Bad weather = good photographs

Copyright Chris Austin, 2012

This is one of the best photos of any city skyline. It shows Charlotte, North Carolina, during a recent hailstorm. To shoot spectacular photographs such as this one, you need to be aware of the possibilities of taking images during bad weather. Heavy fog—grab your camera. Heavy snowfall—take pictures. Severe thunderstorm—look for that rainbow. Hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis—other people’s misfortunes could be your picture-taking opportunity, but be careful. You also need to know where to go if bad weather arrives so you can get there quickly. Lucky photos rarely occur; good planning leads to those “lucky” photos.

Chris Austin’s photo was post processed using HDR (High Dynamic Range), a technique that brings out more contrast in photos. If you have Adobe Photoshop or a similar photo-editing software program, you can also use HDR. Step one is to take the same photo at different exposure levels. Step two is to use software to merge the two photos. Recent iPhones include an HDR feature with their cameras. If you click here, you’ll find a 7.5-minute video tutorial. Below are a couple of my “bad weather” photographs.

London Tower bridge right after a rainstorm; copyright Keith Kenney, 2011

San Marino in heavy fog/low cloud cover; copyright Keith Kenney, 2005.

Rainbow in Verona, Italy; copyright Keith Kenney, 2005



About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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