Travel Photography Subjects: Weather

Travel Photography Subjects: Weather

824150738_4KLd2-XL-1 When you’re traveling the weather will always be there to greet you. Like food, it’s another Travel Photography Subject that can’t be avoided, unless you’re on holiday in an underground tunnel the entire time. If that’s your planned holiday, you can probably skip this subject.

Whenever I post photos on Twitter where clouds play a prominent role, such as the headline photo in this post, it usually brings about a many comments. The same scene without the clouds can look dull. But add in the weather and drama and connection is created. Some of the comments are from fellow weather-lovers, people who actually seek out dramatic changes in the sky to add flavor to their photos. They lament how often travelers forget to include the weather, good or bad, as a representation of their travels.

Indeed, take some time to look up, down and all around for the weather. You may be cursing it at the moment; blowing winds and rain in Ireland (or Washington state for that matter!), subzero temperatures in the Northern latitudes, or baking in the hot sun of the Caribbean. Or you may be enjoying it. The weather may even be the reason for your holiday. Don’t forget to give those back home, who will view your photos, a true feeling for how the weather is shaping your trip.

For nuts and bolts advice on capturing weather with your photography, Natalie Johnson recently penned two excellent posts covering a wide range of weather subjects. Everything from sun to lightning to rain, snow and more. Embracing the Weather with Photography Part 1 and Part 2 will help give you some solid tips on making weather photography work for your next trip.

You’ve seen my weather shot, now show me some of yours! Post a link or embed a photo in the comments section below to give us an idea of the weather you’ve seen on your travels.


Previous articles in the Travel Photography Subjects series include Water, Old People, Young People, Religion, Sports, Socializing, Icons, Rich, Poor, Transportation, Economy, Food and Food Preparation. These posts are not intent on telling you everything you need to do, step by step, to capture perfect, cookie-cutter pictures while traveling.  Instead, they are intent on pointing out some vital elements to capture when on the road and highlight thought provoking questions you may want to ask yourself.  My hope is they help guide you to find your own means to better expressing what your travels have meant to you and present that in the best light possible.  Be sure to subscribe to this site to receive the other nine subjects as they are posted!

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Peter West Carey leads photo tours and workshops in Nepal, Bhutan, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and beyond. He is also the creator of Photography Basics - A 43 Day Adventure & 40 Photography Experiments, web-based tutorials taking curious photographers on a fun ride through the basics of learning photography.

Some Older Comments

  • Marjon October 29, 2010 03:13 am

    I adore wild skies.
    I've only just aquired my first SRL camera and will have to learn to work it but having a fantastic pocket (semi pro) i have imo made some spectacular photo's with it as you may agree looking at my flickr account on which all images are of the pocket (Panasonic TZ2)
    I thought I'd add one i particularly like though i have many but as most here have SRL camera's it may not be in the same legue.
    I love your photo by the way, wonderful clouds!
    For my photo I'd like to say..sometimes it's good to be in high places..
    [eimg url='' title='brocken.jpg']

  • Hrefna October 1, 2010 07:50 am

    Heavy rain in Huancayo, Peru

  • Ken Brown September 28, 2010 01:37 pm

    After a brief, but very strong thunderstorm at Arches Nat. Pk., I got this shot.

    But you don't have to travel far to get good weather shots. I took this from my front yard.

  • Benn September 27, 2010 08:50 am

    Pisa by the leaning tower a place where a million photo's must be taken every year, hopefully the weather in this makes mine a little different to most.

  • Niraj Alok September 26, 2010 06:19 am

    Here I am trying to combine the subject with the weather, depicting an old power station as emitting white smoke:)
    [eimg link='' title='Battersea-055.jpg' url='']

    And dramatic clouds are always my favorites!
    [eimg url='' title='5002191395']

  • rmcmahan September 26, 2010 04:16 am

    Here are some of my favorite weather/cloud photos:

  • Dan Hahn September 25, 2010 10:06 am

    [eimg link='' title='Gull 1' url='']

    I think this gull needed the clouds.

  • mcguireuk September 25, 2010 05:36 am

    Not a travel picture but some good clouds

    [eimg link='' title='Stormy Harbour' url='']

  • Stefano Ottolenghi September 25, 2010 04:56 am

    Look at this, I think it's awesome!!

  • Mariano Silva September 25, 2010 04:44 am

  • Mariano Silva September 25, 2010 04:44 am

    [eimg link='' title='Neblina Matinal I' url='']

  • Leo Mangubat September 25, 2010 03:54 am!2040!2027!2039

  • Aparna September 25, 2010 02:16 am

    I made a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton over Labor Day and there were rains and thunderstorms at the Tetons the two days we were there.. the pictures I got were very different from what I had in mind before I got there but never the less the clouds added a very dramatic effect.

  • Deborah September 25, 2010 12:49 am

    [eimg link='' title='"They can be like a sun, words. They can do for the heart what light can for a field." ~St. John of the Cross' url='']

  • Deborah September 25, 2010 12:48 am

    On a hike this week up to Mission Peak weather played a huge part. Here's my blog about it with photos- of course. ")

    Here's another photo from the my descent from Mission Peak.


  • Pradeep September 25, 2010 12:27 am

  • Marion Vandenbosch September 24, 2010 06:27 pm

    Here is one of a storm building up in Spiddal, co. Galway, Ireland. Weather changed, like it seemed, almost instantly. One minute the sun was shining, the next everything started to look a bit dirty-yellowish dark. The photo is treated to emphasize this.

    [eimg url='' title='922959293_Kwyyb-S.jpg']

  • PRANALI September 24, 2010 04:51 pm

  • Scott September 24, 2010 02:43 pm

    Weather does add a lot of drama to a photo, tried to make viewers "feel" cold with this one.

  • Ken Brown September 24, 2010 01:54 pm

    Our family was at Arches Nat Pk last year when a severe storm went over. I was hiking by some of the smaller arches at the time a sat under one while the wind, rain and lightning was raging on. After the storm, some wonderful dark clouds were seen over the rocks as the sun was starting to set. I manage to keep my camera dry, though I got quite wet. Great fun.
    [eimg link='' title='Arches National Park - Devils Garden [1338]' url='']

    Sometimes I don't have to travel far to get great cloud shots. This is from my front yard.
    [eimg link='' title='Approaching Cold Front [3538]' url='']

  • Neelima September 24, 2010 12:49 pm

    This summer when I had visited Ladakh, India for the second time, I was hoping to get many shots with blue skies and white fluffy clouds - typical of Ladakh.
    But the weather had something else planned.

    here are 15 shots from 15 days of the journey. It is interesting to see the change. -

    And true..clouds add a lot of drama to the scene. Always gets more comments. :)

    Like this -
    or This -

  • Kathryn Cole September 24, 2010 12:23 pm

    Sorry new at this.. I will try one more time.. Clear Lake Ca.

  • Kathryn Cole September 24, 2010 12:19 pm!/photo.php?pid=211938&fbid=146008428774429&id=117339641641308

  • Kathryn Cole September 24, 2010 12:18 pm

    This is Clear Lake Ca. Right before a storm rolled in.

  • Saildog September 24, 2010 11:44 am

    Here is one of my recent weather photos. A thunder storm at sunset can create quite a photographic opportunity.

  • Shane September 24, 2010 11:10 am

    Love the changes so much on the west coast of Tassie, one minute it's it could be snowing. Great place for weather shots. This shot was taken early morning and the fog was lifting from between the hills.

  • Jen at Cabin Fever September 24, 2010 10:32 am

    Weather is perhaps one of my most favorite things to photograph! It also has a great deal to do with about every aspect of my photography...

    NEK Photography Blog

    An example of my Weather Photos

    Cabin Fever in Vermont -- Monthly Photo Assignments here

  • Diego Tabango September 24, 2010 09:49 am

    I'm a huge fan of bad weather. As a fan of coastal photography, weather is a big part of coming home with THE SHOT.

    Here is a good example of a photograph taken back in spring where a storm was brewing and it just screamed drama.

    [eimg link='' title='a n g r y' url='']

  • DerekL September 24, 2010 09:23 am

    Fog and rain during a cruise of the Inside Passage - which I turned to my advantage:

  • kirpi September 24, 2010 08:07 am

    Absolutely true: at times it is worth waiting for the right cloud to move, or the right sunbeam to hit a certain subject. Weather (good or bad) is part of the game, definitely!

  • Robert W Gilcrease September 24, 2010 07:55 am

    Here is this old squirrels weather shot:

    Since we have been on the road, the weather is one of my most photographed subject it seems.

  • Maik-T. Šebenik September 24, 2010 07:50 am

    I love the way clouds add drama to a photo.

    Here are some of my travel photos:
    Boka Waterfall (Slovenia):
    Nordic Museum (Stockholm):
    Hamburg harbour (Germany):
    San Giorgio Maggiore (Venice):
    Haleakala Sunrise (Hawaii):
    Maui Sunset (Hawaii):
    Makaha Beach (Hawaii):

    With kind regards from Germany,

  • Wayfaring Wanderer September 24, 2010 07:10 am

    A recent trip to Charleston, SC ended with heavy rains flooding a portion of the downtown district. We had way too much fun wading through the flooded streets temporarily transformed into shallow canals.

    Overcast days were also welcomed, because it was pretty hot in the dead heat of summer!


    A link to a video with footage from the flood can also be found at that link :D