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Many coastal areas are subject to frequent afternoon thunderstorms that can make for dramatically lit and composed photographs. Try these tips to make the most of stormy weather:

• Thunderheads rolling in from the horizon can add tension to a peaceful sunlit foreground.

• Add a polarizing filter to increase the drama of the scene.

• After the storm has passed, the light may be very soft, with a pastel palette.

• Crank up the ISO or use a tripod to ensure sharp images in low light.

• Puddles create reflections of the surrounding scene—a ripple from raindrops or a pebble can create a surreal image. Use a fast shutter speed to freeze that wavelet so you can see the pattern.

ADAPTED FROM LIGHTING PHOTO WORKSHOP BY CHRIS BUCHER (WILEY/PHOTOWORKSHOP.COM, 2007, $30).

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