Friday, May 8, 2009

"Bad weather makes good pictures"

Raindrops and fallen Corn Lily leaves, Spring, Sierra National Forest, California  2009

Raindrops and fallen Corn Lily leaves, Spring,
Sierra National Forest, California 2009

1/4 at f/22, focal length: 100mm, ISO 50, Aperture Priority, +2/3 EV
- May 2, 2009 1:58pm PDT. Photographed with Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/4L, Tripod Mounted

I'm a big advocate of always having a camera "locked and loaded" at all times. You never know what might happen in front of your eyeballs. But I'm also a firm believer of photographing when the weather is less than ideal for working on your base tan. You won't see large expanses of blue skies in my images all too often. That's not to say that it doesn't happen, I do carry my picture box with me everywhere, remember? YOU won't see them too often though.

I much prefer moody overcast light, rain, snow, and of course fog. I feel like my best work is made in these conditions. So instead of sitting around waiting anxiously for the next storm to blow through, get up and get out. Start making images. Pretty soon you'll be watching doppler, not to see when the storm will pass, but to see when the next one will come. Besides, there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.

And while we're on the topic. Camille Seaman has based an entire project around photographing worse weather than I've ever been in, and I've lived in Texas. insane storm systems out there! But back to Camille. Check out "The Big Cloud", PDN has an article about it online here. Wow!

"Bad weather makes good pictures"
-Thad Abell


  1. Hey John,
    I agree about the bad weather. Any suggestions about "clothing" your gear for the elements?
    The cloud portfolio is really jaw-dropping. Never seen clouds like this.
    Here's an image I though of when reading your story:


  2. Hey Bartek. Kata makes a pretty nice "rain sleeve". There's two different sizes. The smaller one would be fine for your set up I think. Glad you enjoyed Camille's work, you should check her "Last Iceberg" project too, if you didn't already.

    Nice shot on the blog too!


  3. I did, amazing work.
    Thanks for the Kata info. the cover is on my shopping list now.
    Thanks for checking out my blog :)