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November 11, 2013

Why bad weather is good news for Nokia Lumia photographers

It’s dark outside. It’s cold. The bright clear skies have been replaced with heavy, grey clouds. Why would I want to go outside?

Well, bad weather need not mean bad photography opportunities. In fact, quite the opposite. Here’s five great reasons to get out there with your Nokia Lumia and not let weather get you down!

Fantastic fog

Mist and fog have the capacity to turn the dullest landscape into something both timeless and fantastical.  It’s all about what gets hidden and how the depth of the image is subtly shown through the consuming mist. If you’re lucky you can often kill two birds with one stone: get up early to see the full enveloping mist and grab your eerie shot. And then hang around for the sun to burn the mist off a little and get the light breaking through shot. Guaranteed interesting images!

00 Nokia 1020 mist

Look for some dark silhouettes to frame the image or long leading lines to draw the viewer into the picture surface. The automatic settings on the Nokia Lumia 1020 (used above) do a fabulous job, but with the exposure control and white balance, you have an endless capacity to adjust how the image looks.

Rewarding rain

What’s the most famous picture of James Dean?

When I think of James Dean there’s one image I think of above all the others: Dennis Stock’s shot of him walking with his shoulders hunched and furrowed brow looking up at over the railings of Times Square in the pouring rain.

That photograph is nothing without the rain.

00 Pureview Water on the Bench  2012

People react in a certain way to rain and that emotion is very easily captured as a photograph. It can be seen in the outline of the body, the hunched shoulders the stooped position. It can be seen in the expression on their faces. And it can be seen in their clothes – such as upturned collars – and accessories, such as umbrellas or newspapers held above their heads. The sodden roads and paths also create great reflections.

And if you really can’t face going out in it, then focus on your windows and pattern of rain drops! Or wait until it stops and get the remnants of the downpour…

00 nokia rain

Fruitful frost

Frost may be a curse to gardeners but it’s a blessing to us photographers. Leaves, spiders webs, puddles, window panes – frost turns them all into stunning patterned landscapes.

00 Nokia Frosted leaves

You can experiment with shallow depths of field for low angle shots or altering the white balance to get nice crisp blue-whites. And if that doesn’t inspire, try playing with close ups and looking for abstract painterly patterns.

00 Puddle 2011

Snazzy snow

OK, depending on where you live snow is either a winter wonderland of fun and games or logistical nightmare ruining every part of your day. But wherever you are, getting out and making the most of the snow is an absolute must for photographers.

nokia snow


You can take great shots of any sort of snow conditions: if it’s really cold, you’ll have fabulous blue skies; if it’s overcast you’ll get perfect exposure balance between the sky and the ground; and if you’re somewhere busy, look for the way we humans cope with a downpour of the white stuff.  The typical low winter sun can also help create great shadows in even the smallest indentation making for Luna-esque landscapes of footprints and tracks.

Dashing dark

00 Street Helsinki 2011

With the Nokia Lumia 1020’s excellent tripod adapter and its unrivalled shutter speed control, you have total management over the exposure times and can regulate the amount of blur you want in any image.

A combination of the dark afternoons and the hustle and bustle of the city you can create some stunning images.  There’s always a bit of serendipity about these shots, but that’s half the fun of it! Simply shoot lots and edit later.