Getting the shot during calm weather is quite easy if you now your way around a camera. But as soon as the weather starts to get hard knowing your way around a camera would not be enough to get the shot as other factors normally forgotten or taken for granted such as a sturdy tripod and clothing start to play a large role at getting a picture. An example of taking pictures in harsh conditions can be seen in the video below and the result of that morning sunrise can be seen beside it.
I managed to take this picture during a thunderstorm by making sure I had the following. A sturdy tripod, a fast shutter speed, waterproof clothing and enough dry cloths.
Sturdy tripod - In my opinion a sturdy tripod is a must in any situation but incredibly important in bad weather conditions for stability reasons. To increase stability most of the tripods nowadays support spikes at the end of each leg, these spikes will dig deep into any soft terrain giving extra stability to your tripod. One can also increase the stability by increasing the weight of the tripod, this can be done by hanging a weight from the central column of the tripod.
Waterproof clothing - This should be an obvious one but many do forget about it. It is important to stay dry as once you get wet you will start to feel cold and when you start to feel cold your focus will shift from taking pictures to trying to stay warm.
A fast shutter speed - This is important for two reasons, if it windy a long exposure would most probably make your shot soft and blurry while if its raining water drops will accumulate on your front element and as these water drops cannot be dried off during the exposure it will result in an unusable shot. In the picture above i used a shutter speed of half a second which was enough to capture the scene without to many water spots. Probably you would still get some water drops on the front of the lens but they would be minimal and easily removed in post if you wish to do so or you can also leave some to show the reality of capturing the image.
Dry cloths - Dry cloths (microfiber cloths) are important in such conditions, as your camera especially the front element of your lens will get wet and drying it is the only way to get a clean shot and having more than one would really make a difference. When in wet conditions i usually put 2 or 3 in my pockets to find them as quickly as possible and don’t have to fiddle around trying to find dry cloths.
Bad weather can produce some of the most unique conditions for photography but you must also be ready for whatever mother nature throws at you if you wish to capture the beauty of mother nature.