European cities, long weekends and photography go very well together. The “common” knowledge says that the fourth element is sun. There is a general feeling that in order to make good photos a lot of sun is mandatory. Yet the reality is pretty different.
First – the creative barrier: it is definitely harder to swim against the tide of sunny pictures with every monument, every cafe, every bridge/church/park than to come with a different look. Gloomy photographs – old buildings, overcast skies, huddled passer-bys – make for pretty powerful imagery. Not to mention that Gothic architecture works better with doom’n’gloom weather.
The second issue with sunny weather is the technical limitations of the cameras. It is easy to forget that the poor camera does not have the huge light latitude our eyes have. The dynamic range (the range of light intensities a camera can work with in one shot) of a digital sensor is a very limiting factor. After all – no one likes a white sky and black alleyways. (And no, using film is not better. Actually the dynamic range of film was even more problematic to work with).