Travel Photography Tip #2: Bad Weather makes Good Pictures (or at least interesting ones)
Everyone wants perfect blue skies for their holiday – it’s much less fun sunbathing during a typhoon, and even indoor pursuits like shopping can be seriously marred if you run the risk of getting drowned by a sudden deluge between the exit of the shopping centre and the car.
But if your holiday does get marred by less than perfect weather, don’t despair – this is often the best time for travel photography! Stormy skies, snowstorms or fog – all are unique opportunities to show your location in a different light.
Here are 5 ways bad weather can present great opportunities for travel photography:
1. Interesting light: Photography is, fundamentally, all about light, and bad weather can do all sorts of interesting things to light. The light immediately before and after a storm can add drama to any subject. Rain can turn city streets into reflecting pools, and snow can turn a landscape into a giant reflector, casting light into all sorts of places that may normally be in shadow.
2. Great Skies: Stormy skies are an atmospheric addition to any landscape, and this alone can really add that ‘Wow’ factor. While blue skies are wonderful to experience, photo after photo of them can get a little old sometimes.
3. Fewer Tourists: Bad weather can keep less hardy travellers indoors, so you are more likely to get that picture of that Iconic Location blessedly free of other people. And this doesn’t just apply to Iconic Locations – the lack of people can make for striking pictures of normally bustling places.
4. Authenticity: Weather that keeps the tourists at home often fails to daunt the locals, and capturing the way they deal with extremes that daunt out-of-towners can make for fascinating pictures.
5. A different take: Everyone is used to the picture-perfect postcards of a location. Bad weather may not be ideal, but it forces you to take a different look at your location, which is not always a bad thing.
I had to limit it to 5 things, or this post was going to go on forever, but this is just the start: bad weather can offer innumerable opportunities for photography, regardless of where you are. The key is to work with it, not against it. Make the most of the opportunities it offers, and incorporate the snow, rain or storm clouds as a key part of your picture, and you’ll find that bad weather days can be some of the most rewarding for travel photography.
So, the next time the weather outside your window looks bleak, don’t hibernate in your hotel room – get out there and take some pictures!