CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Cameras

Tips for shooting extreme weather

As Sydney awoke this morning to a blanket of orange haze and Armageddon-esque forecasts, everyone was reaching for their digital camera or mobile phone to grab a shot.

As Sydney awoke this morning to a blanket of orange haze and Armageddon-esque forecasts, everyone was reaching for their digital camera or mobile phone to grab a shot.

(Pier 8/9 Hickson Road on Dust Day image by wilf2, CC 2.0)

But what is the best way to shoot in such extreme circumstances? Here are a few tips.

Always carry a camera

Yep, this old one. Even just a little compact camera or a decent mobile phone camera that you can tote around with you in a handbag or pocket will serve the purpose. It's also important to have your camera ready to shoot on your most common settings as soon as you turn it on — this means turning the flash off, setting the optimum ISO and, if possible, choosing your exposure accordingly.

Beware the red peril!

What's that? There's a stack of dust floating around, you say? If you're using a digital SLR, whatever you do, don't change your SLR's lenses anywhere that there's sky debris floating around. It's not good for your lungs so it's definitely not good for your camera.

(Glass menagerie image by Spencer Ritenour, royalty free)

Filter the light

Grab a filter to put in front of your SLR's lens to change the properties of the light. For extreme dust conditions we'd suggest you always have a UV filter mounted on your lens which will not only protect it but will also diffuse the light.

Neutral density or Graduated Neutral Density filters reduce the amount of light entering your camera's lens and are good for extremely bright conditions so you can increase your exposure time.

Expose for the highlights

Digital photographers take note: you need to expose for the highlights, not the shadows like the good old film days. On a compact point and shoot with no manual controls, this is a little more difficult so you will need to get out the old exposure compensation dial. Review your photos — too bright? Underexpose a little more using the compensation slider.

Did you take an amazing shot this morning? Share them with us below in the talkback or post them on our forums, and we'll show the best photos.