Taking Photos in Overcast & Rainy Conditions

Author: Gail Bjork

Ireland’s unpredictable weather can be challenging for a photographer. One moment the sun shines, the next moment it may rain.

But don’t put your camera away if the weather changes for the worse.

Cliffs of Moher...

Cliffs of Moher...

.... and again about 20 minutes after the photo above!

.... and again about 20 minutes after the photo above!

One way to protect your camera is to use a clear plastic bag and make a hole in it for the lens. Place the bag around the camera and secure it with a rubber band after positioning the hole over where the lens will protrude.

Storm clouds, mist and light rain can add lovely, atmospheric elements in a photo. But they also cause low light conditions. Unless you change settings manually, your digital camera will automatically select slow shutter speeds and higher sensitivity (ISO).

Slow shutter speeds often result in blurred images due to camera shake. The need to use a high ISO number is sometimes unavoidable, but it may produce visible “noise” in images.

To prevent camera shake and image noise when shooting in low light, place your camera on a tripod or flat, level surface, and manually set the ISO number to 100 or lower. If you don’t have a shutter-release cable or remote control, use the camera’s self-timer to trigger the shutter.

When using the self-timer, you still must press the shutter-release button half-way to lock focus and exposure before fully depressing it. Then quickly move your hands away and let the self-timer do its thing.

Whenever possible, take a few test photos of a scene to check exposure, focus and white balance. After reviewing shots on the LCD, adjust camera settings if needed.

Photos by Gail Bjork © 2003-2009 All rights reserved. No photo may be used without prior permission.

Article updated: March 31, 2017

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