"Are you really sure you want to go for it", the voice asks querulously over the phone. It's raining outside, and dark. The weather forecast for the following morning is equally bleak. 'IT' refers to waking up at 2:00 am in the morning and driving for 2 hours to get to a location to do a morning shoot for a client of a farm in the Eshowe area of Kwazulu-Natal. The problem is that we just don't have any leeway in terms of alternative days. The images need to be created for an article that the client is putting together for a newspaper feature and the weather forecast looks wet for the the next week, let alone just for the next 24 hours. I have to admit that at 4am, waiting for my contact on the side of the road with rain pattering down on the bonnet of my car, I was starting to question my own sanity.
"Let's do it. You never know what the weather Gods will bring", I heard myself answer. That's the truth! Bad weather can make for great images. BUT - and this is a serious but - you have to actually be out there shooting for bad weather to work in your favour. Sometimes you are lucky, othertimes not. The point is you can't be lucky unless you actually try. Yes, this means you are often wet and cold, maybe even getting a slight dose of pneumonia ;-) but you have to have to have to get out there and shoot.
Sunrise and we sitting in a cloud basically. Not exactly scintilating stuff. Sure, I could create some work for myself of cloud wet plants and maybe a stark tree against a white drop...but this is a commercial shoot and I have to get some images that the client can work with. Stick with it some more basically. Below is the extant of my inspiration at 5am. As is fairly obvious, this is a far cry from the image at the beginning of this post.
The image that opens this post was created about an hour and a half after the misty one. The clouds opened up and sun beams burst through onto the hill slopes around us. A masterpiece it is not, but perfect for what the client needed. You never can tell what the weather has in store for you. By all means though, make sure that you get out and shoot. It isn't going to help postponing for the perfect weather. The perfect weather has a habit of happening when you aren't there.