You wake up in a new city, ready to seize the day, but alas! There’s no warm sun hitting your face and as you glance out the window, your fears are confirmed – it’s a miserable day outside. The city that you wanted to capture with your camera is wrapped in gray.
But don’t let that discourage you! After you have studied the weather forecast in advance and read the tips below, you have the opportunity to create spectacular images – despite the miserable weather!
Warm-up exercises for your creativity
Anyone who believes that they can deliver good images with the quick click of a button is mistaken. It’s not just your muscles that need warm-up – but your creativity too. I carry my camera from breakfast time onwards, or take pictures for an hour of everything in front of my lens on my way to see the sights.
For me, it’s all about getting default images out of my head. I also take images using familiar and ingrained perspectives of objects and people. I essentially try to tick off all the usual suspect type photos in my head.
Only then am I able to get engage with new and daring perspectives and compositions. You should really try it for an hour and take pictures of the things that seem ordinary. The aim is to photograph everything exactly as you would otherwise do it.
Identifying and exploiting advantages
An overcast sky is usually annoying for travellers, but not necessarily for photographers. A gray sky holds the advantages, if you know how to exploit it. Here are 5 examples.
1. Portraits look better, because you have no strong shadows on the face. So you can snap your friend and photograph them with great textures and alignment.
2. Detailed shots of buildings are now more evenly illuminated and you get clearer photos.
3. You can use the wetness of the road to create dramatic images.
4. Puddles can be used as a great reflective surface.
5. You can shoot through the whole day and not have to pay attention to the position of the sun
6. Blue hour, which lasts approximately one hour after sunset, produces a beautifully stronger blue in the sky. For blue hour shots, it’s best to have already selected a sight that you want to photograph.
If you’re not sure exactly how to challenge yourself, then I recommend you try to give yourself a theme for the day. It can be a colour, an object or a phrase.
In Budapest for example, I set myself the task of incorporating the colour blue in my pictures. So then I searched all day for scenes that had held something blue in them. It stimulated my creativity and prompted me in a completely different way.
Hopefully with these tips, you should – despite seemingly bad weather – bring back some great images of your city break!
About the Author:
Alexander Koval is a travel photographer who blogs about his experiences around the globe. He shares lessons learned and reveals tips and tricks for great shots and how to enjoy a travel experience far removed from all-inclusive and package holidays. Follow him on Facebook or Google+ to stay up to date.