Bad Weather

by | May 2, 2011 | Tips & Tricks | 2 comments

Not too long ago, I read a photography tip from another nature photographer: learn to love bad weather. I wasn’t too sure about this, but I couldn’t help but think about this comment when I saw the weather forecast for last Saturday.

Saturday was going to be a relatively free day for a photoshoot, but thunderstorms were predicted for the entire 24 hour period. Should I really try putting this tip to the test?

I prepared myself as best as possible, and amidst a heavy mist, started biking toward the mountain that Adam and I had hiked to a few weeks ago. About half an hour later, the sky began to grow dark and bright lightning and rolling thunder signaled the approach of a downpour. It didn’t take me long to find a shelter to wait out the storm. But the wait wasn’t long either, and I was back on my way within a few minutes.

On a sunny day, the middle of the day is about the worst time to take pictures. But today, the heavy fog that shrouded the entire mountain, never lifted, and I was able to shoot until 2:00 in the afternoon when I simply had to return home.

4646_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-60 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 200

The test had worked. This unique opportunity, the mother of a comparatively nice collection of images, was occasioned by the fact that I had embraced the concept that bad weather can be very good. And, surprisingly, it didn’t rain again until my return trip. Though I managed to find shelter under a bridge for part of that downpour, it didn’t really matter much because I was so close to home and my camera gear was snuggly packed away.

4722_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-100 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 200

Bad weather is a good thing; the secret is being prepared for it. Bad weather is called “bad” for a reason: getting chilled is the beginning of a cold; wet camera gear is a step closer to getting acquainted with your local repair shop; lightning and flooding can create hazardous situations. But if you are cautious and thorough in your preparations, your bad weather excursions should actually turn out to be quite good.

4741_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-60 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 200

4930_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-40 sec at f - 3.2, ISO 100

5028_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-40 sec at f - 3.5, ISO 400


  1. Donald S.

    Well said James! I was surprised as well. The first picture suggests the title: Peace in Patience or The Lord Makes All Things Beautiful in His Time. The Lord continue to bless you with the “overcomer’s mindset”!

  2. Barbara J. Sutton

    So true James! Thank you for the perspective. Rainy or cloudy days have often enhanced my photography, so I’m glad God sends them on my days off. Great photos James! Keep it up!


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