Weather matters

June 03, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

A dark placeA dark placeTaken on a rather gloomy evening at Hunstanton.


Published in Practical Photography Magazine, February 2013


Canon 7D
Sigma 10-20mm @ 10mm
15s @ f/11.0
ISO 100
Lee 0.9ND & 0.6 GND filters
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If you've ever set your alarm for 3am to photograph in the golden hour only to find it's been replaced by a wishy-washy grey hour you'll know it's no fun... come to think of it if you've ever had to get up at 3am for anything you'll know it's no fun. Question is does poor weather necessarily put pay to your chances of getting some good photos?

Last weekend I went to Aldeburgh at sunrise to shoot the fishing boats on the beach and I had some shots in mind requiring specific conditions. Nothing too unusual, just a clear horizon so the first rays of sunlight would bathe my subject with some nice warm side lighting... a bit of fluffy cloud to pick up some colour and add interest in the sky would have been nice as well but I'm not greedy, the sun would have been enough.

The problem is with such a specific idea in my head it meant that when, inevitably, the conditions didn't materialise and the sun and all but the sky directly above was hidden by hazy grey clouds I was stuck for ideas. Rather than going with the flow and working with the conditions to see what I could come up with I was trying to make my shot work with what was there... the proverbial square peg in a round hole. Unsurprisingly I came away with nothing worth keeping but not because the weather was awful (which it was) rather because I didn't have an open mind to any photographic possibilities that may have been there. I'd left my creative mojo at home, along with my flask of coffee, which really did nothing to improve my mood I might add.

The drive home was a reflective one and I vowed to learn a lesson from the experience (apart from never leave your coffee on the kitchen table) if things don't go according to plan, throw away the plan and start again because there's almost always an image to be made you just have to find it.

In case you are wondering, the photo above was a shot I salvaged from another bad weather outing to Hunstanton a couple of years ago.

 


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Justin Minns is a part time photographer whose award winning landscapes have been widely published.

 

 

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