Weather’s often near the top of the list of worries when people travel. It can dictate how you spend your time in your destination, the way you pack, what you get to do. It can also affect your pictures. I used to think the best outdoor pictures were framed by light and cloudless skies. What’s more gorgeous than a smoldering, charcoal-gray mountain set against the backdrop of a bright blue sky?
More and more, I’ve found some of the darkest, most dismal days produce the most haunting pictures. That kind of weather lends a different tone to the images; in a way, they are more naked and real. Think of those celebrity gossip magazines that post pictures of models and actresses without makeup. Some may look worse without all that glam, but many still look pretty — it’s just a more understated, rawer beauty than the kind makeup provides.
The sky was gray and spitted rain on and off when Brendan and I visited Cradle Mountain outside Launceston. I was initially really bummed, especially when our tour guide said we probably wouldn’t be able to see much of the mountain because of fog. But there was something about the mix of hazy gray that made the sky, mountain and water matching colors and how it contrasted with the green grass.
It wasn’t like the blazing blue of my New Zealand mountain pictures or the Blue Mountains’ mix of navy and dark green. These were the hues of dreariness, sadness and mystery. They were like the muted beauty that can be seen in old age, in sickness and in graceful dying at the end of a long, great life.
Then, just before we left, the fog started to lift ever so slightly, the mountain exposing just a bit more of itself to us. The grays became more disparate, showing the clear division between sky, lake and mountain. The clouds still hovered, never quite leaving the mountain’s side.
As we drove out of the park, the mountain became engulfed in cloud cover once again.
Are you a fan of cloudy, rainy-day shots?