Bad Weather Cloudy Day Bokeh Photography Technique

Wide aperture lenses are popular with photographers for a number reasons. The word bokeh, I’m sure, will ring a bell. Mark Wallace shares with us another reason to shoot with wide aperture lenses—and this one’s a real life saver in bad weather:

Imagine you’re travelling in a foreign country and you go to sleep planning that when you wake up in the morning you’re going to shoot some street photography with your wide angle lens. But you wake up to a gloomy, overcast day with the heavens opening up. If you’re in the middle of a patch of really bad luck it might even snow. That kind of makes everything look like shades of grey. All of a sudden your wide angle lens may seem like a misfit.

But wait! You happen to have a wide aperture lens with you. Wide angle lenses love light and contrast. Wide aperture lenses have no such fascination and can work in most lighting situations. The day’s not going to be a complete waste after all. A lens with a wide aperture is appropriate for a lighting situation like this. The wider the better. For the record, Wallace used a Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M Aspherical manual focusing lens for the shoot.

A lens with an aperture of f/2 or wider helps out in drab weather:

“It allows us to really get shallow depth of field and take these flat scenes and give them a sort of this ethereal look and it really brings things to life by giving us that really selective focus.”

use of a wide aperture lens in bad weather

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street photography with wide aperture lens

As you can see, a 50mm lens is a great piece of gear to keep with you while traveling. In the video above, Wallace also shares his tips on how to keep your gear dry in wet weather. There’s no need to stop taking pictures just because the weather turns bad.

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