Creative Ideas for Poor Weather Conditions in Landscape Photography

Have you ever been out for landscape photography and didn’t get weather conditions that would support your compositions? Here are a couple of ideas you can try.

I went to a fantastic forest in the Austrian Alps to photograph some nice woodland scenes with dense snowfall. One of the trickiest things about woodland photography is to get the subject of your scene isolated from the background. Atmospheric conditions are your friend here, but also, more snowfall can help you to simplify the scene and bring a fantastic mood into your photographs. I got some snowflakes on that day from time to time, but most of the time, I didn’t. I still got some photographs I’m quite happy about, and this is what I did.

The Power of Rhythm

What I love about woodland scenes is, that there are so many elements that are similar to others. Just think about all the vertical lines due to the logs of the trees or even much better: the curves of all the branches that are repeated again and again.
In the image above, I found this little bush in the right bottom corner that built a nice repetition to that bigger tree in the middle of my frame. Also, the little bush at the left side and the thin sticks on the ground built a great connection to the branches of the tree. This image is all about textures and patterns, and to emphasize that, I decided to reduce it also to that, by excluding all the colors and going for a monochrome photograph.

A Special Ingredient

I prefer to work on compositions with dense snowfall to get the distant elements softer to create a sense of depth. We can’t change the weather, of course, but we can use it to our advantage. As I was looking for outstanding elements around me, I realized that there were some wind gusts from time to time, blowing into the trees, which always brought some showers of snow down from them. Who needs heavy snowfall when you can also get something like that? It was just a question of the right timing. I built up my composition, waited for some minutes, and finally, the snow came down exactly there, where it added to my composition. 

Use The Time

The timing was already important for the snow that fell from the trees for the photograph above. But sometimes, weather phenomena happen just for a few minutes. As I was hiking through the winterly landscape, I realized that there was a tiny bit of snowfall; that was what I was hoping for. I just didn’t have a composition, and as I studied the weather maps, I was quite sure that the snowfall would not last all too long. I just looked around that enchanting winter wonderland and picked out the one tree that appeared most appealing to me. I saw the story of a tree that seemed to be resistant against all that snow coming down. A lot of snow was already on its branches, and with a shutter speed of 1/50 of a second, I managed to get even the falling snowflakes visible in front of the darker bark to support my story. I changed to my long lens and took the shot, and shortly after that, the snowfall stopped. If I had tried to find a better composition, I would have failed. The only way to get a working photograph was to use that short period where I got the weather I was hoping for. I’m quite happy with this one.

Many more tips about woodland photography and how to find compositions are revealed in the above video.

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