Bad Weather = Great Light
When the weather blows in and the conditions are downright uncomfortable thats when I want to be out in the field making new images. Take for example this shot from Black Walnut Point on the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. I was leading a workshop during Tropical Storm Hanna and we had been confined to the conference room all day doing critiques and presentations. The rain and wind made it impossible to shoot during the day. Myself and fellow photographer Ian Plant had scouted this location earlier in the day and we knew it had a lot of potential if the light broke at the edge of the storm during sunset.
We arrived on location as the light was begining to break and the wind was whipping of the bay at 30 -40 miles per hour and blowing water all over the place. The conditions were challenging to say the least. I choose to use my 70-200mm to keep myself as far away from the breaking surf and not get my front element coated in spray. Using my large camera bag, I suspended it from the hook on the center column of my tripod to anchor it down. The light was sweet and painting the water and dramatic clouds in beautiful sunset light. The only kind of light you can get at the edge of a big storm. To my surprise, during the course of the 2 second exposure a wave broke and crashed in the scene being illuminated by the soft directional light. It was this surprise element that turned the scene from a good photograph to a magical portrait of the Chesapeake Bay.