Shooting in any Weather


As a professional news shooter, I am often sent to locations where I am in one day and out to next so I have to work with what I got. In this article, I detail how I make the most of my given environment to create and interesting picture.

Sunny

Instead of exposing for the buildings, I lower the exposure for the sun to capture a silhouette of the skyline.

Correctly exposing for the sun instead of the buildings creates a silhouette of the skyline.

Look for tall subjects that cast interesting shadows in harsh light. Look for light bouncing off bright surfaces and make use of reflectors. Shoot into the light to get interesting flares or silhouettes.

Cloudy

If there are visible clouds rolling, figure out the direction of the wind. Clouds moving towards or away from you makes for majestic photos as oppose to clouding moving side to side.


 
An example of clouds moving side to side versus clouds rolling in towards you.

Although the static buildings are a less interesting subject than the rising tides in the previous clip, the environment makes this a more breathtaking clip.

Overcast and fog

Hong Kong skyline on a foggy day.

Hong Kong skyline on a foggy day.

Overcast days are perfect condition for shooting portrait photography, it’s like working with a giant softbox. If foggy or misty, look for uniformity and place your subject to break that uniformity.

The background of the image on the right is shit, no arguments here, but since I can’t have the skyline as my subject then I’ll wait for a boat to come into my foreground to break up the monotony.

Fog also reflects light so any lights cutting through the fog creates a spooky eerie feel. The same works for light behind steam vents.

Rainy

Union Station on a rainy day.

Union Station on a rainy day.

Best time to play with different shutter speed. Crank the shutter speed up to 1/1000+ and captureRainy weather is great for night photography. Puddles are a great source for framing your subjects and the wet slick roads reflect more light. Simply placing your horizon near the center will likely balance your composition by reflecting your subject.

Advice: Lens hood aren’t just to block out the sun. Bring one to protect your lens on rainy days. No matter how relentlessly you wipe down your lens, you will still wind up with droplets on your lens.

If you have any suggestions to add to my list, please comment below or email them to min@fuglee.com. Thank you!

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