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Dealing With Inclement Weather; Making The Best Of Every Shooting Condition:
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Alternative Subjects
When the weather turns ugly and it’s not feasible to go out and shoot, there are always alternatives. Turn your attention to museums, the interiors of cathedrals, mosques, and other religious monuments, tombs, theater performances, and indoor market places. These things provide a wealth of material. In museums, for example, you can photograph priceless treasures like King Tut’s mask in Cairo (#9) and the wonderful artifacts on display in the museum at Ephesus in Turkey. One of the reasons I travel with my laptop is if the weather makes photography outside impossible, I can use Photoshop to work with my images until the weather improves. When I was in Turkey, I spent a couple of hours working on one of the famous statues in the Ephesus museum that were displayed against a plain indoor background (#10). The setting was fine for a museum, but photographically it was boring. Therefore, I created two variations of it. In the first one (#11), I used one of the pictures I’d taken in the ruins as a background, and in the second picture (#12). I combined the statue with storm clouds. You can see how dramatic and compelling a simple museum shot can become.

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Another alternative is to photograph indoor performances. Depending on where you are in the world, you can usually find folk dancing, various forms of theater, children’s performances, and so on. In Indonesia, puppet shows are a unique form of entertainment and the whirling dervishes in Istanbul are always wonderful to photograph (#13). In China, cultural shows are fascinating to watch and great to photograph. See if you can get permission through a local guide to go backstage and photograph the performers getting ready for the show. I did this with a photo tour group and everyone loved the behind-the-scenes experience as much as the show itself (#14).

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You can always satisfy your passion to be productive every day by shooting interiors. Religious architecture everywhere in the world is fantastic, like the ceiling detail in the Chora church in Istanbul (#15) or the cosmology plan in the tomb of Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings at Luxor, Egypt (#16). Colorful indoor bazaars typical of the Middle East are great subjects as well (#17). These places are wonderful to shoot not only if it’s raining, but also if the heat of the day becomes unbearable.

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When you move indoors, the lighting is significantly reduced, of course, and if you like to think outside the box, experiment with slow shutter speeds. In the Palace of Versailles in France (#18), the stunning Hall of Mirrors was too crowded to get a decent shot of the architecture. Therefore, I took advantage of all the colors people were wearing and took this picture at 1⁄4th of a second with a 16mm lens. It reminds me of an impressionistic painting done during the Renaissance.

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