A Short Course Book
Using Your Digital Camera
A Guide To Great Photographs

Weather

 
 
 
A very light mist can dim the sun enough to include it in a photograph. If it weren't partially obscured by the fog, it would appear as a white dot against a very dark background.
There's no need to leave your camera home just because the sun hasn't come out. In fact, rain, snow, fog, and mist can add interest to your pictures. Objects at a distance often appear diffused and gray in such weather, with foreground objects brighter than normal because they are seen against a muted background. Remember to take a little extra care in bad weather to protect your camera against excessive exposure to dampness.

Snow covered scenes are not only beautiful to look at, they make great photographs.

A light fog or mist subdues colors and softens objects in the background.
 
Rainbows always make good pictures. The problem is, you rarely find them where you want them, when you want them. To get better at capturing them, you should know how they form so you can anticipate them. Rainbows are formed when sunlight is refracted by raindrops. You'll usually find the combination of rain and sun at the leading or trailing edge of a summer storm.

You can't see rainbows at all times of the day. To understand why, visualize the way the rainbow works.

If you stand with your back to the sun while looking at a rainbow, imagine a line from the sun passing through your eye, through the Earth, and out into space. (This is called the antisolar point). The rainbow forms a complete circle around this imaginary line, however from ground level part of it is always below the horizon. A line drawn from your eye to the top of the rainbow forms a 42-degree angle with the imaginary line from the sun through your eye. (If there is a secondary rainbow, it forms an angle of 51-degrees). Because these angles determine the position of the rainbow in the sky, it will sink as the sun rises and rise as the sun sinks. At some points, the entire rainbow, not just the bottom half, will be below the horizon where you can't see it. That's why you'll never see a summer rainbow at midday.
 
CAMERA CARE
In the cold, the monitor may be slow to come on or suddenly change color. Batteries also run down a lot faster. To prevent these problems, keep the camera under your coat so it stays warmer.

Here a rainbow dramatically appears in a New England seascape.

On the coldest days of the year "sea smoke" forms over the ice-cold water. Here it surrounds a lobster boat and is backlit by the rising sun.

As a summer storm moves in, there are often times when the background is almost black with the sun shining on objects in the foreground. The contrasts can be very dramatic.

Storms are not a time to hide in the house, they are a time to get out and watch the light. As storms approach and recede, or when there are breaks in the clouds, you find some of the most interesting, at times almost surrealistic light. It's a time of muted contrasts but rich colors—a perfect environment for interesting photos.


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