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.
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.
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.