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W is for Weather

Clouds over Isle of Wight
Posted by on December 28, 2012
Golden Sunset

Golden Sunset

The saying goes that nobody talks as much about the weather as the Brits. Having lived here for several years now I can understand why. The weather here is probably the most unpredictable I have even experienced. In one day you can go through all seasons without physically changing location. Most countries will have a far more settled weather pattern.

Take for example the last couple of months. There was snow in November, far earlier than normal, followed by excessive rainfall in December with temperatures about 10 degrees Celsius. It is so wet at the moment that there are massive floods which has an impact on travel (train, car and plane), not what you want during the Christmas holidays.

This weird weather all year round means  it is hard to plan your trips or days here. Best is to just ignore the weather, wear many layers to cover for all seasons and just get on with it. It does make interesting photography though. You can track the weather changes through amazing sky displays. From unusual cloud formations to the most spectacular sunsets, you can get them all within one day.

It means that for most of your photos you can use natural light for creating depth and playing with shadow. It also means that you have to get a quite good understanding of your camera. You will have to work with your ISO and Shutter speed to get the best images under any weather circumstances. The impact of the weather also has an impact on your photography plans. Due to the vastly changing weather (and thereby light) conditions you will sometimes have to work really fast to create a range of images under the same conditions. Alternatively you an use the weather to your advantage and actually use the changing light to create different sets of images.

For me, taking pictures of the sky remains one of the biggest attractions and challenges. I can be completely taken by a gorgeous sunset or sunrise, which can take my attention away from what I am doing. Not always the best thing to happen! The biggest challenge for me is to get that moment of the day when the sun reflects in the sky / clouds and creates a pink glow. It’s a rare moment to capture and often more driven by luck than by plan.

At the moment though the sky is just grey and gloomy, making any photography pretty much impossible. Outdoors all looks dull and indoors you will have to use artificial light as there is not enough natural light coming in. I do hope the weather changes soon so there is a chance to get some decent photos again. Until than, it’s down to photo editing and archiving old photos. 🙂

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