Taking photographs during a rainy weather may not seem a good idea to some, but you can actually take advantage of the bad weather and come up with some interesting compositions. Although it isn’t easy to stay outside and shoot while it rains, you can find that the water from the rain can sometimes contribute to a fascinating scenery. Think of the raindrops that, while on different surfaces, reflect the light in interesting ways. This is just a part of the different opportunities you might encounter when photographing in the rain. There are many more things you may find to be very interesting during a rainy weather and sometimes you will find that bad weather can help you get more creative if you take the time to explore this part of photography.
This article will point out some of the things you should do to turn bad weather into an advantage for your photography and also what gear and accessories to use when shooting in the rain.
What to look for when photographing in the rain.
Most people don’t take the time to look around when they are outside during a rainy weather, but if you look for things to shoot while it rains you will see that there is a new world waiting to be photographed. Sometimes the rain produces some dramatic scenes and an interesting atmosphere that makes photos taken in these conditions beautiful. During the rain, or even right after it stops, there are usually amazing cloud formations and also water drops that produce interesting reflections making colors look beautiful.
If you look around you when it rains, the most usual things will look different and unusual. Try to notice the people around you; they make a great subject for photography when it rains. Sometimes they are in a hurry, sometimes they enjoy the rain (usually that only happens in the summer).They just behave differently. Watching those reactions of people towards rain and having a camera ready can help you capture some great images.
Photo by Victor Eredel
Composition tips for rain photography.
Shots of objects or people taken in the rain can be great, especially if you happen to be able to capture an interesting moment. However you should also take the time to properly compose your shot, as this is one of the best ways to achieve great photographs. For example, in the case of people, you can try and capture them in an interesting context, near a window full of rain drops, or when they are passing near a puddle of water that reflects their image and distorts it in an interesting way.
Nature also makes a great subject for a composition that involves rain. Look for different patterns around you, the nature is full of them and rain drops that gather on leaves, branches or grass make a wonderful subject. Try to find an angle that emphasizes the rain drops and their reflections.
Urban scenery also looks more dramatic when covered with rain drops. Just like in any other scenery try and compose your image in a way through which you can take advantage of the fact that water reflects the light almost like a mirror does. If you take the time to find the right angle, you can get some beautiful reflections. They are a great asset to composition, especially in an urban environment where even the ordinary buildings and surroundings can turn into beautiful abstract images through the reflection in the water.
Rain doesn’t only make things look more interesting for a composition but it can also help you get a shot of an isolated place. When it rains there are usually less people in the street and this can help you achieve some great shots of places that are usually full of people. Just think of a very crowded street in your city. That same street will be empty on a rainy day which will make it a great moment to photograph it. A scenery that is usually filled with people will look totally different without them and will make a picture more dramatic, try to take this into consideration when composing a photograph in a rainy day.
You should also look for any possible lightning as it can have a great effect on your images. Keep in mind that it should be used as a part of the whole scenery and compose your image accordingly. Also, when shooting lightning you will either need luck to capture it with fast shutter speeds or you will have to use a tripod and slow shutter speeds. There is a whole technique of photographing lightning and storms, but if your purpose is rain photography you should not neglect the surrounding scenery. The water from the ground can be used in a composition to capture the reflection of the lightning creating an interesting effect.
As I mentioned above, colors can look great during a rainy weather but you can also try a different approach and shoot in black and white. Sometimes these photographs can look impressive and add a dramatic sense to the image.
Gear and accessories required for rain photography.
The most important thing when taking photographs in the rain is to keep your equipment dry. Cameras are sensitive electronic equipment and you should be careful not to let it get wet.
First of all you must get a camera bag that is water proof in order to protect your camera from the bad weather, while you’re carrying it. A zip lock bag would be the best idea since it will most likely be the best defense for your camera against rain drops.
If wind is not a problem you should also get an umbrella to protect you and your camera while you’re shooting. It might be difficult to hold the umbrella while you’re framing but it will be the best option to keep your camera dry.
There is another option you can use to keep your camera dry, and that is by using a rain cover specially designed for camera gear. This will be wrapped around the camera covering it, but you should get one that is waterproof and that still gives you access to the camera’s functions. There are many manufacturers that make such covers, like for example www.fotosharp.com . Their covers have a Velcro opening and drawstrings on both ends and most importantly are waterproof.
Get a lens hood and attach it to your lenses. If the wind isn’t too strong a lens hood will help to keep the water away from the glass. If you need to change lenses be careful not to let water go inside the camera. Also, when you are not using the camera, point it towards the ground so that the lens doesn’t get wet.
Photographing during bad weather conditions is not an easy task, but if you take the measures to protect yourself and the camera from the rain, the rest will seem natural. Take the time to compose the images right and look for interesting subjects and you will get some wonderful pictures in the rain.
Below are some great examples of rain photography:
Photo by MarcelGermain
Photo by JureDolzan
Photo by Hclemon
Photo by GhostlyGoblin
Photo by vodooclown
Photo by Maozi
Photo by Rein
Photo by Mihai
You may want to take a look at 31 Fabulous Examples of Rain Photography. I hope you find this article about rain photography helpful.