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Inclement weather by Mark Banks Photography

Inclement weather

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For most, the term 'bad weather' is ingrained into us from an early age - whether by our parents, educators or TV/radio weather forecasters themselves. Generalising, the term is used when it's cold, wet, windy, snowing, foggy, etc - indeed anytime when it might be uncomfortable to venture outside. However, this is exactly the sort of weather I prefer to be out in!

One of the fundamental lessons of landscape photography that I have learnt over the years is to regard the weather as just one factor when going out to take photographs.  I was only able to do that when I started to 'reprogram' my brain from thinking of weather as being 'good' or 'bad'. When I now look at the forecast I don't do it to see whether it's worth stepping outside but to choose an appropriate location and adapt my photography accordingly. This not only pushes my creativity but also keeps my technique of photographing in more 'dynamic' weather honed so that it becomes second-nature and easier over time. More importantly, I feel that the images I make under such conditions have a far greater impact on me than those taken on more sedate days.

Of course, this does mean you have to be strong-willed at times and have patience when setting up your equipment - not forgetting how the cold and rain can affect your ability to concentrate. The right clothing really does help in this regard. We tend to wear the same clothes as we do when out walking or hiking - but of course, once we arrive at our destination we are not keeping warm by walking. We may be standing around for quite a long time (sometimes hours!). So plenty of layers, a good waterproof system and, where necessary, food and a hot drink are all things we must consider before venturing out. Safety is paramount of course. It's also necessary to keep your camera equipment relatively dry for obvious reasons but it is surprising how wet they can get. My 6-year-old Sony camera has been in many downpours over the years and never missed a beat!

There is no doubt that photographing in inclement weather is much more challenging, but as we progress into winter I encourage you to go out with your camera when 'bad weather' looms and push your photographic skills further - and maybe a fabulous image you can really say you earnt, awaits.