50mm. f/1.4, 1/320, ISO 200.
Guest Post by Lisa Bettany
Fall is slowly fading away. The days are short, wet & cold, and the sky is one shade of monotonous grey. I don’t know about you, but I feel like completely hibernating.
Here are five photography projects to keep you inspired during the cold, soggy, rainy days:
1. Put your rubber boots on and grab some dewy macros.
Now is the perfect time to get raindrop covered plant life shots for your portfolio. The light is nice and soft on cloudy days, so you’ll get even light on your subject. Don’t be afraid of getting up close and trying multiple angles. Keep shooting until you find the best angle that makes those raindrops sparkle.
You’ll want to shoot with your aperture wide open, so you can keep your ISO low and get loads of delicious bokeh. Bring your tripod along just in case you need some steadying. And wear some rubber boots, because you’ll probably be crouching in a huge puddle o’ mud the entire time!
2. Wait for that perfect moody winter sunset.
18mm, f/5.6, 1/15, ISO 400.
Even on cloudy days the sun can make a brief apperance. And when it does, it’s usually spectacular. If you see the sun start to peak through the clouds during magic hour (1 hour before sunset), bundle up and head out to great landscape location. Winter skies are rich with colour. Add some thick clouds and you’ve got a great shot. There is nothing more magical than sun rays beaming through a dark and moody sky.
3. Get creative with strobes.
Get that flash off your camera and grab some gels and get creative. Set up a little studio in a corner of your place and shoot some stills with character. Check out Strobist for the 411 on off-camera flashes and cheap DIY projects to keep you inspired and busy on a gloomy day.
4. Set-up some stills on your window sills.
50mm, f/1.8, 1/80, ISO 400.
If you don’t have flashes or triggers, no fear! Make use of the lovely diffused light coming through your living room windows, and snap a still shot of your tea time snacks, sea monkeys, your little sister or whatever strikes your fancy. You probably want to set up a bounce or white board opposite the window to get some light on the subject.
5. Find hidden gems in your old photos.
50mm, f/2, 1/125, ISO 200.
Get a big cuppa tea and look though your old photos. As you go, mark or star the photos you think have promise. After you’ve gone through once, go back and pull your top ranked photos into a photo editor (LR, PS, Aperture) and really work on them. A little cropping, sharpening, saturating, some layers and masks and voila! Great shot. You never know what amazing shots are hiding in your archives.
If all else fails, just hunker down in your bed with a stack of DVDs and call it a day.