How to Capture Beautiful Landscape Photos during Gloomy Weather

Feb 23, 2011

Gloomy weather is very common at this time of the year, but it doesn’t need to ruin your landscape photos. Indeed, sometimes when the conditions look marginal at best, we can find some fantastic photo opportunities. Unfortunately, many photography enthusiasts will let their camera gather dust for a couple of months because they don’t feel confident shooting in overcast conditions. The good news is that gray skies can actually provide you with new opportunities to get truly stunning and unique photos.

Use Areas That Are Covered by Shade

It can be very challenging to get an evenly lit photograph when the sun is flitting in and out of the clouds on an otherwise gray day. Instead of fighting with this, select a spot that is shaded for better results. Light will still filter through, and you can compensate for the lack of direct light with your in-body camera settings.  Or, look to take advantage of the rays of light occasionally flitting through the trees or clouds to create some magical effects.

Pay Closer Attention to Small Details

A wide angle landscape photo may not provide the desired results when it’s raining, but you can pick out smaller details to focus on. For example, if you were shooting a mountain that is covered in flowers, you could pick one bunch of the wildflowers to focus on instead. Work with the drama of the natural light to create something magical!

Skip the Sky Altogether

Sometimes, the details in the foreground are still very compelling, but the sky is too washed out to make a good background. Much like with the previously mentioned mountain landscape photo, you can use your zoom lenses to omit the sky completely.

Use a Polarizer

Utilize a polarizer to help cut through the haze and infuse some color. Make sure to compensate by 1 1/2 F stops (when metering manually) due to the darkening effect of the polarizing filter.

Improve Your Landscape Photography Skills

Don’t let gloomy weather get in your way. Attend one of the Steinberg Photography photo tours and workshops to enhance your landscape photography skills. Visit our homepage for more details!