When it's cloudy, dull and looking like rain, the last thing most of you will want to do is head outside with your camera, particularly if you're shooting landscapes in the countryside and there are a few reasons to back your argument up. One: it's no fun getting wet and your kit won't like it much either, two: it won't be very bight, three: the light there is will be diffused by the clouds which means there's less contrast and you can end up with rather dull, flat looking images. OK, it's not looking good so far for heading out on a dull day but when you add autumn in to the mix, things do start to get a little better as a dark sky that's full of rain clouds can work as a brilliant backdrop for trees covered in the warm shades of the season. The colours contrast extremely well and a sky filled with rain clouds plus the reds and yellows of autumn, give you the chance to capture some great moody shots.
Find Some Colour
When shooting on dull days, colour will 'pop' from the grey, stormy sky and add much needed interest to your shot. It could be a block of colour such as a wide shot of a forest decorated with autumnal shades or a smaller colourful focus point such as a single tree or even a leaf snapped in your own back garden. If you want to enhance the sky, try fitting a ND Grad Filter to the front of your lens.
Be In The Right Place At The Right Time
If you're heading out, it's worth noting down a few locations you know will look great in this sort of weather so when the low winter sun does break through and adds a stream of light to your scene, you're there and ready to take the shot. This could mean you end up setting up when the rain's still falling which means you need to protect yourself and more importantly your gear from the elements. Pack a waterproof cover, keep your gear in your camera bag for as long as possible and have a lens cloth to hand to wipe any drops that fall on your lens. If your camera is waterproof or splashproof, like the OM-D E-M1
, the wet weather shouldn't bother it too much but once you're home, remember to unpack your gear and leave it out to dry fully. Another bonus of working just after it's rained is everything looks naturally more saturated because it's wet.
Instead of shooting with auto white balance, which can remove some of the punch the autumn shades have, try setting it manually so the colours are as vibrant as you can make them. Then, if you want to give the shot more punch, you can always adjust the image during post-production.
Photo by David Clapp - www.davidclapp.co.uk
Get Rid Of The Sky
If the sky is really too boring, you can always remove it from the shot by either cropping it out during post-production (if you can without spoiling the shot) or by using a telephoto to pull your subject to you, excluding the sky as you do.
Work Under The Forest Canopy
A good covering of cloud will make the light under the forest's canopy more even so it's a good time to shoot some close-up shots of mushrooms, bark and autumn leaves that have fallen to the floor.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 - The whole package. In a perfectly-sized package. Click here for more information on the most advanced compact system camera ever produced. The E-M1 comes packed with technologies such as the enhanced Live MOS sensor, TruePic VII image processor, Dual Fast AF and extended WIFI controls.