Dull grey overcast skies? So what, you’re a photographer aren’t you…

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The day had started off quite promising, but the wind strengthened and turned to the north west. It got progressively stronger and progressively colder on the Moray coast as the weather poured in, threatening us with more gales, more sleet, more ice, and (potentially) even some more snow. The sky was pretty boring, and mainly shades of steel, and the light was fading faster than anyone wanted. But…if you’re a photographer, in Scotland of all places, you should be able to cope with a little unfavourable light and some generally unpleasant weather.

Did we turn for home? Did we heck!

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That dull, boring, grey sky created a diffused light perfect for capturing details – shapes, shadows, colours, textures – these are the things you shoot on dull grey days with steel skies.

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The secret is too pick the location, pick the subjects well, and exclude those skies from your compositions.

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Look for natural colours and amazing (and sometimes even odd) details. Choose your location based on the potential for natural colours and irregular textures, and you can’t go wrong. There will always be something to photograph!

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With modern cameras you don’t need to be afraid of the ISO, just use a standard lens, a standard zoom, or a macro, or anything you like really, because your equipment isn’t as important as your ability to see images in front of you.

Use a tripod to get the balance between slow shutter speeds and reasonable apertures, remembering that water moves, and make the most of the abilities of your camera to record details.

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Look for odd things in the natural environment, the way that sand and rocks have moved and are being eroded, or how sand is left in ruts and turns or on rocks.

It’s all about excluding the bland and focussing on the details of the subject, which is, what grey dull light is really great for.

 

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