather here surprised us all and was actually sunny for a change! We went hiking for the day in the Blue Mountains, just west of Sydney, Australia. It was beautiful out and even though it did rain here and there, we really enjoyed ourselves. This photo was taken at Wentworth Falls with a fisheye lens which explains the bowled trees that trail up the frame’s edge.

It’s been kind of a crappy summer here, actually. I mean, I love that it hasn’t been as hot but it hasn’t been sunny much either and there are lots of cities flooded throughout New South Wales and Queensland. Summer isn’t my favorite season but if it keeps acting like spring then I don’t mind. :)

Thanks! I really love my fish eye lens. I’ve found so many great uses for it and I’m constantly surprised by how cool the photos turn out. I find it’s very useful when photographing things with a circular shape like arches on buildings or in this case a big rounded-out canyon. It captures the shape and feel of these places very well. I’ll post more photos from this lens later or maybe I’ll write something about it. We could do a post on different types of lenses; maybe you could contribute something about fixed focal length lenses?

Snow – as long as it’s not falling – isn’t too much of a problem if you’re wrapped up (with gloves you can operate the camera in:) ), but do watch out for the condensation on the camera when you come back indoors. A ziploc bag has so many uses!

There’s snow predicted here but I doubt it’ll fall – rain we do have, though:)

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