What should you keep in mind when photographing in a storm?
Of course, most people want to sit inside with a blanket on the couch when the weather is bad. We think that's a shame! In fact, a storm can be tremendously photogenic and add a lovely dramatic effect to your photo. However, photographing in a storm requires some preparation, so here we discuss everything you need to think about.
Think about what you want to photograph in advance. Dynamic shots with lots of wind? A thunderstorm passing over? The forest or the city just after the rain? Here, weather apps can help you. For example, there are apps that can tell you exactly in which direction a thunderstorm is moving, allowing you to properly plan where to drive.
Of course, think about what you wear as well. To get that one perfect shot, you may have to stand outside in harsh weather conditions for an extended period of time. So somewhat wind and waterproof clothing is definitely not overrated. And a set of dry clothes.
When you get started, it is important to protect your equipment from the storm. To protect your camera, you can think of rain covers. Such a cover protects your camera not only in the rain but also when you're photographing at the sea in high winds. Either way, you want to prevent splashing saltwater from affecting your camera. In addition, strong gusts of wind can topple your tripod. You can reduce the chances of this happening by weighting your tripod with a counterweight or your camera bag.
Another thing you should definitely not forget is a good bag. When considering a good bag for the storm, think especially of a water-repellent bag or one with a rain cover, so when you get out of the car you can keep your equipment dry.
No matter how well you protect your equipment from the rain and wind, drops on your lens are almost impossible to avoid. Therefore, always have a lens cloth on hand. Make sure there are no grains of sand on the lens cloth, as this can damage your lens or filters badly. It is therefore useful to bring several lens cloths. In addition, when you're photographing at the sea, splashing salt water can get on your lens. This is often a bit trickier to clean, so it is advisable to bring a bottle of water and some lens cleaner.
During a storm, you often have to deal with difficult lighting conditions because the light often changes. In addition, if you are working with automatic exposure, your camera will often overexpose threatening clouds. To maintain the dramatic effect, it is therefore great to control the exposure manually.
Additionally, a slower shutter speed can work well for a more interesting effect in your photo. By using a slower shutter speed, you can really capture the movement in a stormy sea or a lightning bolt that stretched across the sky. Of course, use a sturdy tripod for this, as holding the camera still in your hand for a few seconds is not possible, especially in a storm.
The idea may not sound fun, going out in the storm, but when you shoot a perfect storm photo you will get a lot of satisfaction. And don't be alarmed if things don't go quite the way you want the first time. Also, practice makes perfect for photography in a storm. You will get to know the conditions and the weather better and better, which will ensure your photos turn out better and better!