Guest post : Rain photography

I’m still out with the flu, so today a quick guestblog post.
If you also want to be featured on the blog as guest feel free to drop us a mail.
Today a blogpost on shooting “Rain”.

 

Rain Photography: Tips and Tricks for Shooting in the Rain
by : Gilbert Bermudez

 

 

 

Image Source: Pixabay

 

A heavy downpour is certainly not a photographer’s idea of a perfect shooting weather. But in some cases, the falling rain and dull lighting may even make your photos better. Rain often lends a moody, dramatic quality to your shots that you won’t be able to achieve otherwise, and by using it to your advantage, you can produce some truly spectacular images. Whatever photography niche you specialize in, you cannot escape rain photography. The weather can be unpredictable, which means you will have to learn to shoot in the rain at some point in your career. Rain photography can be difficult, but it can also yield beautiful, incredibly artistic results.

 

What You Will Need:

Rain Gear
Bring a raincoat, umbrella, rain boots, or any other type of rain gear you have at home that can provide you with adequate protection from the rain. Before you can even think about protecting your equipment, you need to think about protecting yourself. Going out in the rain without so much as a hat is one surefire way to get sick, which will certainly put a damper on your photographical exploits. Another problem with not wearing proper rain gear is the fact that getting soaked from head to toe will leave you shivering from the cold, and a shivering photographer is less likely to keep his hands steady to take such finicky photos.

 

Waterproof Camera Case
Protecting your camera is the second highest priority. Invest in a waterproof camera case for your DSLR, especially if you plan on doing more rain photography in the future. These cases are also great for protecting your camera from other elements such as dust, sand, or mud. You can find them at your local camera shops or at online stores like BH, Adorama or for example CameraNu.nl

 

Lens Hood
Don’t forget to bring and use your lens hood when shooting in the rain. Aside from reducing lens flare and protecting your lens from everyday bumps and knocks, it also keeps raindrops away from your lens.

 

Microfiber Cloths
When shooting in wet conditions, clean microfiber cloths in your camera bag come in handy. That way, when your camera or lens gets wet, you can easily dry them in a snap.

 

Tripod
It’s optional but recommended. Due to the tricky conditions, using a tripod may make your life easier to help prevent image blurring from camera shake. Faster shutter speeds are ideal for capturing individual droplets of rain, but if that is not what you are going for, you may end up using a slower shutter speed due to the low-light conditions. Tripods can help you avoid camera shake or motion blur when using slower shutter speeds, so it’s best to have it on hand just in case.

 

The Basics:

Shutter Speed
If you want to “freeze” the rain and capture each drop in your photo, you will need a faster shutter speed. Conversely, you will need slower shutter speeds if you want to capture the movement of the rain and make it appear as a blur. Use 1/250 sec as a starting point and go faster or slower, depending on your desired effect. 1/125 sec or lower is not ideal for freezing motion.

 

Aperture
With rain photography, you aren’t just photographing your subject—you are trying to capture the background and the rainy environment as well. Since this is the case, try to avoid a shallower depth of field so that more elements are in focus. Start with f/8 and go from there. If using faster shutter speeds, you will need a larger aperture to ensure that you get enough light, and vice versa.

 

ISO
Most cameras these days have an auto ISO feature, so if your camera has that, you may not have to worry about this too much. Nikon’s newer DSLR models have their new ISO Sensitivity Auto Control feature, which allows you to set a limit for how high your ISO can get or determine a preset shutter speed at which it should start automatically raising the ISO. Of course, you can also adjust it yourself. If you are trying to freeze the raindrops, go with ISO 1600 or above. However, keep in mind that higher camera sensitivity means more image noise, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on the mood and composition you are going for. Experiment with your settings and go lower as needed.

 

Focal Length
Once again, you will need to experiment here. Longer focal lengths, particularly 50mm or more, can offer greater magnification (due to the narrower field of view) that will be useful for creating more or less blur.

 

Flash
In low-light conditions, you may want to try using your flash to “freeze” the raindrops. But if you’re going for the blurry rain effect, you may not need to use your flash at all.

 

Other Useful Tips:

Shoot Against a Dark Background
Darker backgrounds will allow you to put more focus on your subject and the rainy atmosphere.

 

Experiment with Lighting
When it comes to capturing the rain, the best lighting is one that comes in from the side or from the back.

 

Take Shots From Different Angles
Shoot your photos while walking around your subject to find the perfect angle and the best lighting conditions to shoot from.

 

Get Creative with Your Flash
Using your flash in creative ways can help give you a variety of lighting options to choose from. You may also use your flash to create interesting effects.

 

 

Shooting in the rain does not have to be a difficult or troublesome venture—as long as you follow these useful rain photography tips, of course.

Now, the next time rain starts pouring down while you’re doing a photoshoot, you won’t have to take a rain check.