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I think someone asked this on the old forum but it's not around anymore.

 

 

 

You turn up at a location to find it's dull and overcast. (I'm talking about towns/cities mainly) What do you do?

 

1. Take a load of flat, muddy pictures and hope you can do something with them later.

2.Give up and go to the pub/home.

3. Tell yourself it's a great opportunity to try some HDR.

4. Go in close and use your own lighting.

5. Wait until it's dark and try some night time shots of city lights etc.

6. Something else.

 

 

I used to do a lot of 1. Nowadays I tend to be inclined to 2 as 1 just seems to result in thousands of unusable shots. I'm thinking of trying a bit of 5. 

 

Anyone have any luck with dull-day photography?

Edited by JohnB
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I'm of the same opinion as you John. But if there is no alternative to shooting in flat light on dull days I make sure I do not include skies in shots of city/townscapes and boost contrast to try to obtain a usable image or two.

 

However I am in favour of putting the camera away and doing something else.

 

Allan

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2) and take pictures of pints, beermats, handpumps, 'ye olde England', sort of thing.

Recovery and LR saturation grads on the unavoidable ones can also pull something out of the hat.

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1. Take photos which don't involve the sky

2. Go to the pub

3. "people pictures" are often better in flat lighting as no deep shadows to cope with

4. Go back to the pub

5.. Do some mono shots (not necessarily for Alamy)

6. Return to the pub and stay there

 

:)

 

Kumar Sriskandan

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If you do something else when the light is overcast you will rarely take photos in the UK!  In my experience it's usually dull with flat lighting. I get surprised when it's not these days it seems. Personally I go in close, sometimes do some HDR (not for alamy)..would be nice soft light for portraits.

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go for the details, closeups, signs, things on the ground, people, interiors........the absence of harsh direct sunlight is a bonus, not a drawback...

 

km

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Use the time for reconnaissance for when the light is better - localities, time of day, direction of light etc. And do details as RedSnapper says.

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If you do something else when the light is overcast you will rarely take photos in the UK!  In my experience it's usually dull with flat lighting.

 

This is not really true. Sure there are many overcast days but there is also a lot of variability of cloud cover and this can be excellent for outdoor photography. In sunnier climes (Spain for example), there may be dawn to dusk sunlight but it can be very harsh, with stark blue skies and heat haze.

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I was photographing the start of the womens marathon in central London during the 2012 Olympics - weather was dreadful, dark and with very heavy rain. Nevertheless, shots turned out well, colour of the runners gear really stood out against the greys. Camera and lens needed a good towel down afterwards. Flat grey weather still gives good results, a fast lens helps though.

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Interiors / stained glass windows (better with diffused light) / statues / narrow streets which can be impossibly contrasty when half in the sun / details. Statues and stonework can be a nightmare to do in direct sun due to excess contrast.

 

I would, however, agree that a certain amount of time spent in pub can only be a good thing.

Edited by Phil Robinson

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Usually, if it's a rainy or a miserable grey day, I shot photos at night or interior ones unless the overcast day gets a dramatic stormy sky.

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'Beer is food, Lewis'.

'I drink in order to think'.

Edited by spacecadet

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go for the details, closeups, signs, things on the ground, people, interiors........the absence of harsh direct sunlight is a bonus, not a drawback...

 

km

 

 Plus 1

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go for the details, closeups, signs, things on the ground, people, interiors........the absence of harsh direct sunlight is a bonus, not a drawback...

 

km

got to agree with this ..... and then go to the pub afterwards :)

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Move to California.....

 

I scan and spot chromes or work in the studio

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Details, reconnaisance or writing (often in a coffee shop, could be a bar preferably with WiFi)

 

BTW one of my best selling shots on Alamy was taken on a grey day between showers. Not a patch of blue sky to be seen; just many shaes of grey.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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Just keep shooting. Many subjects simply look much better in overcast light (almost all flower and plant close-ups, almost all portraits, most animals and sports shots, many buildings, most vehicles...). Britain looks lovely in overcast light. Colours and tones look better. Sunshine spoils the middle of the day all too often.

 

C679Y5.jpg

 

Kingston on Thames - ordinary overcast day. Keep shooting. Just look for subjects. Sold for $75.

 

C679PF.jpg

 

The next shot. Sold one month after the one above, only for $21.

 

Both to UK national newspapers - the one market you would expect to always want a sunny view of stuff. But media has got a bit more sophisticated and has little problem using natural shots which represent typical days. The couple of hours I spent in Kingston (only time I've ever been there) prove to me that if you live near London or in the south, you should make ten times as many sales as I do, from everyday shots of anywhere you go on any day.

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The couple of hours I spent in Kingston (only time I've ever been there) prove to me that if you live near London or in the south, you should make ten times as many sales as I do, from everyday shots of anywhere you go on any day.

 

fully agree there.....sometimes i'm envious of those photographers who do live in or near London.......i could be making so much more if i had all those opportunities on my doorstep

 

km

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Well I do, and I'm not. My sales wouldn't pay the tube fares.

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'Beer is food, Lewis'.

'I drink in order to think'.

 

Some kind of Morse code ???  :)

Edited by Niels Quist
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The couple of hours I spent in Kingston (only time I've ever been there) prove to me that if you live near London or in the south, you should make ten times as many sales as I do, from everyday shots of anywhere you go on any day.

 

fully agree there.....sometimes i'm envious of those photographers who do live in or near London.......i could be making so much more if i had all those opportunities on my doorstep

 

km

Be happy that you live in the UK, at least in this respect  :)

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