Top 7 Reasons Gray Days Equal Good Photos

By Cat Rooney, Epoch Times
December 1, 2013 Updated: April 24, 2016

The time available for me to take photos of the dramatic local fall foliage ended up being on an overcast day with intermittent misty rain. My first reaction was disappointment and a desire to stay in bed. 

I rationalized that it was the only time I had to attempt the shoots so make the best of it. Those thoughts were somewhat inspiring but what really got me moving was remembering: a gray day is a great day for capturing colors. And, wow this fall was colorful. 

Here are seven reasons why gray and stormy skies can enhance photo taking.


Gray is always a great backdrop for emphasizing color, as shown with the fall pictures in the photo gallery. To compensate for low light, experiment with increasing ISO to 400, 800 and so on.


The even lighting of a cloudy day is perfect for catching fine detail in macro (close up) photography of gardens, wildflowers, and various aspects of nature. If need be, a reflector screen or a silver car visor, a white piece of paper or poster board, can bounce subtle light onto the subject to add just a little glow to an area.


The effects of a stormy day can make “almost interesting scenes” become interesting.


Weather related photos can be dramatic such as approaching storms, moody skies, mist rising, and far off lighting strikes. A storm breaking apart can encompass the advantages of gray skies and bright sunlight. Rainbows are always a welcome sight to catch on camera.


Water droplets, ice, and snow on an object can make for an appealing composition.


Distinctive clouds make interesting subject matter. Clouds can also set off the other scenes in a picture or add depth. 


If there is not much color in the landscape but distinct highlights (white) and contrasts (black) and various grays, this can lend itself to a nice photo. Most post-production software has a feature to turn such a photo into a black and white image, which is worth exploring.

On stormy days, remember to keep your camera protected, and to dry it immediately if it gets wet. Set it in a bag of rice if it gets drenched.

As with my few hours photographing the local fall, being in and capturing nature with a camera can be rewarding regardless of the weather. 

Discussions about photography and hearing your comments and/or experiences are greatly encouraged. Please feel free to comment at the end of the article—I promise to respond. To submit your own photo(s)on gray or stormy days for possible posting on this column click here