How to Get Great Photos in Any Weather Conditions | Iceland Landscape Photography
Often times as photographers we get so wrapped up in checking weather and conditions. Sometimes even choosing not to shoot because of bluebird skies or a bit of rain. This can be a bit of a mistake in my opinion and can definitely limit your creativity.
The above photo shows two occasions at the same exact spot. Now, normally we would look at the left image as the “ideal” conditions for landscape photography. Golden light, a Sunstar, great visibility, and a nice misty atmosphere. Then the image on the right, taken during a heavy rainstorm… well that just looks like it’s time to go back inside and sip some tea right? Well not exactly, and I certainly didn’t know it at the time. But my favorite image of the entire shoot would come from this rainy, drab outing. I think that when we get odd or difficult weather, it makes us work a little harder to create an image. You have to think outside the box to make something work, sometimes in my opinion this is where your true creativity will shine through.
Here is an image from that first shoot, as you can see here this image has all the makings of a decent landscape photo. It’s very textbook in that sense. We have the nice golden light, dramatic subject, little Sunstar peeking through, and a bit of foreground to frame the river lead in. But beyond that, there isn’t a lot extra to say about it. Which is totally fine, I have plenty of these types of images in my portfolio that I still enjoy quite a bit. But here are the images I was truly proud of below.
So this was taken during that heavy rainstorm and it was tough just to get decent in-focus images during this shoot. I wasn’t even sure if I was getting anything usable while this was all happening. But I am really happy with the way these powerful textures came out in my telephoto compositions. I came up with this image because the wide-angle composition just was not even possible during this shoot, so I had to try something a bit different.
Here are two more waterfall images, taken during completely different weather situations. The first is my absolute favorite image from that stormy shoot. The photo truly felt like something out of a strange fairytale. The image on the right however is a different waterfall, taken during bright sunny blue sky conditions. Which at first felt like a bit of a bummer for the spot we were shooting. Here’s why…
This Canyon has been on my bucket list for a few years now. I have always wanted to see it with my own eyes. It certainly did not disappoint. This spot was spectacular. The image above was not my favorite, another decent shot of the canyon, but nothing that I was really excited about. When we started the hike to this Canyon there were gorgeous clouds swirling around the peak which created a beautiful atmosphere to witness, but as we got closer those clouds dissipated. At first, I was a bit discouraged, thinking maybe I would need to revisit this place with moodier conditions. But having that clear blue sky opened up this incredible rainbow on one of the falls. These rainbow shots ended up being some of my favorite work of the year.
This was one of the most surreal shoots I have ever had. It was an opportunity created directly from conditions that at first didn’t even want. So maybe my first idea of that Canyon shot didn’t turn out exactly how I had planned, but the spontaneous moments found along the way were so much better.
Here is some aerial photography from another spot in Iceland. It was pouring rain for most of the day, but we decided to drive around and explore anyways. The rain really only subsided for about an hour or so. But if given just enough time to take these images, you can see a bit of that stormy fog lifting, which gave so much mystery to these images. Looking at the weather this morning it would be tempting to stay in the hotel or just have a day around town. But these images made the rainy shoot truly worth it.
So to sum it all up, does weather really matter that much? I really do not think so. You can create beautiful images under any conditions, don’t get discouraged when the conditions look a bit different from what you hoped. You might find little moments of creativity that you can be truly proud of.
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Would you mind sharing the locations of these shoots? I am planning a trip there next year. I’m afraid I will get there and just wander around aimlessly, looking for all the best locations and finding none. Thanks! Jon.
I got to know about your photography through YouTube and such wonderful content and epic photos!
May i know what is the name of the Canyon place? It is absolutely stunning and I would like to visit there.
Thanks for all your inspirational images, you tube videos and writing. You have an amazing artist’s eye for capturing truly unique images . Keep up the great work!
I too am a Sony shooter and am trying to decide between the Sigma 100-400 or the Sony 100-400. I see you chose the Sigma and would appreciate your thoughts on why you chose Sigma. Obviously price and weight seem to tip the scales in favor of the Sigma, but wonder about it’s close focus limitations at 400mm (ie more than 5’ and the inability to use teleconverters which seem to favor the Sony for all-around performance. I currently use the Sony 70-200 f/4 and Sony 200-600, but would like to lighten the load for backpacking trips. Do you find yourself ever needing more reach than 400mm for your landscape work?Also do you ever use Circular polarizers for these telephotos.
Thanks in advance for any info you might share.
Do you have a video showing the editing of these photos?
Hi Michael what amazing photos so surreal and beautiful compositions. Well done mate true landscape art. I’m going to Iceland next September and I would love to go there do you mind sharing the Canyon name if that’s ok? Cheers Eric