Tag Archives: florida
I went down to Florida and it rained. No this wasn’t your refreshing spring shower variety either, it rained 12 inches in 72 hours – most of it sideways.
As I mentioned in a previous post here, bad weather is often welcomed by landscape and nature photographers for all the reasons you’ve heard over and over again. Bad weather can inject drama and mood to your images and then there’s the soft, diffused light that comes with cloudy skies, etc. And all of this would indeed be true. But sometimes bad weather is just a royal pain in the ass. I’m sorry, but there’s just no better way to put it. Last weekend’s rain would be one of those times.
During our bird photography workshop in St. Augustine, we managed to dodge the heaviest rain and got some photography in during the lighter showers and brief lulls between the squalls. Yes, productive photography can be done during light or moderate rain and it won’t kill you or your camera. Here are a few tips on how to manage rainy weather photography:
1) Keep yourself as dry and comfortable as possible. It’s difficult to think creatively when you are feeling miserable. A waterproof shell and pants helps keep you dry and happy, otherwise you’ll look and feel like our friend, the angry bird.
2) Use a rain cover over your camera to keep it as dry as possible too. In light rain, I really don’t worry too much about my camera getting wet. Most modern DSLRs handle light rain without any problems short of submerging it (the same cannot be said of saltwater, however). Still, if you need some piece of mind consider one of the following products: Think Tank’s Hydrophobia, Lens Coat’s Rain Coat, and the Vortex Storm Jacket. A shower cap, on the other hand – complementary at most hotels, works just as well.
I just don’t like working when I don’t have an unobstructed, intuitive feel for the camera and all its controls. The cover is always in the way and I can’t concentrate on what I’m trying to do. Therefore, in the rain I prefer to shoot naked.
3) Use your lens hood. I’ll admit that this lens accessory is one I rarely use, but it does keep drops off the front element of the lens – a major annoyance when shooting in the rain.
4) When not worrying about getting yourself and your camera wet, look for some unique photo opportunities in the crappy weather. Reflections off wet surfaces can offer creative options that fair weather doesn’t provide. Backlit raindrops are yet another. The image above is a good example of that.
5) Have dry cover nearby. Don’t leave yourself exposed to a torrent of a downpour. If you are going to photograph in the rain, plan on having shelter that is relatively close in case the bottom falls out of the rain clouds. This makes infinitely more sense if there is a chance of a thunder storm in the forecast.
6) Dry your gear as soon as you return to your home or hotel room. Storing it while wet just invites mold growth in the camera and lenses.
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May 10, 2013
Folks, please wake me on September 23rd. Its not that I don’t like summer, it’s just that…well, okay, I don’t like summer. Is there something inherently wrong with that? Oppressive heat, humidity, wilting foliage, dried up waterfalls and streams, hazy skies, extended hours of idle light, and unattractive people wearing too little clothing are just some of my photographic and personal banes.
And here in South Carolina, the agony is protracted well beyond its traditional boundary of the autumnal equinox. Summer, at this this latitude, is the longest season. By the time it gasps its last stale breath, it needs a not-so-polite shove out the door, like a guest whose welcome has been overstayed.
It’s little surprise, then, that I have planned back-to-back photo trips this summer to Iceland (July) and Alaska (August) to beat back the summer blues. These escapes don’t occupy all of the sweaty dog days, but they do offer a couple of refreshing respites from the hellish climate here.
And with that, Happy Summer Solstice to all!
The sunrise image above was taken last week on Jupiter Island, Florida at approximately 6:30 am.
Canon EOS 5D Mk2, Canon 17-40L @ 17mm, 1.3 seconds at f13, ISO 100. Polarizing filter.
June 21, 2011
Coral Cove, Jupiter Island Florida; Canon EOS 5D mk2, Canon 17-40L @23mm, 0.6 second @ f18 ISO 320
(RANDOM THOUGHTS ALERT)
When I take a spin through any of the Internet image forums these days, I will soon encounter an image comment or critique imploring the removal of a color cast of some type. Magenta, for some reason, seems to be a popular target. Blues too. What’s with all the magenta hating anyway? The last I looked, magenta was a real color and it’s revealed in nature all the time during the diurnal hours of the day.
The same goes for images being “too dark.” Is there a threshold of brightness that must be attained before it escapes the slings and arrows of the offended? Maybe it actually WAS dark…….and magenta!
Then again, maybe it wasn’t dark. Maybe the artist (yes, photographers are artists) wanted to portray the scene as dark on purpose.
Photography is about extracting and sharing feelings – and a little bit of yourself – not just faithfully reproducing the scene in front of the camera. Darkness has been a visual metaphor for sadness for ages – just to throw out one example. The image should represent how the scene makes you feel, not necessarily how it actually looks! So, don’t let the tyranny of the status quo strip your image of its perilous soul. Embrace darkness, lightness, color casts, and other subjective tools to actually say something.
February 8, 2011