Outdoor Photography Tips 47 - Fair Weather Photographers


Many people capture lovely images of wildlife on a regular basis. The bright sunny days and clear blue skies have much going for the comfort of the photographer, as well as the available light for creating properly exposed images.

Sunny days not only provide the wildlife photographer with the opportunity to use much higher shutter speeds, but they also allow for the use of lower ISO settings. This reduces digital darkroom time attempting to reduce noise in the imagery when post processing.

Nice weather means much more pleasant shooting conditions for the shooter as well. I remember many times when the wind was blowing and the temps were making it difficult to shoot without the use of gloves on the fingers, let alone layers of cold weather gear to slow me down in the field. But there are advantages for those who step over the comfort zone boundaries.

While some wildlife utilizes methods to avoid the weather conditions – burrows, holes in trees or caves and crevices, many individuals just have to endure what nature dishes out. These provide the photographer with some unique opportunities.

I too, enjoy shooting in mild weather, but some of the most stunning imagery out there to be explored is not completed by the "fair weather" photographer. A person willing to be inconvenienced by the weather to capture something different, and sometimes compelling, can be richly rewarded.

One such example is the shooting session I recently engage in with these swallows. The morning forecast said that there was rain coming. My partner in the field, as you can see here, is not easily put off by wet weather. She comes with me on many of my excursions along the river. For these images, I sat for two hours in the rain. My best shots were acquired during the strongest downpours. I was able to both enjoy the elements, and to observe how some of nature's “other half”, weathers the challenging times of each season.

Here are a couple of suggestions for equipment you should have in your bag when out shooting in changing weather conditions. Some people laugh when I tell them I have a small folding umbrella with me in the field. But I can tell you now, it is nothing to laugh at when you get stuck in a downpour or the sun becomes very warm while shooting reptiles on the desert pavement. That little bit of water or sun protection makes or breaks an enjoyable photo shoot.

Another item(s), are locking plastic bags. They provide some protection from moisture accumulation, but are also invaluable for lens protection during dusty travel. Neither of these items are all that heavy, and they can be very handy when shooting in “not the best” weather conditions.

The above advice will hopefully have you unpacking your camera when the weather makes an unpleasant change instead of packing it away for the next sunny day. I trust you enjoy these images as much as I did capturing them to share to you. And as always, Happy shooting.

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