Taking photos in different weather conditions, of course, requires different strategies. When it comes to photography, the weather and time of day can change everything about a photo. The ocean on a hot sunny day compared to on a stormy night, 2 very different pictures!

It’s therefore obvious that if you go with the same approach to your photography no matter what the weather, then your photos are not going to be as good as they could be.

Photography Tips For Different Weather Conditions

You should really tailor both your camera set up and what you look for in your photos to the environment that you are in.

I’m going to share with you some tips and tricks to help you maximise your pictures, no matter the weather conditions!

Cloudy and Overcast Weather Conditions

While many people would say this is their least favourite weather, it is actually one of my favourite for taking photos. Why? Because the clouds reduce the amount of light from the sun and hence you get a much softer light. There are no harsh reflections or sharp shadows.

Generally, photography in overcast conditions looks really professional.

The issue with these kinds of days is that it can make scenery look a bit dull. Therefore my biggest photography tip for cloudy weather is don’t go for the stunning landscape shots at this time. Instead try to take photos of something closer up.

People and interesting buildings for example will come out great on cloudy days. If you are all about the stunning scenery then my advice would be wait until late afternoon when it’s darker. With some editing you can purposely play on the low light to make the picture appear more moody.

That’s exactly what I did when I took the picture below in December, and I think it turned out well!

Photo of beach in Wales in winter with very moody overcast photo weather conditions.
One of my photos from Tresaith beach, Wales.

Sunny Weather Conditions

Despite what most people will think, taking photos in bright sunshine can be a tricky task. If you are facing the wrong way, it will completely darken the entire photo.

Reflections on water can also be too extreme and over exposure is common. 

To give yourself a better chance of taking a good photo in sunny weather conditions, you need to set up your camera correctly. You are going to want increase the shutter speed and decrease the aperture.

If possible, make sure you take your photo with the sun behind you. If you take a picture where the bright sun is in front of the camera then you’re just going to pick up dark shadows and blown out sky due to the sheer amount of light from the sun (See below).

Canal in Amsterdam taken in sunny weather conditions so looks blown out and lots of shadows.
No detail in the buildings due to the harsh sunlight.

Sunny days are great for taking landscape shots of beautiful scenery and animals.

This is because your camera (if set up right) will be working with faster shutter speeds and low aperture. The quick shutter speed in particular, makes wildlife photography look better because you can capture objects/animals as they move and still remain in focus.

Sunset/ Sunrise

No travel blog or Instagram is complete without that stunning sunset shot, and with good reason!

It’s probably the most photogenic time of day and you can get absolutely stunning results no matter the weather conditions or environment. Everything from mountains to beaches and clear skies to snow scenery can look incredible at this time of day, and no one seems to tire of seeing them!

Picture of sunset on the beach in Goa, India.
An amazing sunset I captured in Goa, India.

Soon we are going to be adding an entire post dedicated to how to take the perfect sunset shot. So I am just going to highlight a couple of the main points here:

  • Plan ahead – Whenever I am shooting a sunset, the sun always seems to go down REALLY fast. Make sure you aren’t spending those precious minutes faffing about trying set up the camera or choosing the best spot for the photo (as I have done)! Google what time the sun sets where you are, and get to the location with plenty of time.
  • Take LOADS of shots – Change the settings on the camera, shoot different parts of the landscape, take time-lapses etc. Your camera’s auto settings may not be ideal at sunset, so play around with it to get that killer shot!
  • Keep the camera still – Use a tripod if possible, you want to pick up all the detail and colour in the clouds and surroundings.

For more in depth sunset tips, read our article on how to take the perfect sunset shot.

Night/ Low Light Conditions

Night is probably the most challenging time of day to take photos. This is especially true for people with cameras that aren’t that great at low light levels.

The quality of your night photos will depend a lot more on the capabilities of your equipment.

If Night Photography is Important To You

Some of you may find that even when you set up the camera properly, you still don’t get a great outcome.

If it’s really important to you that you get those fantastic night shots. Like capturing the stars for example, or the northern lights. The best piece of advice for you is to get a camera that performs well in extremely low light. Genius, right?! Here’s some good camera suggestions for low-light photography.

Tips for Using Cameras Performing Badly in Low Light

Other than that, there are still some tips that can help you improve your night photography, no matter what camera you have.

Firstly you are going to want a really long shutter speed, perhaps up to 10 seconds. This basically means your camera will be letting light into it for 10 seconds in order to take 1 photo. Now your camera is picking up as much light as possible, and thus aiding you in snapping a night scene. 

Because of your long shutter speed, you are going to need to keep your camera extremely still. Handheld won’t cut it anymore. You’re going to need a tripod or to set the camera down somewhere still.

Finally, you are also going to want to increase your ISO which will brighten your photo, but also reduce the quality, so don’t go crazy with it!

Summary

To sum up, you can take fantastic photos in pretty much any weather conditions. The key is not to have a blanket strategy for every environment and weather condition. If you just switch the camera on and shoot, you aren’t going to be getting the best result possible.

Instead, follow the tips in this article and plan your photography around the weather!

Like this article? Try our post on the 9 Beginner Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid!

One half of People of the Planet. Sharing our adventures, best travel tips and travel photography! We created People of the Planet to provide a place for all travellers to learn, explore and find travel inspiration.

Author Christian Larby

One half of People of the Planet. Sharing our adventures, best travel tips and travel photography! We created People of the Planet to provide a place for all travellers to learn, explore and find travel inspiration.

2 Comments

  1. Excellent tips. I’ll def put them into action especially the info about the various weather conditions. It’s useful to understand how to use different light conditions to your favor!

    • POTP Admin

      Thanks Jessica! Glad you found the article useful. With the right planning you can get amazing photos in pretty much any conditions!