5 shots for a Gloomy, Rainy Day + Tips / by Andrea Moffatt

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I'm big on challenging myself. When I'm feeling uninspired, when the light is less than ideal, when I don't feel like picking up my camera, a simple, self-issued challenge will sometimes snap me out of it.

The weather report for today and tomorrow is full of rain and clouds, I haven't taken a good picture in days, and all I want to do is drink coffee. Time for a challenge!

Here are 5 shots for a Gloomy, Rainy Day + ideas to keep you inspired on your less than inspired days:

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Just because the weather is damp and dark doesn't mean there isn't some light coming through your windows on a day like today. Locate COLOR and use what little daylight you have to accentuate it. Color therapy- it's an instant pick-me-up. (Almost as good as coffee!)

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Speaking of coffee, shoot your source of comfort this rainy day. Whether it's your slippers, current book, or cup of tea, let it be your muse. For this shot, I was inspired by shape and color- the perfect square of the table corner paired with the circle cup. That tiny bit of red pops when surrounded by only cool and neutral colors in the playroom.

 

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All this time spent inside has got me experimenting lately with exposure. I'm always one to air on the side of underexposing my people a little in favor of the window light, so that I can get nice rim light or closer to a silhouette. But lately I've noticed that on really cloudy days when all the rooms are dark, I can overexpose my people (sometimes by quite a lot), which over-exposes the window light and gives it a glowy look that tricks the eye into thinking the day and the room was brighter. Cheers me up a little!

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Any time I'm at a loss for what to shoot, I like to look for funny scenes left by my kids and/or quirky little messes on my tables and bathroom counters. Here's one from today's lunch. I think it works because of the mirroring of the two straws facing the same direction, while Darth Vader's sword is the same angle and direction as the purple spoon. I didn't touch anything in this scene - all I had to do was see it. Sometimes real life gives you the best stuff!

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I saved the best for last! I love this shot. I used one of my favorite documentary photographer approaches to snag it. The kids were running around and around and around the house and- lucky me!- they were practicing their skipping. The key to capturing a shot like this is avoiding chasing your subject around. Set your frame up the way you want it and wait. In this case, I knew I had to be relatively low in order to show any space between him and ground. The kids just made the dog the Valentines you see the right, so I wanted to include those. I sat in the corner of the kitchen floor, metered for right around the refrigerator, being sure to use a fast shutter speed, and waited for this to happen. 

 

I hope one of these example might inspire you to pick your camera up, no matter the weather where you are. Before I shot these, I hadn't made anything I liked for days and I was thinking today would be another day without creating. But turns out, all I needed was a little push in the form of purpose. Remember, February is one of the hardest months for photographers to remain inspired, but spring is just around the corner!