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Jun 01 19

Bad Makes Good

Bad weather is a photographer's best friend.

Ever hear the expression “When the going gets tough, the tough get going?” That applies in photography too. Whenever others are putting their cameras away, that’s when I take mine out.

My cover photo for this story is a perfect example.  I had been out all day with my camera.  The sky was grey and looked like it was going to stay that way. Suddenly the sun burst through the trees.  When a gull flew past quite low I had my image.

Dull sky, fog, rain, snow… it’s all good. Why? Because that dull sky sometimes breaks with a burst of glorious glowing light. Fog adds an element of mystery; rain a touch of magic. And snow changes the lighting and mood completely.

As photographers we want to create images that are appealing and just maybe a little bit different, at least that is what I am trying to accomplish. My camera of choice is the Sony A7S. Its high ISO capabilities let me shoot in situations where many other photographers put their cameras away. My “go to” lens for my images in this story is the Sony Zeiss 24-70mm f4. I find this range of focal lengths offers flexibility while most closely matching the style of images that I like to create.

And what is the most useful accessory in my camera case? A plastic bag with a hole cut in it for the lens. I live on the West Coast. It can really, really rain here. How about that for a deal, the most priceless camera accessory I have cost me exactly nothing.

Let it rain, or snow, or hail... bad weather makes good photographs.

My wife is also an avid photographer. Here we brave wind, rain and waves near Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

In the Cinque Terra, Italy (left) after a wicked storm and in the Cotswolds, England (right) following a heavy downpour.

These are two more examples of the sun breaking through when just a bit earlier it looked like the day was literally going to be a wash-out.


In a Vancouver park (left) and trekking through the mountains (right) near Whistler, BC.

Fog or heavy clouds can amplify rich colours in foliage and/or create a unique mood.

English countryside; English weather.

A single, majestic stand of trees on the horizon caught my eye. In this image I composed to make the dramatic clouds the predominant element.  For me this image is soft yet holds impending drama.

Rain in England (left) and in Canada (right).

No matter where you travel, you are going to have "rain days".  And in some places you are going to have a lot of rain days.  That is a perfect time to take out my camera. Rain at night when the lights are on can be particularly dramatic.

Both taken within one block of my home in Vancouver.

And let's not forget about snow. Life goes on when it snows, but it wears a different look.

If we want our photographs to be different, getting out when the conditions are different goes a long way toward that. Bad weather makes good photographs.

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