Taking photos in the rain can often be very challenging. Rain usually means; faster winds, camera damage, low light situations and dramatic shots. While it may be difficult, the results can be quite rewarding. Often, photographers think that the only way they can achieve such shots is by investing in weather sealed cameras and lenses, I’m here to tell you that no matter what camera you have you can go out there, get wet, and create some epic shots.
When shooting in the rain the most important detail to keep in check is that your gear is safe. If your camera and lens are weather-sealed, great, you have one less thing to worry about. If they’re not, then it’s time to take some preventative measures to make sure you don’t get any water damage.
Shoot from inside your car. Depending where you are, you may be able to just park facing away from the rain, roll down your window and get the shot you want.
Use a plastic bag. A plastic grocery bag, or any bag large enough for you camera to fit in is all you really need to get a quick shot in the rain. Just make a small hole for your lens to shoot out of and try to keep your hands dry to make sure you don’t get any water in the buttons when changing your settings.
Buy a rain cover. While a plastic grocery bag can be enough to keep your camera dry, it can get annoying and may often have holes that water can go through. If you’re serious about getting your shot and about keeping your gear dry then you should invest on a rain cover. These are cheap, water resistant covers that fit your camera and have openings for you to keep your hands in so nothing can get wet. When using a rain cover, you may want to put a lens hood on in order to get a more secure fit and to get some extra protection from the rain.
Use an Umbrella. You can also use an umbrella to keep you and your camera dry. It may be a little more challenging to hold the umbrella with one hand and you camera with the other but it is doable. You can even include the umbrella in your shot to get some different compositions.
Depending on what type of look you are going for in your photo, rain can create some very crazy and creative compositions. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are out getting your photo.
Backlight. Rain shows up better on a photo when it is backlit. Using the sun, moon, streetlights or even car headlamps you can get some dramatic shots. Depending on your angle, the light may be too strong and ruin your exposure so be sure to find a good balance and experiment with different settings and angles.
Shutter speeds. You may want to try raising or lowering your shutter speed to get different compositions. A quick shutter speed will freeze the rain mid-air while a slow shutter speed can create unique looking curtains of rain. When using a low shutter speed, you will want to have a tripod handy, and in order to avoid any motion blur take off your camera strap so that it does not flail with the wind and movement.
Flash. While using flash may seem a little out of the ordinary due to the rain drops reflecting light right back to the camera, if you put your cameras flash to its lowest setting you can sometimes get some cool shots. Using flash can make it a little easier to freeze a raindrop mid air but it can also be very tricky. Give it a try and see what works best for you.
Reflections. Rain creates the opportunity to shoot some creative shots using puddles. You can get your subjects reflection or some neon lights glowing in a moody setting. Keep a look out next time your out shooting in the rain for some unique compositions.
Rain can make an ordinary, popularly photographed area into a new canvas full of moody and/or dramatic shots. Pop in some vibrant yellow or red into your photos and you can create a new look to almost any rainy place. Share with us your experiences shooting in the rain and what has worked best for you. Start a discussion on the comments below.