Photo Tip Friday: How to Take Better Shots in Difficult Conditions, Part 2

by Mary Denman     Twitter: @MaryDenman    Instagram: @MaryFDenman

As we learned about last week in Part 1 of how to take better shots in difficult conditions, sometimes we have to shoot in challenging lighting conditions. 

Cloud cover, rain and fog present an opportunity to capture some amazing photos, and it's definitely more work. But worth it. 

So what are some things you can do to take better shots? 

Let's get started. 

TIP 1: Look for reflections in puddles or on the road. 

PHOTO 1: We were sitting outside at a restaurant eating dinner while it rained. I noticed the reds of the tail lights of passing vehicles reflected on the wet road. So, from where I sat, I captured this motorcycle with the red glow of his tail light on the roadway next to the soft white oncoming motorcycle light.
PHOTO 1: Light reflections

TIP 2: After you've taken a picture in the rain, turn it black and white and look for a pop of color. 

PHOTO 2: This lady's red rain coat and blue umbrella made for a great pop of color in this shot. Because of the flat lighting, the black & white (post here) neutralizes the dull colors and busyness of the photo.

Notice too that this is an action shot. Their feet are in mid stride. It's not a posed shot. I was walking behind them and snapped several pictures to get one I liked. 

You also get the feel they are close and having a nice conversation beneath the umbrella.
PHOTO 2: Man and lady in rain

TIP 3: Try turning the photos black and white or sepia. 

PHOTOS 3a and 3b: This is Notre Dame from the behind. I love the intricacy of the back of the church with the flying buttresses. I decided to try both sepia and black & white post processing. You can use PicMonkey to do this. 

Which do you prefer and why?
Photo 3a: Notre Dame ~ sepia

Photo 3b: Notre Dame ~ black & white

TIP 4: Take pictures of the raindrops on your subject. 

PHOTO 4: After the showers in Monet's garden, I wanted to capture these roses dressed in the rain. Notice how soft the entire photo looks. 
Photo 4: Roses in the rain
Again, while taking photos on an overcast or rainy day will challenge you to get good shots, don't let it stop you!

Get your camera out on cloudy days when you aren't trying to get your best shots and PRACTICE. Then, when you want to get the really good shots later, you'll have experience under your belt! 

I hope these tips helped! 

ASSIGNMENT: As soon as an overcast day presents itself, grab your camera and see what you can do. Some of your shots will probably be too dark, but again, you'll learn what to do as you PRACTICE!

BLOGGERS:  Think of improving your photography skills as adding another tool to those you use for writing. Just as a photographer has to be ready for any weather conditions, you too must have varying writing styles. Blogging is different than writing non-fiction or fiction. Plus, your improved photography can lead to inspiration for your writing. It can also tell a story to your readers. 

How to Take Better Shots in Difficult Conditions, Part 2 (click to tweet)



  1. I like the sepia best because it feels warmer.

  2. Great tips Mary. I've never done black and white but it will be interesting. Thanks and have a great weekend.

  3. I read your tips from part 1 and 2. Great ideas and I love your roses in the rain! But, of course, I enjoyed all the shots. ;)