09 Take advantage of stormy skies
You don’t need lots of fancy (and costly) camera equipment to take stunning landscape shots. In fact, to capture the stormy vista pictured below, photographer Julian Elliott simply used an SLR, tripod and a 17-40mm lens.
“I didn’t need to use a filter because the stormy sky was darker then the field of rapeseed,” he explains. “I positioned the camera so the sun was behind me and waited for it to illuminate the field.
“Timing and the correct shooting position were everything for this image, and the dark stormy skies contrast pleasingly with the intense yellow flowers.”
Although rapeseed like this will now be out of season, there are plenty of other flowers that will be in full bloom over the summer months.
To set up a shot like Julian’s, get down low to the edge of the field and pick a patch in the foreground that is densely flowered. Remember to keep the horizon level, and shoot with the light behind you for the best results.
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- You can capture great landscapes come sun, rain, hail or thunder. Have a look around to see what’s in your area. It may be that you need to make a few trips to the same location before you get the atmosphere and weather you’re after.
- A tripod will come in handy, because you’ll want to shoot using a narrow aperture of around f/16 to keep both the foreground and background sharp (see our 9 secrets to using a tripod like a pro).
- Move in close and low to the edge of the field to compose the scene. Have patience and wait for the light to shine to bring out the natural colours.
PAGE 1: Capture a bug’s life
PAGE 2: Shoot a summer wedding
PAGE 3: Capture moving action
PAGE 4: Capture action with drama
PAGE 5: Line up a summer beach shoot
PAGE 6: Photograph sea fowl
PAGE 7: Photograph your summer holidays
PAGE 8: Capture the colour of summer flora
PAGE 9: Take advantage of stormy skies
Creative photo ideas: shoot outdoor portraits with reflections
Frozen flower photography: the perfect rainy day photography project
Free lensing: dismount your lens for the ultimate creative effect
4 ways to make more creative zoom burst photos