Many photographers are faced with the challenge of mastering how to photograph in wet conditions with digital gear. It may seem like a bad idea to shoot photographs while it is raining, but the fact is a photo enthusiast can find a perfect shot in any condition. Immediately after the rain has ceased, there are many photographic opportunities presented by wet glistening objects as the water bends the light reflecting from these objects. Bad weather can spike your creativity and give you some great compositions.
Taking photographs during bad weather is not easy, but if you take the necessary precautions to protect you and your gear, you could end up with some very rewarding results. Here are some tips on how to photograph in wet conditions with digital gear:
Keep your camera dry
Digital cameras are pretty sensitive and should be kept dry at all times. Ziploc bags make great waterproof bags for cameras and they are cost effective. Additionally it is best to use umbrellas for added protection during a rainy shoot. Undoubtedly it will be much easier to use umbrellas when it’s not windy.
Another option is using specially designed waterproof rain cover for camera gear. Select one that will still allow you to operate the camera. Use a lens hood and attach that to the camera lens to keep it dry. Be careful not to let any water get into the camera if you need to change the lens.
Under the pouring rain by Shikhei Goh
Capturing the perfect wet shot
The forest or woodland offers some great shots for rain photography. When there is wet weather, colors become saturated allowing more details to become visible. This is particularly true of abstract and intimate pictures. Vertical shots tend to yield some especially great photos.
As mentioned before the play of light reflecting from a wet object offers some great shots. This could be the light from a street lamp or the headlights of a vehicle shining on a newly washed surface. The water reflects the light in many directions and in varying intensity so that the object that you wish to snap may take on different interesting shapes and forms from the play of light.
To capture a good shot of your object, place yourself at an angle that will allow the light reflecting from the wet surface to fall directly onto your lens.
Capturing rain drops as a part of your composition
During a heavy shower you can stop the rain so that the drops become visible, or you can blur it so that it appears like a semi-opaque curtain offering a sneak peek of your images. To capture the raindrops, you will need to crank up your shutter speed to a minimum of 1/250. You will also need to set the aperture to get a desirable deep depth of field. If this is not done you will end up with a photo whose subject is in very sharp focus, but the real composition you wanted would have been lost. The rain drops or curtain of rain effect is meant to add a soft touch to your photograph.
When your photo shoot session is finished, dry your camera equipment thoroughly. Detach the lens during the drying process and dry it with a lens cleaner cloth.