What to Photograph on a cloudy night

Overview

Sometimes when you are burning to take the perfect star-trail photograph you will be encountered by cloudy weather. Most photographers then just give up, but I see it as an opportunity to photograph something else, which would be amazing by it-self. You will be amazed at the different kinds of photographs you can take.

 

Some of my suggestions include:
·         Photograph the sunset
·         Photograph stunning night-time scenes
·         Photographing star trails leading into clouds
·         Photograph Lightning
·         Photographing a Boat
·         Photographing City Lights
·         Photograph a Haunted House
·         Photograph the Garden

 

Note: Click on each of the photographs to view a larger photo

 

Photograph the sunset

 

Sunsets always have an exceptional quality to them, especially if you couple them with boats and clouds. The following photograph was taken at Sunset-Beach in Cape Town of massive freight ships waiting to take anchor at the harbour:
Setting
Value
Exposure Time
1/200 sec
Aperture
f/5.6
ISO
3200
Exposure Bias
0
Lenses
135mm
Camera
Canon
Model
650D

 

Photographing the clouds

 

Clouds can have a dramatic effect on your photograph, which can make it awe-inspiring or plain spooky. I took the following shot in the Waterberg area with the moon in the background, shining through the clouds:
Setting
Value
Exposure Time
30 Seconds
Aperture
f/11
ISO
1600
Exposure Bias
0 step
Lenses
18mm
Camera
Canon
Model
760D

 

Photograph stunning night-time scenes

 

Look at your surroundings, and find a visually pleasing place. A fiend and I walked down to the river one night and had a awesome time taking photographs of the river and the sky combination. Of course we played with a lot of light settings until we could get the perfect photograph.
Setting
Value
Exposure Time
30 Seconds
Aperture
f/4
ISO
3200
Exposure Bias
0 step
Lenses
18mm
Camera
Canon
Model
760D

 

Photographing star trails leading into clouds

 

When the cloud cover is approximately 50% then you can still attempt to take star-trails photographs using the time-lapse method. The following photograph was taken over a period of an hour with 30seconds photos stitched together with StarStax application. The following photograph indicates the result of this:
Setting
Value
Exposure Time
30seconds
Aperture
f/8
ISO
1600
Exposure Bias
0
Lenses
18mm
Camera
Canon
Model
760D

 

Photograph Lightning

 

If it’s cloudy at night and there are lightning then you can take stunning lightning photographs of the sky:
Setting
Value
Exposure Time
30 seconds
Aperture
f/7.1
ISO
100
Exposure Bias
0
Lenses
18mm
Camera
Canon
Model
650D

 

Photographing a Boat

 

Yes you read this one right: Photographing a boat. A boat makes stunning subject, and it’s very easy to overlook at night. The primary difficulty at night is to “get your boat to stand still” and not come out blurry. But is you get your timing right then…..
Setting
Value
Exposure Time
25 Seconds
Aperture
f/3.5
ISO
100
Exposure Bias
0
Lenses
18mm
Camera
Canon
Model
650D

 

Photographing City Lights

 

You can photograph city lights as well with some dramatic effects. I took the following photograph of Table Mountain at night:
Setting
Value
Exposure Time
20seconds
Aperture
f/5
ISO
100
Exposure Bias
0
Lenses
50mm
Camera
Canon
Model
650D

 

Photograph a Haunted House

 

You can take a photograph of a lodge/bungalow/chalet of where-ever you are staying and thus set the white balance to tungsten to create a more “spooky “effect”. I took the following photograph at Barbets nest close to Cuillinan: (Note the clouds just above the cabin)
Setting
Value
Exposure Time
25seconds
Aperture
f/3.5
ISO
3200
Exposure Bias
0
Lenses
18mm
Camera
Canon
Model
650D

 

Photograph the Garden

 

Lastly you can photograph your garden, or in the following photo’s case the garden of a lodge we were staying at. Make sure that you have a good composition of enough foreground objects in relation to the cloudy sky.
Setting
Value
Exposure Time
30seconds
Aperture
f/8
ISO
1600
Exposure Bias
0
Lenses
18mm
Camera
Canon
Model
760D

 

 

Conclusion

 

Thus do not be perturbed if you cannot photograph the stars – because the world is definitely your oyster, and if you really enjoy the hobby and art of photography then you will see an opportunity in every moment. Enjoy taking fantastic photographs!

 

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