The British weather and how we cope!
Tobi Carver - 20th August 2020
After a long lockdown and the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic some might say things are getting back to normal. When I say that I mean it is August. The height of summer and – you could have guessed it – we’ve been hit with a great big storm.
That got us thinking. Maybe you’d like to know how our photographic team deal with such bad weather and what on earth we do on those crazy mornings…
Whatever the weather…
Every day of the year one of us heads out to capture the best possible images of the sunrise for you to chose your perfect one to mark that special occasion. Whatever occasion that is and whatever the weather.
What you don’t see of course is our processes. If you’ve read our daily reports or follow our Instagram stories you’ll know the weather that day might not have been great or that it was wet. That doesn’t really come across in the photographs though.
That beautiful image you love? The one of feathered white water as the wave washes up the beach? It looks so serene and atmospheric. What you don’t often see is poor Kieran trying to simultaneously stop his tripod from blowing over while fighting the wind to stay upright himself. Or Gav doing everything possible from being blasted by the hail, or me tucked in a cave! All this while also trying to wipe the rain drops off the camera’s lens.
Yep some mornings really are like that!
So how do we deal with the worst of the British weather? With the wind and the rain, the drizzle and mizzle or even the snow?
Ways and Means…
There are several products, in the way of waterproof housings for the camera, clothing and coverings on the market. These do help but here at The Day That we’ve evolved our own ways and means of coping against mother nature..
Many photographers have the luxury of waiting for that squall to pass, or sitting in the car with a nice hot cuppa while the hail beats down at the window. We however have a pre-defined shoot time – usually 30 mins before sunrise until about 20 – 30 mins after sunrise. And it’s amazing how quickly the light and conditions can change in that short window.
As such we simply have to tog up and go for it. Wellies, waterproofs trousers, raincoats, layers. Lots of layers!
You’ve also just got to get stuck into the shoot, you never know if the first image or the last may be the best from the day so you’ve just simply got to get out there and embrace the elements and hope for the best. Conditions change so fast, sometimes you can get in the zen and forget all about the rain.
Wetsuits have been considered in the past, umbrella hats, mini gazebos etc, but they don’t really cut it. We need to move around the beach frequently – avoiding pushing waves, changing light, catching different angles.
It certainly wakes you up in an invigorating way! Oddly when it’s hammering it down it seems to flatten the sea out and so you can work to capture this wonderful serene outlook of the new dawn unfold knowing that you’re one of the few people in the country enjoying and embracing it in such a way.
The lens is the most important part – all your hard work can be undone by a single water droplet on the lens, and when the rain is blowing from the East this can be hard work!
The sun shines brightest after the storm…
We shoot in the UK and typically I can hear the rain hammering down outside as I type! This isn’t Sydney. Someone once said to me that it never rains all day and we like to think that the photos we capture every dawn is a true representation of each and every new dawn, whatever the weather.
It’s often true also, the sun does shine brightest after the storm.
We work hard to give you the best shortlist of images possible that will serve as an emotional memento of that special day.
Oh and if you were wondering about Doug – our drone operator extraordinaire who will normally find any excuse to whip out his drone. In bad weather he simply wakes up, hears the rain and rolls over and go back to sleep. Sensible boy perhaps?!