Weather or not to shoot! - part 1 of 1 2

by Ken Sklute Published 01/04/2008


Well, the big day is here and you get out of bed and go right to the window. Boy, I hope that it's sunny outside! It is. All is good in the world.

As you get ready for your shoot, you can't help notice that the clouds are rolling in. Not to worry, they say that cloud cover is good, isn't it? Great, no one will be squinting. It continues to get darker and you begin to sweat. As you load the car you think, 'should I cancel this session?' What if it's a wedding. I can't cancel the session! Oh no, are those rain drops I feel?

This isn't fair, why does this have to happen to me?


Have you ever been there? I know that I have. I've been caught trying to decide what to do, should I cancel or not? These thoughts often go through the minds of all photographers, whether they shoot landscapes, race cars, weddings or any type of outdoor photographic assignments, you have been at that point where you are thinking of giving into the weather. I may have planned the day around the sunrise time or come to an area late in the afternoon for some very specific light. If we are dealt something other than we have planned on, like fog instead of lovely, direct sunlight, embrace it. Accept the change with open arms. There is an old adage that says...'When given lemons, make lemonade.'

So is the case when I was out photographing a new model launch for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles in the hills of California last fall. We had set out to shoot in the late afternoon working with direct sunlight against the warm fall foliage colours. Suddenly, the sun was replaced by dense fog. I changed gears (mentally) and looked at the previously scouted area through totally different eyes now and came up with Image #1. It ended up as the title page on the next catalogue. I couldn't quit and come back, well, I guess that I could have, but I kept going, looking deeper inside myself to see how I could better deal with what I was dealt. I had to be in the moment

In going off to shoot landscapes, I was coordinating the afternoon session around the sunset, and it began to rain. It rained all afternoon, but I chose not to give up. I was going to see it through. I'll be ready in case the rain comes to an end anytime before the sun hits the horizon. It did. Just a few minutes before the time the sun was to set, it peeked through an opening in the clouds. Someone once said, 'If you want a rainbow, then you have to put up with the rain.' Please see image #2. I put up with the rain and was given a nice reward.

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1st Published 01/04/2008
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