Teresa Pilcher Photography

The worst weather makes the best images

This may sound counter intuitive, but the worst weather can make the best images. When it’s raining, our first instinct is to protect our camera and stay dry. However, if you brave the elements you are more likely to get more interesting images.

So what is so magical about a rainy day?.. I just love the reflections on the wet pavements. Also I love umbrella shots and even though it has become a bit cliché, they still look great, but most of all I love the atmosphere that the rain creates. Two people under one umbrella looks and feels so romantic, forgive me for being sentimental, but it’s true. Even comical situations can arise, a man on a bicycle trying to balance an umbrella in one hand and then smoke a cigarette in the other.  Catching the rain drops with backlighting is pretty special. Rain, snow, fog and mist add that magic atmosphere, not just in Street Photography but also in other genres.

Generally speaking we don’t see the air or atmosphere, but when the weather is bad, we see the space between us and our subjects. Just like you might see in a Claude Monet painting, he painted not just a bridge, or his garden. He painted the space, the time and the light. He said he was trying to capture the intangible space between him and his subject, but he felt that he never quite succeeded.  We feel the atmosphere in these paintings. The light can make an ordinary image extraordinary. Just for something completely different, I will share some of my colour images from Kyoto in Japan. I have added an Oil Painting effect in Photoshop to the first 4 images.

Gion District. Kyoto 2016


Reflections in Gold and Blue. Kyoto 2016


Cigarette and an Umbrella. Kyoto 2016


Colourful nights. Kyoto 2016


Colour and Motion. Kyoto 2016.


Balancing Act. Kyoto 2016


Gion District 2016


The Yellow Umbrella. Kyoto 2016

In Bad weather, always carry an umbrella to protect your camera, I have found from experience, a bright colour will draw attention to you, so black or neutral colours are best.  I shoot with a mirrorless camera and a wrist strap, which is easier to do with one hand than with a heavier DSLR. I also wear waterproof shoes, especially when the weather is cold.

What do you use to protect your camera, or do you use a waterproof camera on rainy days? T


Teresa Pilcher

Teresa Pilcher Photography A Blog on Street Photography

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  • Hi Teresa, it’s Lesley from G+, you may not remember me with all the (well deserved) attention you are getting these days, but whether you remember me or not isn’t important! Have loved your work for a few years now, but only just realised that I can sign up to your blog which I have just done, so looking forward to receiving articles you’ve written when you write them! Just read your blog about the benefits of shooting in bad weather and I totally agree with you, I love rainy or windy, misty photos and umbrellas! Especially love a lot of your rainy weather shots, I think one of the first few photos of yours I loved was one in Rome with a great reflection in it,on a cobblestone area I think! Really love the photos you posted with this article, especially The yellow Umbrella and the Colour and Motion one, but they’re all fantastic! I hope you don’t mind me asking but how did you get that effect in Colour and Motion where it is like she is the only still thing and the world around her is moving? It’s sooooooo effective! Looks great! and is the Yellow Umbrella done with a very slow shutter speed or is there more to it than that ? I also wondered what sort of mirror less camera you use or would recommend as I was thinking of trying to save up to get one but it’s very hard to know what’s what as of course the manafacturer(??🤔) or salesmen always just try and sell you what they want you to buy! Anyway thanks for your time, hope you are well and enjoying life, I know you had a few ill health issues in May,June I think it was, hope that’s all sorted, thanks again, am about to read some other if your articles and look at your brilliant photos cheers Lesley