Tips For Photographing Water in Cloudy Conditions

Hey guys! Brent here with part 3 of my 7 part Quick Tip series: Photographing Water and Streams.

Today, I am photographing a stream in the Promised Land near Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia. I call this area the Happy Valley because when I’m here, I feel so happy.

Clouds work best for waterfalls and streams

So what are the best conditions for photographing water? Believe it or not, clouds!

Many new photographers start out thinking that sun is the best weather to shoot in. The brighter the better, right? In actuality, sunny skies can be among the worst conditions to shoot in because the sun creates very harsh shadows and blown out hightlights, resulting in an unbalanced image.

Clouds, on the other hand, act as a big softbox and soften the light for an evenly lit, balanced image. This allows you to take one photo instead of taking bracketed images as you would with the brighter sunny conditions.

Patience is a landscape photographers best friend

So what is the lesson here? Patience is a virtue. When it comes to daytime photography, Mother Nature is going to do her own thing. And if conditions aren’t ideal, all there is to do is sit and wait. Often times, if you wait five minutes, conditions will change. Look how they changed in this short video. It went from cloudy to sunny to blinding in less than two minutes.

If you find yourself on the bright side of the clouds, waiting for perfect conditions, spend a few minutes looking at and taking in the nature around you. Get present and enjoy the space. Who knows, you may see a whole new perspective to shoot!

Watch this video

What are your favorite daytime conditions to photograph in?

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Let me know in the comments section below. I love reading your stories!

Thanks for watching! If you want to see the other parts of this quick tip series:
Part 1: Reducing Glare on Water
Part 2: Photographing From a Suspension Bridge

Brent.

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