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  • Writer's picturePaul Cotter

When Dark Clouds Roll In

Dark clouds roll in behind a town in Ireland

(Spoiler alert: This is a story about photography, but there's also a deeper message.)

In my early days of photography I looked for bright sunny days, assuming that the most beautiful days would naturally yield the best photographs. But I soon learned the wisdom of what the master photographer Ansel Adams said: “Bad weather makes for good photography.”

Ansel was right. For landscapes, the view becomes far more dynamic when there’s drama in the sky. For portraits, harsh sunlight and dark shadows will soften when the sun goes behind clouds, presenting more flattering photos of faces.

Bad weather is good for photography. And I believe it’s essential for a life lived fully.

When dark clouds roll into our lives, that’s when we have the greatest opportunities for growth.

It’s the difficult times that challenge us and strengthen us. It's the times of adversity that mold our character by showing what we're capable of. It's the times of heartache that unlock our compassion because we understand what others are going through.

If life were nothing but blue skies and sunshine, photography – and life – would be a lot less enriching.

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