Rain Photography

Rain Photography – Let’s Master It!

Rain is a great way to bring emotion, drama, a sense of motion, texture, and even excitement to a shot, even if we think it’s dull and drab. Rain photography, on the other hand, can be difficult, especially if you aren’t anticipating rain. You must consider exposing your photograph to difficult lighting situations, unsaturated colours, gloomy sky, and, of course, protecting your equipment from water.

The use of rain in photography is both artistic and dramatic.

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Rain photography, whether it’s street, landscape, macro, or product photography, is a wonderful method to add additional excitement to a subject.

This blog will show you how to use texture, composition, and reflections to make the most of a rainy day.

Rain photography is difficult, and many photographers would rather wait for better conditions. Photographing rain and wet subjects necessitates the use of specialised equipment and settings, as well as the ability to compose in tough situations and express a lyrical message. Rain photography, unlike sunset photography, requires low light, grey skies, unsaturated colours, and a lot of water.

Oh, by the way, GoSocial lets you grab this opportunity to interact with many artists who are into rain photography and love clicking rain photographs. If you are someone looking to attend/host workshops on rain photography or join communitiesGoSocial is for you. 

Despite this, rain photographs appear in the portfolios of all great photographers, regardless of their style. This is for a variety of reasons. Rain has a mysterious, moody, and dramatic quality about it. It alters both the terrain and the people. Rain is always unique and ideal for artistic expression. It has the ability to convert a mundane subject into something spectacular.

A must-read: Ultimate Guide to Get Started with Photography

Do you recall Elliott Erwitt‘s shot “Leap on a Rainy Day,” which was taken to commemorate the Eiffel Tower’s one-hundredth anniversary? Or Henri Cartier-many Bresson’s rainy day photographs? Without rain, his street photography would have been unrecognisable.

Today, I have come up with 10 tips that will help you capture the best photographs in the rain. So, come let’s get your rain photography game strong. 

10 Rain Photography Tips 

The ambition to capture the world in a unique way trumps the necessity to feel comfortable and warm for most photographers. Here are some helpful tips for making the most of a rainy day if you’re new to the game.

1. Obtain the “appropriate” camera:

A camera that performs admirably in low-light situations. Purchase a professional DSLR or mirrorless camera that features cutting-edge technology. With a smartphone camera, rain photography will be difficult. A wide dynamic range and the ability to photograph at high ISO are required.

2. Look for reflections in the water.

You can play around with the reflections left on the ground once the rain clouds have lifted and the streets are sticky with puddles.

To get this look, filmmakers and photographers toss water on the ground and catch beautiful reflections. In between showers, take advantage of nature’s gift and go outside.

Exploring damp city streets at night can give you that futuristic Blade Runner aesthetic…

Alternatively, get imaginative by framing subjects against their reflections. The options are limitless.

A suggested read: Water Photography Tips - All You Need to Know about Water Photography

3. Shutter speed:

When you freeze the activity and catch a freeze-frame of the falling raindrops in exact clarity, rain photography looks stunning. You’ll need a fast shutter speed for this. To freeze the velocity of the raindrops, start with a shutter speed of 1/125 or higher, and then explore. 

You can create the illusion of a waterfall by using a slower shutter speed, but be careful not to use one that is too slow because you will lose your focal point. Remember that each rainfall is unique, so what works for one person may not necessarily work for another.

4. Wide aperture:

A wide aperture is required to accommodate a quick shutter speed because it allows enough light into the camera. Choosing shutter speed and aperture values that complement each other, on the other hand, is a delicate balancing act. 

You’ll probably require a deeper depth of field for portrait photography in the rain to keep your subjects in focus. In order to capture background detail in landscape and cityscape photography in the rain, you’ll need a deeper depth of field, which requires a lower aperture.

Also read: Aesthetic Photography - A Comprehensive Guide

Finding the appropriate aperture will take some trial and error; f/8 is an excellent place to start, and adjust to the depth of field you think looks ideal. Many photographers use bracketing to get the appropriate exposure when shooting in the rain. A prime lens, as previously stated, can also be advantageous.

5. Rain photography gear:

a. A camera with a large dynamic range for low-light photography:

Because rain usually comes with a dark and gloomy sky, you’ll need a camera with a broad dynamic range for low-light photography. To cope with inadequate lighting, the optimum camera for rain photography will have a high ISO setting. These are typically full-frame cameras.

b. Rain cover:

You’ll want to protect your camera from the elements. You can buy waterproof rain covers for cameras, which are ideal for rain photography, but if you’re on a budget, you can be creative and make your own plastic bag solution to keep your camera dry. To keep your lens secure, you can purchase waterproof lens coverings.

c. A raincoat:

You’ll need a raincoat for your camera as well as one for yourself. Professional cameras are costly, and you don’t want to risk destroying yours in one photoshoot. Waterproof camera cases, lens hoods, and custom rain covers are all available. Make sure your camera stays dry by putting it in a transparent plastic bag. Don’t forget about your own convenience. If you’re soaked, you won’t have enough patience, energy, or creativity.

man wearing yellow parka jacket holding DSLR camera
Read also: Kickstart Your Learning With These 5 Photography Challenges For Beginners

d. Tripod:

A tripod is quite useful for photographing in the rain. If you want to create the illusion of moving water, you’ll need to slow down your shutter speed, and shooting freehand will result in blurry shots – but using a tripod gives you more stability. However, using a tripod to stabilise your camera is quite useful even when utilising very fast shutter speeds.

e. Lens:

A prime lens is not required, but it may be useful while photographing in the rain. The fixed focal length and wide aperture assist to capture the finer details of the rain and provide better photographs.

black camera lens on white background

f. A flash:

To light up the scene, you can use your camera’s inbuilt flash or bring an external flash.

g. Reflector:

When photographing in the rain, a reflector can help you get the most out of your light sources.

6. Backlighting: 

When using front lighting for portrait photography, it can be tough to focus on the rain as well as your people. Backlighting looks excellent since it gives your subjects a picturesque shine while also allowing you to see the rain more clearly. It appears to be especially romantic for couples’ pictures.

7. Shoot a cityscape scene through a window: 

Shooting a cityscape scene through a window is a unique and interesting way to capture rain. You’re concentrating on the raindrops on the windowpane rather than the falling rain. The cityscape in the background will be out of focus, creating a one-of-a-kind photograph in which the raindrops take centre stage. 

water dew on clear glass sliding window during daytime

Shooting a metropolitan scene through a window looks amazing both day and night since the metropolis lights will illuminate the picture if it is dark.

8. Photographing at a close range: macro photography

Macro photography is a type of photography that focuses on getting extremely close to the subject. With a macro lens, you can snap a close-up shot of a subject like a flower or even people, making it appear larger than life and highly detailed. 

Photographing a flower (or any subject) in the rain will look fantastic since the rain will fall in the background, magnifying the water droplets on the flower petals.

person in white pants under umbrella
Read our blog on Portrait Photography Tips That Every Photographer Should Know

9. Manual Focus

Allowing the camera to determine the focal point will result in the camera focussing on an unimportant section of the scene. Manual focus also allows you exposure control, allowing you to highlight the brighter or darker sections of the scene.

person walking on street while holding black umbrella near cars on road at nighttime

10. Manual Mode + Flash does wonder

Manually control the flash. Flash can also be used to illuminate the raindrops. Because the automatic setting can be harsh, use flash in manual mode and adjust the intensity as needed. Using flash to keep a fast shutter speed is also a good idea. When photographing urban life, portraiture, or commercial photography, use flash.

multicolored bokeh lights
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These suggested settings will assist you in beginning your journey into the world of rain photography. They aren’t, however, the only options available. Select your subject and adjust the settings to fit your personal style, the weather, and the location. Storms, misty autumn rain, rainbows, night rain, tropical rain, and freezing rain are among the many subjects seen in rain photographs. The best photographs don’t always follow the rules.

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