Weather can have a profound impact on photos, and bad weather can sometimes be good weather for a photo. However, when dealing with bad weather, improvisation is a critical skill. This turned out to be crucial on a trip to Dartmoor in the southwest of the UK, where overnight storms made the morning dreary, foggy, and gray. I wanted to photograph an ancient 13th century bridge in the hamlet of Postbridge, contrasting it with the fog and rain, but finding a good angle that worked in the conditions turned out to be difficult. Fortunately, a solution happened to be right behind me.
When we traveled to France in 2010, we made sure to include a visit to Versailles on our itinerary. So much of Versailles is extraordinary, but the Grand Trianon château stands out as one of the more beautiful. This section of the palace was roped off, allowing one to view it but preventing entry. There was a crowd of people all taking photos, so I only had a brief moment to slide in and take a few shots handheld.
Right after I wrapped up taking my photo of The Barn at Mountain Valley Farm, the owner suggested I check out the view from his apple orchard up the hill behind the barn. The light was fading quickly, and by the time I made it up the hill, the scenery was lit only by an orangey glow from the setting sun behind the Green Mountains. In my mind, I knew I wanted to compose the barn and mountains against that orangey sky. The question was how exactly to do that?
While visiting Scotland in 2012, I wanted to find a fresh perspective on Inverness. I took a drive north over the Kessock bridge and noticed on my map that it was possible to drive below the bridge and look back towards Inverness on the water. After taking several photos away from the bridge, I realized the bridge itself could be a compelling addition to the photo.
During the same “zoo day” where I took the photo of the painted lorikeet, I also had an opportunity to try a magnificent Nikon 600 f/4 lens at the primate exhibit. The good people at Mike’s Camera had stationed several high-end telephoto lenses around the park for different camera mounts, and photographers could simply attach their camera bodies to the lens of their choice and start shooting. After waiting a short time in line, I was able to get some time with this extraordinary lens (which Mike’s Camera has available for purchase for a cool $10k).