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Old 10-22-2014, 12:36 AM
 
111 posts, read 162,055 times
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I love photography. I mean, I really do. I love how it gets me out and seeing things as much as I like that "cool" feeling whenever you take a nice picture. What I'm wondering though - and I know this is kind of a stupid question - is whether or not it's much much harder to take beautiful pictures when it's rainy/cloudy. I know, I could look and see any one of a number of shots where the clouds are really dramatic and such. But what I find is that aside from the obvious difficulty of taking photos in the rain, I tend to like my photos of cloudy days much less. So, I'm almost glad that this feels ridiculous in writing it - but does anyone care to confirm how ridiculous I am - or share general experiences/suggestions as to how to overcome it ?
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Old 10-22-2014, 02:41 AM
 
Location: Wilsonville, OR
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I prefer doing photography on cloudy days. The dim, diffuse light is excellent for moody black and white photos.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:11 AM
 
Location: New Zealand
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It depends...

A uniformly overcast day with no definition in the clouds can be tricky for landscape/outdoor photography. On those days, I tend to focus on smaller details that do not include much of the sky.

But a cloudy day with different layers and shades of clouds make for some of the best conditions for landscapes. Breaks in the cloud can provide dramatic lighting, especially at sunrise and sunset. A completely clear day with no clouds can be quite boring for interesting photography.

On top of the clouds, rain be tricky, especially with regards to keeping gear dry and the lens clear of water drops. But once you get used to it (and use proper protective gear), it's not too bad.

Now granted, it may be easier to shoot pictures on clear sunny days (just point and shoot at a nice scene), but in terms of the quality of pictures, cloudy/rainy days can often yield the best results.

Some of my favourite shots I shot were during cloudy/rainy days...

Break in the clouds producing dramatic lighting:


Clouds scattering sunlight at sunset:


A cloudy sky can make for a menacing look:


Clouds and rain can add mystery (you cannot tell from this picture, but it was absolutely pouring down this day -- my raincoat was dripping water within 10 minutes):


Clouds and rain can add drama:


Clouds and rain can add a sense of melancholy (another absolutely pouring day -- when I set my camera down at a cafe, a large puddle of water formed from all the water):


And rain in urban areas often adds a reflective sheen -- lots of reflections to capture and city lights seem even brighter.

Rainy day reflection:


Extra shine from rain:
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:59 AM
 
70,869 posts, read 71,228,648 times
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i love cloudy days



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Old 10-22-2014, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
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I prefer cloudy skies. It's probably a reaction to where I grew up and live. Also a plain blue sky, there is not much to see, just blue.

Clouds are always different. There are infinite ways they can form. If you don't like what you see wait 10 min.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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I dont like sharp glare time of the day for photos.. as mine never look good.. I prefer later in the day when the suns going down or rainy cloudy weather..

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Old 10-22-2014, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Seattle
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I also like cloudy/foggy days. Colors can be richer, shadow detail more visible, a lot more options for "atmospheric" shots.

For example,

Early morning in Edinburgh



Juneau, Alaska



Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Australia

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Old 10-22-2014, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
31,777 posts, read 24,830,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intothelight View Post
I love photography. I mean, I really do. I love how it gets me out and seeing things as much as I like that "cool" feeling whenever you take a nice picture. What I'm wondering though - and I know this is kind of a stupid question - is whether or not it's much much harder to take beautiful pictures when it's rainy/cloudy. I know, I could look and see any one of a number of shots where the clouds are really dramatic and such. But what I find is that aside from the obvious difficulty of taking photos in the rain, I tend to like my photos of cloudy days much less. So, I'm almost glad that this feels ridiculous in writing it - but does anyone care to confirm how ridiculous I am - or share general experiences/suggestions as to how to overcome it ?
A gloomy day with featureless sky will often be limiting. However, a cloudy day can also help. The following pair of images, taken at about the same spot (also, two of my oldest images from the time I got serious about photography), at Yellowstone NP in 1997:




With sun brightly lighting up the scene, the colors were not as pronounced (first image). I was noticing that as clouds moved in, the subtle hues came out (second image). The second image is actually a zoom into the bottom right corner of the first image.

A different opportunity is often a result of dramatic skies, and also some of the above (hues). Thunderstorms over Lake Powell, in 1997:


The scene actually prompted me to turn around and capture it. The same scene with brightly lit sky would be quite different (and in the afternoon, when this image was captured, probably not as engaging).

Flowers and such are also good candidates to shoot in diffused light (although, if it gets windy, as is usually the case during Spring in Dallas area... sometimes I wish for bright sun instead, only to help keep the shutter speed high enough). Haze is where the problem can be, however.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,745 posts, read 14,135,770 times
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Where I live we get a LOT of cloudy days. I do enjoy clouds because they can make for some very dramatic photos (as demonstrated above), but some days it's just dull and overcast and it can be difficult to take an interesting picture then. But I find days like that are excellent, even superior for taking certain kinds of photos, like plant/flower close-up shots and flowing water pictures. I also like overcast days for people pictures/street photography, though I don't do that so much.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:33 PM
 
4,586 posts, read 4,606,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intothelight View Post
I love photography. I mean, I really do. I love how it gets me out and seeing things as much as I like that "cool" feeling whenever you take a nice picture. What I'm wondering though - and I know this is kind of a stupid question - is whether or not it's much much harder to take beautiful pictures when it's rainy/cloudy. I know, I could look and see any one of a number of shots where the clouds are really dramatic and such. But what I find is that aside from the obvious difficulty of taking photos in the rain, I tend to like my photos of cloudy days much less. So, I'm almost glad that this feels ridiculous in writing it - but does anyone care to confirm how ridiculous I am - or share general experiences/suggestions as to how to overcome it ?
It really depends on your subject! If you're taking portraits of someone a cloudy day is much better than having that bright sun blow your highlights! (Unless you carry a diffuser and an assistant)...What are you taking photos off is the question here? Flowers? buildings? why are you taking photos in cloudy days?

Subscribe to kelbyone.com, and learn more about the different types of photography, so that when you do take the camera out, you're better equipped(knowledge wise) to take better photos.

I LOVE those dramatic clouds...I wouldn't shoot outside in the bright sun either, and am always looking for shade when taking photos of my kids...but I "know" what photos i am going to take before I'm taking my camera out...
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