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Photography in windy conditions

Tips for taking great pictures in windy weather

When I think about taking photos on a windy day, it brings to mind all sorts of images - kites, leaves, movement in trees, movement across water, swaying fields of wheat or barley or grass, people walking into the wind. Wind often means fast moving clouds, whether that changes in a moment, and a fast pace. Remember that there's quite a few sports that rely on wind, which if you have the time can be a great source of potential images. I'm lucky enough to live near an estuary leading out to The Channel, and our local boat club has set days when they host boat races. All those white boat sails make brilliant contrast for black and white photos, which you might want to experiment with using your camera.

One problem is holding the camera steady in the wind with your hands. As you might imagine, I'd suggest a good sturdy tripod (Manfrotto is particularly good), but you can use whatever is around you; the edge of a car door, a brick wall, or a firm gate all make good strong solutions to help you steady your camera in the wind. If you haven't got a tripod and there's nothing to put your camera on around you, try to stand holding your camera pushed up against your shoulder and support the body of the camera with your other hand. You can get a surprisingly steady focused shot using this technique - it's an awful lot steadier than holding the camera out in front of you.

We recently visited the Cornish coast, and the wind was incredible over the cliff edge. I got some crazy shots of my family only just hanging onto each other! They're not the most flattering photos of my family, but they do make you laugh, and genuinely bring back the mayhem of that windy afternoon. Take quite a few if you have room.

Another idea in windy conditions is to set yourself a personal project of creating a time-lapse image of clouds racing across the sky. Time lapse is a really fun setting that many modern cameras have. Time-lapse is a type of photography where your camera takes photos at intervals that you dictate.

A problem that you may have if you are photographing people in the wind is which way to face them. It is worth experimenting with which way the wind is blowing before you get all set up for a photo. If you can get the wind to blow longer hair the way you want it, away from the face, you can get a stunning shot.

Photography tips windy weather

All images © timpestridge.co.uk, read more about Tim Pestridge

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