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  • Writer's pictureKim Steinberg

Battling the Elements: The Challenges and Rewards of Capturing Moments in Windy Conditions

Photography is an art that often demands adaptability, and nothing tests a photographer's resilience like facing the elements. One of the most formidable challenges is shooting in serious windy conditions. While the wind may present obstacles, it also offers unique opportunities for capturing breathtaking images that embody the dynamic force of nature.



Challenges:

  1. Stability Struggles: In windy conditions, maintaining camera stability becomes an uphill battle. The wind can jostle even the sturdiest tripods, making it challenging to achieve sharp, clear images.

  2. Dust and Debris: Wind often carries dust and debris, turning a serene shooting environment into a potential hazard for delicate camera equipment. Constant vigilance is required to shield the gear from unwanted particles.

  3. Unpredictable Subjects: The wind introduces an element of unpredictability to the subjects being photographed. Hair and clothing may be swept away, posing a challenge to capturing the intended composition.

This video below shows just how windy it was whist we were shooting. The wind was blowing at a mighty 14 meters a second making it almost impossible (but SO worthwhile) to capture these images!



The Silver Lining:

  1. Dramatic Motion: Windy conditions provide a natural opportunity to capture dynamic motion in subjects. Flowing dresses, tousled hair, or swaying trees can add an extra layer of drama and emotion to your photographs.


windy shoot

  1. Embracing Chaos: Sometimes, the chaos created by the wind results in unexpectedly beautiful and candid moments. Embracing the unpredictable can lead to shots that are raw, authentic, and visually compelling.


windy shoot

  1. Creating Atmosphere: Wind adds an atmospheric element to your photographs. It can enhance the mood and narrative, especially in outdoor or landscape photography, where the movement of clouds and foliage adds depth and texture.


wind blowing through her hair

  1. Unique Textures: Wind can accentuate textures in your subjects, such as ripples on water, flowing fabric, or tousled hair. These textural details can elevate your photos, providing a sense of dimension and tactility.


windy shoot

Conclusion: Shooting in serious windy conditions may pose its fair share of challenges, but seasoned photographers recognize the potential for unparalleled beauty that comes with embracing these difficulties. The key lies in adapting, finding stability amidst chaos, and capturing the unique moments that only the wind can create. After all, in the dance between photographer and nature, it's the challenges that often yield the most rewarding results.


My honest opinion: If you are doing a family shoot with kids, I wouldn't try shoot in winds faster than around 7 meters per second (even this is pretty windy and stressfull for them to deal with). If it's you and your partner and you don't mind doing what it takes to 'get the shot', then I'd push it to a max of around 10 meters per second.



HUGE wave caught us by surprise and came home absolutely SOAKED!


Was it worth it??? YES, it absolutely!!!

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