I go when the light tells me to
When you live in a country which has, how shall I put this delicately, unpredictable weather, as a photographer you learn to roll with the whims of the climate. The single most used app on my iPhone by far is, my weather forecast app, and when I spot a valuable block of sunshine, it’s time to grab my gear and go.
Ireland is renowned for its notoriously changing weather, and while weeks of rain during the summer months can be incredibly frustrating, you take what you’re given. The Irish people on the other hand are equally renowned for our ability to complain about the weather. When we have a few days of rain, everyone complains that it’s too wet. When we had weeks of sunshine this summer, everyone complained about the heat. A small snow storm two years ago nearly shut the country down, but all across the land people in cafes and pubs (mostly pubs) delighted in their tales of weather related woe, doing their best to one up their fellow companions for the award for most weather induced suffering.
As a photographer, you have to go when the light is right, or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself lately. If I see a sunny morning I head out to do some street, or cityscape photography, because I never know when I’m going to get locked in with a week long rain shower, or worse, the horrible overcast greyness that saps your soul and leads to incredibly dull and depressing photos. (Do you see what I mean about the complaining? We can’t help it, it’s in our genes.)
Luckily we’ve had some good light lately, but you just have to be ready for it. This weekend, I woke up to some glorious sunshine, but by the time I had my breakfast it was gone again. I didn’t give up though. I had faith in the mysterious gods that powered my weather app (Weather Pro for those interested) which promised pockets of sunshine later that morning. I checked the doppler radar for rain, and pinpointed the best time to go, and sure enough, by the time I reached my destination, the light was back.
Sometimes you may only get one or two good shots on such an excursion, or sometimes you won’t get any, but at least you know you beat the weather gods. When the light comes calling, if you love the art, you have to answer, because you never know when it will be back.
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