Shooting in Overcast Light


I am sure most of you have heard how great it is to photograph on overcast days.  The reasons are that the light is diffused, and there are virtually no shadows.  Plus the colors tend to be more saturated, especially if there has been rain showers.  In this case we are not talking about saturated with wetness, but more vibrancy in the colors.

Black-crested Titmouse

Such were the conditions Tuesday morning.  There was no rain falling in the area but it was heavily clouded.  I waited until late morning, around 11:00, to go out to the bird blind at San Angelo State Park.  During bright sunny days, this blind is not the greatest for photography at this time of day.  Mainly because of the direction in which the blind faces.  But this day, it wouldn’t have mattered which way it faced.  It was perfect lighting from any direction.

Pyrrhuloxia peeking through branches

I couldn’t believe my good fortune when arriving there.  As you can see from the photos, the light is perfect.  There was no feed in the feeders, but I took care of that and put out enough to satisfy the birds that were still hanging around.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

I set up my Bogen-Manfrotto tripod with the Wimberley gimball head.  On that I mounted my Canon EOS 7D and Canon f4 500mm lens.  I had no need for the 1.4 converter at the blind.  I also had my 100-400mm lens with me, but found no need to use it during this shooting session.

I was quite comfortable sitting and shooting from an open window.  I had a few munchies and a bottle of Gatorade with me so I was content to just sit and watch for a few photo ops for over an hour.

Anyway, in conclusion, unless you are specifically looking for blue skies and puffy white clouds, get out there with your camera on those dreary days.  You will surprise yourself with your results.

Photo data, all aperture priority and center-weighted metering:

Black-crested Titmouse:  1/640 sec @ f7.1, -0.3EV, ISO 160.

Pyrrhuloxia:  1/800 sec @f7.1, -0.3EV,  ISO 400.

Yellow-rumped Warbler:  1/640 sec @ f7.1, -0.3EV, ISO 400.