The Outsider – Photography in Algoma

Foul Weather Photography

Updated: By James Smedley

A beautiful, warm and sunny day can produce some beautiful images, especially if the blue sky is dappled with fluffy white clouds. However, some of the most dramatic shots are taken during periods of foul weather; when the elements aren’t quite as hospitable.  But braving them can result in some keeper images.

Whether it’s rain, hail, wind, sleet or fog, it’s always important to dress for the occasion so we can concentrate on the shot and not our discomfort. Pouring rain increases the saturation of colour in the rocks along the Lake Superior cobble beach in the image above.


Photo credit: James Smedley Outdoors

It’s always worthwhile heading down to the coast of Lake Superior when there are high winds. I like to bring a soft, absorbent cloth to wipe my lens because blowing spray is a given any time there is wind and waves on the Big Lake. I generally keep my ISO setting – how sensitive our camera’s sensor is to light – as low as possible, but in the low light often associated with foul weather, I will use a higher ISO setting.


Photo credit: James Smedley Outdoors


Photo credit: James Smedley Outdoors

A fishing tournament that was delayed by fog presented this angler stretching in silhouette behind the rising sun.

Unseasonably cold temperatures and a blast of unexpected snow paint an interesting picture of a late-season fishing trip where partner Gord Ellis has no choice but to look rugged.


Photo credit: James Smedley Outdoors

Sometimes a variety of elements come together for an unexpected shot. Here the umbrella, the rain and the insightful graffiti painted on the rock face lent themselves well to an interesting composition – with a lesson.

About James Smedley

Professional photographer and writer James Smedley’s contributions - more than 400 written pieces and close to 1,000 images - to U.S. and Canadian books, magazines and newspapers have earned him over 40 National and International awards. In addition to teaching photography workshops, James is Travel Editor at Ontario OUT OF DOORS Magazine. James has fly fished for brook trout and arctic grayling in far northern rivers and continues to cast for trout, bass and steelhead near his home in the northern Ontario town of Wawa where he lives with his wife Francine and daughters Islay and Lillian.

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