When bad weather stays in your way
We, landscape photographers, usually travel thousand of km to get to a location that we wanted so much to photograph.
All we do before arriving there is to dream about how are going to spend all our time with a camera in our hand, how we hike mountains, search for new subjects, find our voice.
And it so happens that what we expect is not what we encounter on location. Sometimes the weather can become unforeseeable especially in remote, mountain areas. No matter how much you plan, you cannot predict the conditions you will find there.
This year we planned our photographic holiday in Scotland. As you may well know, weather here is rainy, windy and unpredictable. As this might bring some nice photographic opportunities, it can also prevent you from getting your camera out of the bag for a couple of days. So what should we do when rain, or bad weather in general, is preventing us from photographing? We have some ideas to share with you:
- Embrace the conditions and do your best to capture the landscape as it is.
Instead of being mad on the weather you can prepare to get your camera out when possible. With a great waterproof jacket, shower caps to protect your camera and a lot of awareness of what is happening around, you can be prepared for short moments that allow some photography. So, do your homework on the usual conditions (median temperature, rainfall, winds for that specific month) and prepare for the unexpected.
- Scouting for when the weather improves.
Instead of staying indoors due to bad conditions you can put on your rainy clothes and start scouting. This will help you be prepared for when weather allows you to start shooting.
- Plan for future trips.
Of course, you cannot spend all day in the rain, but you can use the valuable time you have to plan your future photography trips, search for good flight deals or accomodation. Planning in advance is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a fruitful photographic trip.
- Do your post processing or your social media work.
Since you have time, you can start working on processing the images you already shot. This will give you time to reflect on images that you would like to improve (compositionally or by going there to a different time of the day), sometimes what we see in camera is very different to what we see while working on post processing.
We don’t always have a lot of time to write articles on our Web page, so this dead time can be used to share our experience with others.
I am writing this post while waiting for our ferry from Harris Island that had a 10 hours delay due to bad weather. What about you, how do you spend your time when conditions do not allow you to photograph? We would love to learn from your experience.