Do you find yourself seeking shelter during bad weather? While this is perfectly natural, it means that you’re missing out on some amazing photo opportunities. Stormy, rainy, snowy, foggy and windy days are a gift for your photography, providing creative options that you just wouldn’t get on a dry, sunny day. In this tutorial you’ll discover how to create stunning iPhone photos in bad weather conditions. And by the end of the article you’ll realize that “bad” weather is actually “great” weather for photography!
1. Add Drama With Moody Skies
Creating drama in your iPhone photos is one of the best ways to produce more interesting pictures that really grab the viewer’s attention.
Dark and stormy skies add a wonderfully dramatic mood to your photos, so pay careful attention to the cloud formations shortly before it rains.
Locations that have a lot of space and not much clutter, such as the countryside scene below, work really for this kind of shot.
For the most dramatic atmosphere, compose your shot so that the stormy sky takes up a large proportion of the frame. In the photo above, I used the rule of thirds to ensure the sky dominated the scene.
Using leading lines, such as the road in the photo above, will draw the viewer directly into the dark, dramatic clouds. This creates a really powerful image with lots of drama.
Another way to add a moody effect to your stormy sky shots is to incorporate a silhouette into the scene. Moody skies and silhouettes often work well together since they both have dark and dramatic qualities.
To create a silhouette in your iPhone photos, ensure you’re shooting into the light. Then simply tap to set focus, and swipe down on the screen to reduce exposure until the subject appears as a dark shape against the brighter background.
This kind of shot often looks great when converted to black and white. Removing the color intensifies the mood and mystery, creating a more dramatic atmosphere.
2. Shoot During & After Rain
Many people avoid shooting in the rain, but once you realize the huge potential for creative photo opportunities, this will quickly become your favorite kind of weather!
And the best thing about it is that you don’t even have to get wet to take great photos in the rain. Shooting through a window, car windshield or bus stop window pane will produce some really interesting results.
During a rainstorm, look around for water droplet formations on windows, and the photograph the scene outside though the window. The droplets will distort the subjects, creating some amazing abstract images.
One of the best things about rain is that you’ll see lots of people with umbrellas, and these make great subjects in your photos.
Their bold shape and bright colors will create a really strong focal point in your image. They also help you to tell a story about the kind of weather you were shooting in.
When it stops raining, be sure to venture outdoors as the wet conditions provide you with many excellent opportunities for creative photography.
Pay attention to water droplet formations and capture them before the sun dries them out. Try filling the frame with the droplets to create an abstract image like the one above.
If you have a macro lens, use it to shoot beautiful close-up pictures of water droplets on leaves and flowers.
Another thing to look out for is puddles and reflections on wet pavements. Ensure you include an interesting subject in the reflection, such as a person, tree or building.
Reflections often add natural texture to the photo, giving an ordinary scene a beautiful painterly effect. You might even be lucky enough to capture a rainbow if there’s sunshine shortly after it rains.
3. Photograph In Snow
If you live in a part of the world that gets snow in winter, be sure to take advantage of this weather while it lasts.
Snow completely transforms landscapes and cities, giving you a brand new shooting environment for your photography.
One of the best things about snow is that it brightens up dark areas of a scene, creating a clean and fresh look in your photos.
Be sure to get the exposure (image brightness) right so that the snow isn’t under or over-exposed. You can easily adjust the image exposure by tapping to set focus, then swiping up or down on the screen.
If the photo is under-exposed, the snow will appear gray. And if it’s over-exposed you’ll lose all of the texture and other detail such as footprints. So it’s really important to get it right.
If in doubt, it’s better to slightly under-expose the image, then you can always brighten up the snow in post-processing.
If the snow appears too blue in your photo, you can adjust the color balance using an editing app. The aim is to warm up the colors to eliminate the blue color cast.
Another advantage of shooting in snow is that people and traffic tend to behave differently, and capturing this behavior allows you to tell more interesting stories in your photos.
The photo above was taken during a blizzard when there were very few people in the streets. Even under such harsh conditions, the couple with the umbrella offers a beautiful and compelling winter tale.
During a snow storm, you can use the same window technique as in rainy weather. Capturing snowflakes on windows will add unique texture to the foreground, distorting the outside scene in interesting and artistic ways.
When shooting in freezing temperatures, keep in mind that your iPhone’s battery will run down quite quickly, so make sure your phone is fully charged before venturing out.
If you’re planning to be outdoors for some time, using an external battery to charge up your phone on-the-go will ensure you get much more shooting time in the snow.
4. Use Fog To Create Mystery & Intrigue
Fog might be considered a nuisance, especially when driving or walking in low visibility conditions. But it’s also amazing weather for creating a sense of mystery and intrigue in your images.
Shooting in thick fog makes an ordinary environment look more special by adding a dreamy or mystical atmosphere.
Fog is great for hiding distracting backgrounds, allowing you to shoot in locations that would normally result in busy and messy compositions.
It also adds a sense of depth to a scene because the subjects gradually fade into distance.
If you’re shooting in the city, take advantage of fog by creating look-up architecture shots of tall buildings.
Notice how the tall buildings fade into the fog in the photo above. This emphasizes the height of the buildings, making them appear as if they’re disappearing into the sky above.
Another effective way to shoot in fog is to find an elevated location and shoot down onto the fog. This works particularly well when you have tall buildings or trees emerging through the fog.
In foggy conditions, watch how the light interacts with the fog. Capturing sunlight and fog together can create images that appear dreamy and other-worldly.
Fog often occurs during the morning, so be sure to get up early before it disappears. However, it can occur during the day and even during sunset. Check the weather forecast for the best chances of finding fog in your area.
Whether you’re shooting in a rural or urban environment, be sure to venture outdoors on the next foggy day to capture some truly sensational images.
5. Capture Movement On A Windy Day
Shooting on a windy day allows you to capture a fantastic sense of movement in your photos. While you can’t see the wind itself, you can certainly convey how windy it is by capturing the movement of objects.
On a typical windy day, you’ll be able to photograph interesting scenes such as waves crashing onto the shore, trees swaying, umbrellas blowing inside out, and people’s hair and clothing being blown in different directions.
Photographing this kind of movement on a windy day creates more dynamic and dramatic images that tell a story about the weather on that day.
When photographing moving subjects, capturing just the right moment can be tricky as you need to press the shutter at the perfect moment.
So a good tip is to use burst mode to capture a series of images in quick succession. You can then choose the best images from the sequence and delete the rest.
I love to photograph waves crashing onto the shore on a windy day as it allows me to capture a moment frozen in time. You can see the individual water droplets and appreciate the details.
Shooting in unfavorable weather conditions may not sound that inviting at first. But it’s actually a gift that provides you with so many creative opportunities that would be lacking in other situations.
While shooting in wet weather provides many excellent photo opportunities, be sure to protect your iPhone from water damage.
Either shoot from indoors through a window in heavy rain, or invest in a waterproof iPhone case such as the Lifeproof case.
Once you start shooting in bad weather and realize what amazing photos you can create, you’ll soon start to think of “bad” weather as”good” weather!