Bad weather leads to good photography. One thing I have learned over the past nine years is that while many people may enjoy a cloudless, blue sky day, that is not often the case for nature photographers.
Many times the best images are created
with cloudy skies. Cloudy skies provide drama with sunrises and sunsets. They also provide even, diffused lighting conditions when photographing during the day.
When traveling, you often need to make due with the lighting conditions that are available when you are at a location. You may only have a specific time period to photograph. When that is the case, you need to make the best of the light and conditions that are available.
Recently, I visited Botany Bay for sunrise. This is one of my favorite locations to shoot sunrise when visiting the Charleston, SC area.
Whenever I photograph sunrise, I hope for a sky filled with clouds…but not too many clouds. Just like Goldilocks and the three bears…there can be too many, too few, or just the right amount of clouds.
Unfortunately, when I arrived at Botany Bay, there was not a single cloud in the sky…not one.
When this is the case, you change your frame of mind and look to photograph something different than you would photograph if a gorgeous, cloud-filled sky and dramatic sunrise were present.
I began by finding a different grouping of trees to photograph than the ones I usually focus on when there.
As the sun started to rise, I found another point of interest to focus upon. I used Liquid Lines in Topaz Impression to finish this image.
After the sun rose, my attention was being held by the shadows being cast on the sand by this fallen tree. I wanted to put the sun in just the right spot to create the sunstars.
Finally, on the way back to the car, my eye was drawn to one of the many shells that past visitors have placed upon the branches of these trees of yesterday.
The next time you find yourself anticipating a dramatic sunrise, yet faced with a cloudless sky, make it work. See what compositions work well without a cloud in the sky.