© 2018 Meg Walker

Weather , Schmeather!

January 25, 2016

When the days draw shorter and the clouds close in, it can be very frustrating for a photographer like me. It becomes very unlikely that I will be able to shoot my favourite fast moving (often distant) birds or broad sunlit vistas. 

 

Poor weather means poor light. Technically speaking this means that, in order to capture photographs of anything that moves, the camera will need to be set to a high ISO, which increases "noise" or "grain", thereby losing definition. The only alternative, in order to keep the ISO low enough to keep definition, is to reduce the shutter speed. Goodbye crisp birdy photos and hello blurry messes! 

 

Fear not! You can still have productive photography sessions! The answer is to shift your gaze from the trees and skies and choose another point of focus. Now is the time to think about experimenting with indoor photography and, in the process, learn about lighting a scene yourself rather than relying on mother nature's lighting.

 

 

 

Maybe start with candles....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...and go on to try building your own lit set for small object photography. I used distant black material for a backdrop, a piece of glass for a base, and two lamps to capture this faceted rose quartz:

 

 

 

 

 

If, like me, you don't want to be cooped up indoors the WHOLE time but would rather brave the cold and grey - simply turn your gaze downwards and nearer to your lens. Choosing nearer, unmoving, subjects means you can still get some awesome images, despite the low light, as you can slow the shutter speed enough to keep the ISO low.

 

 

 

 

These "ear'shrooms", as I dubbed them, sat nice and still for me! This meant I could play with various angles, white balances, and focal points. I love the colour and texture juxtapositions, yet on a brighter day I might have missed them as I would have had my gaze firmly on the birds above my head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even wet weather produces photographic opportunities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you really MUST still think big, just ensure you take a tripod (to keep your shutter speed low), and you may still find an atmospheric landscape hiding in the gloom:

 

 

 

 

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