Watch the Weather

Weather can play a big roll in your photography.  

I rarely will put my camera down just because the sky isn't what I expect it to be. Now with software technology, I can easily delete a boring sky and replace it with something more exciting. 

The Right Time, The Right Place

But nothing is as great as being in the right place at the right time. As seen in this photo, our storm chasing did lead to a great shot but we did spend a lot of time driving to find a shot where everything came together perfectly.  I shot this with a converted infrared camera.

Windmills and ThunderstormA huge thunderstorm looms over two secluded windmills


 As for all those other days, here are some tips to help you create great shots regardless of the weather

 Sunny, cloudless days:

These particular days can be frustrating for the best of landscape photographers because the sky plays such an important roll in their images. On days such as these is when I spend time finding the details in the environment.  A big tree detail will look much better on a beautiful plain sky than one that has too much cloud detail.  I then like to take my images into Perfect Photo Suite and enhance them, add texture layers and thus create a much more artistic final image. 


Craggily Tree


Overcast Days

Overcast days are also ones that I like to find details. These days are also perfect for closeup images or macro photography.  The light is muted and less harsh which results in much more saturated images. 


Three LeavesThree LeavesThree leaves in the mist from a waterfall in Zion National Park.


Regardless of the type of weather, make the most of it.  

Polarizing filters are helpful in capturing deeper blues in your skies that then will help separate the whites of the clouds from the blues.  They are also helpful when photographing water scenes. 

A tripod will come in handy if you end up in a low light situation such as a storm with lightening or you just want to have a long exposure on the clouds or water. 

Bring plastic bags to protect your camera in case you get stuck in a storm or want to capture stunning rain photographs. 

Have different lenses or the ability to zoom into a scene. This will enable you to blur out a distracting sky when doing details. 

And finally, if you love the subject, capture it and then find a way to create a final image. I have many images that I took years ago that I can now use because of the amazing technology.  My colleague, Matt Suess even has backgrounds and skies available for people to purchase so they can replace a seemingly boring sky with one more impressive. Check out his website for a blog and sort tutorials about them.


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