When it comes to our photography, we tend to gravitate towards clear, sunny days. The lighting is better and it’s just more enjoyable to be outside on sunny days! However, there is a lot to beauty to be captured on rainy days too! Though it may not be as easy to capture the rain, and you may get a little bit wet, you can create some truly beautiful photos of rainy scenes. With the tips below, you can master the art of rain photography, and start capturing those gorgeous shots!
Protect Your Gear
Many DSLRs these days are weatherproof to some degree and can handle a light mist or a few drops of water, but if you are out in a torrential downpour, you will need to make sure you protect your camera. An easy way to do so is to buy a protective rain sleeve. You can also get a lens hood, which will prevent water drops from landing on your lens, and a waterproof camera case to keep the gear you are not using dry as well. In a pinch, you can also use a clear plastic bag to protect your camera!
Use the Right Camera Settings
Just like any other type of photography, using the correct camera settings is crucial in capturing the shot properly. In a rainy setting, you will most likely want to use a medium to high ISO, to help you compensate for the low light. Like any other subject in motion, rain will require a fast shutter speed in order to be captured properly. The fast shutter speed is another reason to use a higher ISO! Finally, use a large aperture to allow more light into the camera.
The exact settings you use for your photos will vary, as each scene will be slightly different. Use these as a starting point, and then adjust your settings from there.
Backlight the Rain
Unless it is pouring, it may be difficult to actually see the raindrops in your photos. To make them stand out, add or find some backlighting for your shot. If you are shooting a portrait, you can add an off-camera flash behind your subject to light up the raindrops and make them more visible. If you do not have a flash, or do not want to use one, there are plenty of ways to incorporate the light sources you can find in your shoot location. Street lamps, car headlights, billboards, and windows are all great ways to add light to your photo and make the raindrops visible.
Look for Water Reflections
The puddles gathering on the streets can also create some great shots. See what you can see reflected in the water and use that to capture some creative shots. Buildings, billboards, and people walking in the streets are all great options. Rain can make a location look totally different, so a scene that you have photographed on a sunny day make look totally new, and give you a new perspective on the area.
Capture the Surrounding Scene
Sometimes you don’t need to capture the actual rain, you can capture the clues in the surrounding scene that indicate it is raining. Look for umbrellas, rain jackets, puddles, and reflections that show it is raining without necessarily capturing the raindrops. Umbrellas and other elements like them can add great shape, form, and colour to your photos.
Although sunny days are beautiful, venturing out and capturing the rain is a fantastic opportunity, too. If you have never tried to photograph rain before, use these tips and challenge yourself to capture something new!