How the WEATHER affects Landscape Photography

The weather obviously influences landscape photography a great deal, no question about that. But how does it? This is a small tip, but worth being mindful about.

The most obvious is the direct way, where the different elements of the weather come together in a certain way and influence your landscape in a certain way. When the clouds open up and let a streak of sunlight through creating a beam, which you can catch to create or deliver a certain mood. Same goes for a clear sky. You’ll get a certain effect on the photo you want to take or create.

Another way is the indirect or the “delayed” way. When a shower hit a mountain it takes time for the water to run off the mountain and into the surrounding streams. That means you can actually have the water level of a stream increase even though it’s clear sky above. It’s the same phenomenon we see in the slot canyons of western US. A huge shower can hit several miles away and suddenly a location, which has been dry for weeks, can get flooded within minutes if not seconds.

Melting snow has the same effect. Obviously, this phenomenon is most common during spring and some places early summer. As an example, there is more water in the waterfalls of Yosemite Valley during spring, because the snow from the mountains melt and gather in the streams. You’ll have more water even though it’s clear sky.

Being able to predict these phenomena can greatly influence your decisions on when to pursue certain compositions. Check out my video below on how the weather directly and in a “delayed” way influenced my compositions.