Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bad weather and landscape photography

Today's Environment Canada forecast for Ottawa

Rain, rain, and more rain -- that's the forecast from Environment Canada. Forecasts are often wrong, especially in the long term, but this forecast is one of my worst fears as a landscape photographer. For some reason, this kind of weather has confronted me quite often this spring and summer.

So, what am I supposed to do? One option is to turn to wildflower photography, which I have done for a couple of weekends. Occasionally, the clouds break, and I can try some landscapes.

Another option is to follow some advice that I've read from time to time: when the the weather turns stormy, head out! Yesterday I decided to get myself out of the house, and do just that. The forecast indicated clouds and showers all day, with a risk of thunderstorms. Just in case there was a break late in the day, I went out to a favourite spot for a short hike, and maybe some photographs.

When I got to the trail, the path was wet, and there were storms in the distance, and as I got started walking, it started to rain. I waited out the storm, and walked down to the marsh.

Mer Bleue marsh

Sometimes you get lucky. Shortly after I arrived at the marsh, the sun broke through the clouds, and lit up the marsh. The storms continued in the background, giving me some beautiful scenes. The only problem was lightning in the distance -- I never got too far down the trail just in case the storm arrived overhead in earnest.

I know that I won't be this lucky very often, but I'll take this kind of opportunity whenever I can.

. . . Rob Williams

By the way, the images for this post were processed entirely using my Linux machine. Bibble Pro 5 (Preview version 2) was used for raw conversion, and digiKam was used for viewing and resizing. Everything is not as smooth as I would like (this includes more time needed to get used to the tools), but Linux is now a servicable option while my main machine is out at the shop.