I think every landscape photographer knows it. Often when you are planning for a nice sunset or morning shoot the weather just doesn’t play along. So what can you make out of a clouded, rainy sky. This article contains some suggestions.
For one thing, if you’re near the sea, a clouded sky doesn’t necessarily stay so for long and there’s nothing better to photograph than the sun breaking through the canopy of clouds after a storm. So it’s not too bad to keep up with your initial plans and head out to find some nice place to photograph.
If there’s no change in the sky, no problem. There are some nice images you can take anyway. Since all is already nearly grey you might think about going for black and white and look for some more dramatic scenery which harmonizes better with the weather.
For example when I went to the island of Mön last summer I arrived there on a grey, rainy day. I went down to the beach to do some scouting for the following days and found that the weather created a nice, gloomy atmosphere together with the barren landscape. For such occasions it’s good to have a very strong neutral density filter with you. A good example is the Lee Big Stopper (buy US, UK, GER*). By using long exposures you can go for a little more surrealistic look, which creates nice contrasts and adds to the moody look.
Below is another shot I did on the same evening. The extreme neutral density filter I used made it possible to smooth out the water and create some movement in the clouds.
The final image shows Rossbeigh beach in Ct. Kerry, Ireland. You will often encounter clouded skies and rainy weather there, but you’ll also find lots of rewarding scenery for your photos.
I hope this provides you with some inspiration. There are many other things, which are worth to photograph during bad weather. It’s only a question of what you make out of the situation and how you are able to adapt to the weather.
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