Storm Photography

Photographing storms is tough, more than anything it takes making preparations, a lot of preparations. But in the end you have higher probability than any other day of coming back with some great photos. This tutorial contains plenty of information, tips and tricks about photographing storms. Better yet, you can join me on an outing and I can show you all I know!


Preparation

More perhaps than any other type of photography, storm and "bad weather" photography require a lot of preparation work. That is because by definition you will be operating on adverse and unpredictable weather conditions, in other words, you do not know what is coming! On a sunny day you worry about the light and composition, on a stormy day you need to consider many more factors, like the car, the journey there and back, the clothes you will be wearing, the equipment, the tides if you are going to the coast, emergency equipment etc.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of things to think about when you hear stormy weather is on its way and you are thinking of meeting it with your camera!

  • It Sounds obvious but check the weather! All storms are different and you need to know what you will be dealing with. Some storms are very wet and windy whereas some are just windy for example.
  • If you are heading for the coast, check the tind times. For best shots, the high tide should ideally coincide with the peak of the storm.
  • If you are traveling by car, check the car state, you are going towards a storm when usually everyone else is told not to travel! Strong winds and flash floods are all hazards to be considered. Prepare in case you will get stuck, your life is more important than your shot!
  • If you can travel in ahead of the storm, so when the storm hits you are already at the destination and may have had a chance to do some reconnaissance work, it is usually very helpful.
  • Wear the right clothes and make sure you have plenty to spare. You are less likely to take great shots if you are soaked through!
  • Prepare your kit, in particular make sure you camera and lens are as dry as possible. Nothing can be worse than your camera stopping to work just as you are photographing the storm! Whether you use camera protectors, cling film or supermarket bags it does not matter as long as your kit stays dry. The lens glass in particular must be dry, check it regularly and make sure you can clean it when needed.
  • Finally always make sur you have enough storage and battery power. Storms supply an infinite number of great shots but every second the view changes and you will be shooting in boost more more often than not. That requires a lot of storage. You will also likely use long lenses and the longer they are the more battery power they require!

Photographing

Assuming your prep work went well or your were lucky and you are on the site of natures power display, it is time to get excited. There are not many other types of photography as exciting and as exhilarating as photographing storms. You are offered infinite spectacular opportunities, all you need to do now use your skills to capture what you see. Most likely you will be full of adrenaline, you might even feel the hear going up at the back of your head. In any case if you are not excited at this point and find yourself worried of getting wet, you might be in the wrong job!

At this point it is impossible for me to give advice on what to shoot or how to expose. This is a highly creative work, any aperture or shutter speed you chose will depend on what you want to end results to be. You might go for higher ISO not minding the noise as you are going for the drama, or you might go for a longer exposure for a smother scene or vice versa. How you shoot depends on what you want to achieve, the picture is normally in your head before you even set off. Furthermore, not only all storms are different in term of light, humidity, wind force etc., but also the light and other conditions usually change every second, you need to be able to change the camera setting fast accordingly.

In the end you will most likely be tired, wet and battered but the journey back home will feel lighter if you know you have some good shots with you.

Post Processing

Before you even start viewing your pictures I would make at least one copy of them, better safe than sorry and you would not want to lose any shots after all that work. Then the enjoyment of viewing your photos can start! You are never completely sure what you have got. This is more true with storm photography. You subject, usually crashing waves on a coast or trees blowing in the wind do not stop moving for you to take the shot! You have taken multiple frames of various scenes, now it is time to select the best.

The post processing in Photoshop or any other software, will depend on what you have and what you are trying to achieve. Like with photographing, you normally have a picture in your head before you start hitting the tools in the tool bar. The details of how to use photoshop for storm photos is not in the scope.

Join me for a One-To-One Landscape Photography Tutorial.

If landscape and weather photography excites you and you wish to learn more, why not join me on a day of learning. We will be setting a date and a place convenient to both of us.

During the tutorial we will concentrate on two main aspects of landscape photography, photographing and post processing.

  • Photographing - This part will take 2/3 of the day and we will be doing hands on photographing the chosen landscapes. Here I will be showing you what and how to use photography equipment, how I look for the right light, compose the image, use the camera, how to get creative etc..
  • 1/3 of the day post processing. During this time I will show you how I process my landscape images using the examples we have from our shooting in the field.

*Whilst you can pay for the tutorial here, we will still need to communicate in order to set a date, understand your requirements, logistical arrangements etc.. If you have already paid but the for any reason the tutorial cannot take place you will be refunded in full. Please use the contact form below to express your interest in this tutorial

You can see many examples of my storm photography on this website. There are bad weather and storm images on many galleries especially on the Pictorial Gallery.



Related products for sale.

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One-To-One Landscape Photography Tutorial

One-To-One Landscape Photography Tutorial* £ 600 -- £ 600 £ 600
*Practical - Photographing and processing landscapes - whole day workshop 1 left

About

I am a freelance photographer based in Gloucestershire, UK. Over the years I have gained my EFIAP and DPAGB distinctions. Commercially I am involved in selling prints and books and tutoring.


Aleks Gjika Photography

Photography is a passion thing!

Address

33 Sapphire Way, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL3 4FB, United Kingdom,

Mobile:

07887544498

Email:

aleks.gjika@live.co.uk


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