If you’re willing to brave the elements, then you’ll find that bad weather can produce amazing images!
When you combine weather effects with basic photography techniques you’ll create a strong image with impact to the viewer.
We’ll show you weather photography ideas for clouds, lightning, storms, fog, snow and more!
We hope the photo ideas below will inspire you to get out and capture your own images!
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CAMERA GEAR FOR LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY
We use a Camera Gear Checklist to help us pack all the equipment we need – that way we don’t foget anything!
We recommend the following camera equipment for taking landscape photos:
1. Camera: You probably already have one, but if you’re looking for something new → check out the compact travel cameras we recommend!
2. Tripod: Using a tripod is something we’ll always recommend. There are many compact and lightweight options out there that are easy to use. → Check out the tripods we recommend!
3. Camera Bag: Protecting your camera from sand and water is essential. Using a camera backpack is so nice for hiking too. → Check out our camera backpack for outdoor photography.
4. Neutral density filter: There can be extreme differences in light when taking landscape pictures. To compensate for this variance of light you’ll need to use a neutral density filter. → Check out the Kase magnetic filters we use!
5. Camera cleaning kit: You’ll want a field cleaning kit to remove dust or water that WILL get on your lens. NOTE: this is not for cleaning the sensor. → This is the camera cleaning kit we use!
7. External hard drive: Don’t forget to copy the photos to a portable external hard drive ‘just in case’. → Check out these awesome portable external hard drives.
8. Headlamp: For the best sunrise shots, you want to arrive at your designated location well before the sun rises. Most of the time this means total darkness. Use a flashlight or headlamp to light your way from the parking lot to your spot. Wearing a headlamp allows you to set up your equipment without having to hold a flashlight. Remember to use the red light setting and keep the beam pointed on the ground in front of you to avoid disrupting other photographers in the area taking long exposure shots. → Check out these headlamps with the red light!
Weather Photo Ideas
Take a look at the weather photo ideas shared by members of our Facebook Group, Your Photography Journey.
WATCH the video as we discuss how perspective is used in each image.
Examples of Weather Photography
In landscape photography, composition, light, subject and story make a good photograph.
Weather photography, or taking photos in bad weather, requires patience. You’ll need to endure the elements, adapt and solve problems caused by the weather.
But if you, and your gear, are prepared for the elements, you can capture fantastic images.
Elizabeth Gilman captured a photo depicting the weather saying “red sky at night, sailor’s delight”.
The color tones moving from golden hour to blue hour are fantastic!
It’s a well composed scene with the reflected color in the foreground water, the silhouetted boats in the midground and the colorful sky in the background.
Clouds and weather go hand in hand! William Davis took the photo below that highlights the light beams shining through the clouds.
The foreground, midground and background elements in this photo work well to lead the viewer vertically through the scene.
And don’t forget about reflected light on clouds!
Lisa Mason filled the frame with the sky since that’s the main subject of the scene.
Adding the little bit of landscape as the foreground helps to ground the photo for the viewer.
Capturing weather as it’s happening is a good photo tip.
Daphne Brislin set the main part of the storm along the horizon line with a good balance of sky above and land below.
The action of the storm provides interest for the viewer.
Look at the terrific contrast of dark and light in this photo by Tony Kendrick!
The brown and green sections are great leading lines right to the action of the storm.
He was able to add the tree into the composition as well. It’s an element of interest that doesn’t detract from the storm behind it.
Kevin Hehl photographed rain, clouds and reflected light! He set the horizon along the bottom rule of thirds line.
That way there is only a bit of water at the bottom edge of the frame, and the remaining space of the photo focuses on the sky!
Rain gear for you and rain protection for your equipment are important when it’s raining!
Look at these stunning photos of lightning by Sue Gordon!
Here are her tips:
“I do all of my lightning shots from the front seat of my car. Generally speaking, if you have the windows rolled up tight, you are fairly safe to shoot lightning. If it gets too close, or if it starts raining, I will relocate.”
Lightning is incredibly awesome, fun to photograph, and surprisingly easy to photograph.
BUT lightning is also incredibly dangerous.
Tips to photograph lightning safely!
If you live near water, think about capturing the “stormy seas” like Fiona McCuish!
She uses Rule of Thirds to place the wave action along the left third line.
The railing is a great leading line as well!
William Holmes has also captured the movement of water as the waves crash along the shore.
He has put the horizon line in the center of the picture which gives equal weight for the story sky and the stormy sea!
Movement in a photo provides impact and interest for the viewer!
Tips for photographing waves and seascapes!
There is nothing quite like fog to provide a mood to your pictures.
In this photo by Gerardo Trevino, the fog sits nicely in the background so the subjects stand out.
The elements in the scene: the tree over the water, the reflection and large rock all work together to create an eye-catching photo.
Early morning is usually a good time to see fog. This photo by James Griffin has a layer of fog low to the ground beyond the tree.
This is a perfect example of using layers in a scene to create depth. There’s the foreground field, the midground area with the fog and tree, and the colorful sky background.
Tips to improve your fog photography!
There’s something about snow that makes a landscape look magical!
The contrast of dark and light elements in this photo by Kathleen Spatuzzi is striking.
Tina Brasington was in the right place at the right time for her photo taken at Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
She found a location to capture the newly-fallen snow and used the fence as a leading line to the cabin.
Talk about timing to find this amazing location with icicles hanging AND a waterfall!
Roy Goldsberry is a photographer who takes time finding locations to photograph.
He may spend multiple days returning to a place to get the image he wants. It paid off here!
Remember to dress warm when taking outdoor photos in the winter!
Were you inspired by these photos?
Every week in our Facebook group (Your Photography Journey), we have a challenge that focuses on an element of composition. Understanding these simple elements will help you improve your photography skills!
We also do live video Photo Reviews each week to discuss compositional elements on the photos group members want us to review, similar to the video we included in this article.