IN THE FIELD: Making The Best Of It

Sometimes when you go out on location to photograph, things don’t go as you had planned. Often because of the weather, which can change even as you on are your way there.

This past spring I was doing a shoot at a local golf course. The management scheduled me to come on a day when the course was closed. Actually, this worked better for me since I did not have to be concerned with interrupting a club member’s golf game. Plus I had free access of the entire property.

I was looking forward shooting all the spring flowers in bloom, with the fairways and greens lush with their new growth. But, as luck would have it, that day the sun was behind heavy cloud cover, eliminating the blue skies I had been hoping for.

Time for a change of tactics.

Rather than photographing expansive shots of the fairways, greens and dull grey skies, I decided to find smaller, less obvious subjects on the property. Since overcast skies will tend to make the light even and lessen harsh shadows, I chose to photograph interesting parts of the restored mansion-turned-clubhouse and the surrounding gardens.

I was also able to get in close and shoot the flowering Dogwoods with a nice backdrop of fir trees, rather than the traditional fairway shot with little tiny trees in the background. Fountains of water from sprinklers spraying the greens made interesting patterns and shapes. I also got some shots of the greens surrounded on three sides by large trees that did not include the lifeless sky.

I was able to schedule a second visit to the golf club on another day that had beautiful blue skies, while everything was still blooming. So, I got the shots I needed. But you don’t always have the luxury of being able to go back to the same location on a nicer day. Especially if you have a long distance to travel, or you are on vacation with a limited timeframe.

So, when mother nature throws you a curve ball, don’t throw in the towel. Look around and make the best of the situation. And I bet you will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

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  1. August 11, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Yes, there’s more to photography than blue skies! 😉 And the absence of good weather will make you more creative, that’s true. Just change your plans and look around again. It’s that easy.

    • August 12, 2011 at 8:38 am

      Jeez talk about coincidence, one of my next posts is going to be about inclement weather. It’s been in draft for a couple of days now so you will see it soon.

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