RIVERS AND RAINFORESTS is the latest portfolio on my website and includes images created in October 2014.
The Pacific Northwest is at once the best of places and the worst of places in terms of weather for photography, or I suppose anything involving outdoor activity. I have photographed and backpacked extensively in Oregon and Washington over the course of 20 years or so and have experienced extremes of conditions. On one hand if the weather is fair it is hard to equal the beauty of the Cascades and coastlines to be seen in both states. On the other hand one can spend weeks on end sheltered from rain that would intimidate Noah.
This last trip was typical. We experienced incessant showers interrupted periodically by deluges. At Silver Falls State Park near Salem, OR, it rained constantly for over 24 hours. Then came the best of times, for photography in the deep forest at least. We got a window of no rain for nearly six hours, but it remained overcast. The overcast was important because sun shining through leaves, especially when wet, creates unmanageable contrast. The even, low lighting conditions produced ideal lighting conditions for photographing the falls with long exposures to produce the beautiful flowing effect of water. It also produced evenly exposed, highly color saturated images, where highlights were not "blown out" or shadows "blocked up", and because I shoot RAW I had a great deal of latitude to work with in post processing. But, because the window of opportunity is so short it is absolutely imperative that one be prepared to act when the moment arrives. That sometimes means being "out there" in the rain or snow hoping that conditions will allow an opportunity; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. When things come together it!s hard to take a bad photo. I find that pre-visualizing the type of photography and conditions under which I will be shooting helpful in being able to respond quickly when opportunity strikes. This is something I always incorporate into the planning process long before I ever get into the field to shoot. Preparation, luck, and yes, the right weather and lighting conditions are keys to obtaining stunning photos.
i have photographed in Oregon and Washington on numerous occasions, and on all but maybe one occasion I've been rained on. So, no matter what type photography one is doing he/she needs to be prepared for inclement weather. The good news is that bad weather often opens the window for stunning photographs. So don't let a little bad weather "dampen" your spirits. Stay out there and be ready when opportunity presents itself.