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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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January 29, 2009

bad weather photography

Rust Colored Rocks
Pacific mood (Tingnoan, Real)

Is there such a thing as "bad weather photography"? Not too many photos out there of such because lets face it, who would want to go out there in the rain, or fog, or snow (luckily we don't have that here) and risk their gears. Its much easier to shot landscapes during perfect weather, or take tropical sunrise/sunset shots from a nice comfortable vantages points (read: resorts).

Its quite a challenge, but the rewards are worth it (I think). You get to see a surreal view - something you'll miss if you just stay indoors.

Outdoor Photographer #9
Real's raw beauty in Outdoor Photographer

If you like to try it, here are a few tips:
  • Dress the part. You'll need wind breakers or light waterproof jackets, bush hats, rain coats, etc. Avoid cotton like a plague, dry fit shorts/pants or shirts are best. Expect to get wet, because you will.
  • Umbrellas are quite useful, they can protect your gears (not you!) from sprays if you are shooting waterfalls or seascapes. Based on experience, it would also help a lot if you bring along somebody to hold the umbrella for you.
  • If your camera/lenses are not weather sealed, use clear plastic rain covers. You can buy some from camera supply stores. I find garbage bags cheaper, and just as effective. Remove cover ONLY when you are really ready to shoot. Cover as soon as you take the shots.
  • Your glasses/filters are going to get wet, no matter what you do. Bring lots of lens wipes.
  • 90% percent (or more) of your shots will look like crap and that's a fact. You will need a bit of tenacity (hmm more like stubbornness) on your part to keep shooting, or return to the same spot the next day to get more thrashing from Mother Nature.
  • You may have the best gears, but Mother Nature always have tricks up her sleeves. I have a friend who had the traumatic experience of watching his beloved D200 (+ultra wide lens) smashed on the rocks, tripod and all. All it took was a rouge gust of wind.
  • Set everything before heading out. Mount your camera on the tripod, set your camera options (i.e. aperture, ISO, etc), mount your filters and bring only what you really need. You won't have much time to switch filters once you are there.
  • Be prepared to look like a fool. You'll be the only one on top of a rock, barefoot, and challenging the waves in the middle of a storm while the rest of the gang are enjoying hot coco. If you join me then there'll be two of us, we can take turns holding the umbrella.
  • Don't get swept out to the sea. Its bad for your health.
Good luck and happy shooting! More moody photos here.
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Anonymous said...

"Be prepared to look like a fool. You'll be the the only one on top of a rock, barefoot, and challenging the waves...."

haha very true indeed but I don't mind looking like a fool as long as I go home with a big smile on my face knowing I got a very good photo to add in my collection.

Anonymous said...

Valuable tips here allan. Thanks.

You might want to help select the best photo from among the "Tahanan ni Maria" Photo Exhibit official photos at my blog.

See you there. :)

Anonymous said...

Nice tips. I've done fog and a few rain drops but nothing major. It actually sounds like fun to me.

Lantaw said...

Tama ka Nard, bisan isa lang ka photo OK na :)

Sure bariles, will drop by soon.

2sweetnsaxy, haha it is indeed fun! (as long as our gears are safe hehe)

escape said...

astig talaga! pag magaling na photographer kahit ganun yung panahon nagagawa pa ring maganda. congratulations allan!

salamat din sa tips. importante to. the coolest tip here is >>>"Don't get swept out to the sea. Its bad for your health."


Lantaw said...

Thanks Dom! We should all learn to "run away and shoot again another day" LOL! That first image was taken on my 2nd day of shooting. The first day ones were all crap :D

Michael Peligro said...

Make sure that you are not situated at a high point, or you are not standing atop the highest point in that place. Lightning may strike and can kill. Don't risk your life taking a photo

Lantaw said...

Excellent point/tip Mike. Thanks!

MysLykeMeeh said...

Great tips---surely anyone can apply it...


Kodak Picturezzz said...

Ganda ng mga pics nyo ser.

Anonymous said...

Excellent shot, very nice. I love it. With all the expensive gears you have, you might not want to risk all those "mahal" gadgets of yours. Makaiyak baya ang presyo ng mga yan. =)

Lantaw said...

MysLykeMeeh, Thanks, I hope so...

Retro Manila, Salamat!

Sheng, Mas mahal ang gears ni Ric hahaha. Maingat naman ako kahit papano :)

atto aryo said...

ang galing ng pic! i tried shooting the big waves sa bayan namin pero malakas ang tapon ng mist. napupuno ang lens kaya lumabo. ang hirap kumuha ng matinong pic pag masama panahon.

Erick said...

nice shot dude.

magkasing kulit siguro tayo mag shoot. naka experience na ko ng halos shoulder ko na yung tubig sa river basta lang maka shoot ng subject.

buti na lang sana na camera and lens ko sa ganyang situation kahit hindi weather sealed.

Lantaw said...

Salamat r-yo. Mahirap talaga kumuha ng pics sa ganyang conditions.

Erick, sanay na din camera ko sa abuses hehe, all for getting the shots right. Pero sympre bawal pa rin ang reckless, calculated dapat ang risks..

The Islander said...

pangpublishing talaga mga kuha.

kegler747 said...

The weather might be bad but not your photos! :)

ALiNe said...

nice naman ng pix kahit bad weather

Lantaw said...

Thank you JP, Carlo, and ALiNe

Sidney said...

Wow...beautiful image...well worth the effort.

I wouldn't do it... unless I find a beautiful girl to hold my umbrella for me... ;-)

AngelMD-No-More said...

nice pic pariente! worth all the effort...hehe oh btw, gave you an award...check it out na lng...hehe

Anonymous said...

Hi, Allan!
Excellent photography here!

Well written tips!

Best of luck for the next shot!!!

Lantaw said...

Sidney, Haha! I sometimes bring my wife, she's my umbrella and gears holder :D

Cel, Thanks! award? ayos a :D

Dodong, Thanks bai!

Oman said...

very entertaining tips but oh so real. i should heed these advices 'coz rain seems to follow me everywhere i go as evidenced by majority of my shots in my blog which has gray skies and the feelof surrealism.

lagal[og] said...

you had a very good point to this post, bai. a photographer has to contend with whatever weather he is presented with and make the most of it. oftentimes, it is the moody temperament of the weather that makes the photo even more interesting and filled with tension. pa'no ba yan, pwede ka nang magexhibit ng outdoorphotographer shots mo? :D

Lantaw said...

Oman, haha glad you enjoyed them bro. sometimes yung dull weather pa ang best time to take photos of landscapes

Oggie, nakuha ko yang tips na yan from pros like you bai :). Konti pa lang OP shots ko, dagdagan ko pa muna hehehe

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