What to do on cloudy days?

As a travel photographer it can be incredibly frustrating and stressful when you have limited time somewhere and you are hit with overcast, or even rainy days. It can be difficult to keep yourself motivated, so here are a few tips on what to photograph, or what you can do instead on overcast or rainy days.

Edit, caption and add metadata to photos

If you are on an assignment or are planning to send images to a stock library, then every image needs to be captioned, the location added, and have metadata attached to it. So it might be wise to use the time to add details to photos while they are fresh in your mind. You could also use the time to start editing the photos, for example by going through and deleting all of the obvious mistakes (i.e. camera shake) or flagging the ones you think are good. Every little thing you do while away means less work when you get home.

Scout locations

This is a personal favourite strategy of mine. Head out to the locations you were going to photograph and scout them first hand. How do you get there? Where is the car park? What is the best time of day to photograph it? Find the best angles and views, etc. Once you’ve done the ground work it means that when you have the right conditions, you know exactly where to go and what photos to take.

Take portraits or environmental portraits

If you are planning to photograph people, then overcast days are a great time to do it. The soft light will mean that their face will be evenly lit without harsh shadows. Or alternatively, look to capture environmental portraits, like showing people going about their lives or daily jobs.

Check your camera

You do need some time to clean up your camera properly. It should be good chance for you to make your best friend cleaner. You also might need to check your shutter count, or simply reading some new photography tips.

Photograph food

You should photograph food on your trip whenever you can, but overcast days are great for photographing food outdoors, as again you won’t have harsh daylight and shadows to deal with. So if you are heading out to lunch (and it’s warm enough), sit outside and capture your meal before you tuck in.