Photographers who dare to go outside when it rains, have an advantage over their dry counterparts. Sure they may get wet, but they have an opportunity to take some awesome pictures of the rain. We put together a few tips for taking pictures in the rain, followed by a selection of great rain photos.
Five Tips for Shooting in the Rain
For those of you who prefer to stay dry, you can take great rainy window photos from inside, or wait until the rain stops and photograph puddles and wet streets.
1. Have a list of locations and ideas ready for a rainy day
To avoid losing a good day of shooting, prepare yourself for the inevitable downpour. Familiar landscapes and cityscapes may surprise you when they’re transformed by the rain. Rain is also an opportunity to experiment with depth of field and play with the reflection in puddles, wet streets, and rained-on windows.
2. Keep your gear dry
Your camera is by far your most valuable possession, so you may want to invest in a rain cover, although a plastic bag with a hole in it can also do the trick. Make sure your bag is waterproof and stays dry throughout the shoot.
3. Keep yourself (and your models) dry
Wear waterproof clothing and bring an umbrella. Umbrellas are also great props and can improve the composition of your pictures, so consider bringing two of them.
4. Don’t use your camera’s pop-up flash
The rain in front of the camera will reflect the flash right back at you. The rain drops will block the scene and the result is not pretty. If you want to illuminate the rain in your photo, try to light it from the back instead. You can create a beautiful effect by using sunlight or streetlights to shine on the rain from behind.
5. Try out different ways of capturing rain
Rain can be photographed in different ways. You can photograph a shower far away in the distance, or you can take a macro picture of a single raindrop. You can freeze the rain with a short shutter speed, or blur it. You can focus on the rain specifically, or use it to enhance the atmosphere of a picture. The same scene can look very different, depending on how you incorporate rain into your photo.
Pictures of Rain
Here’s a selection of wonderful rain photos from our Flickr group.
Related Resources on Rain Photography
For more tips and ideas for taking pictures on a rainy day, check out these resources.
TPA – Great Tips for Shooting in the Rain
Chris Derrick is a great fan of rain photography. In this blog post, he discusses different ways to photograph rain, what camera settings you should use, and some things to keep in mind.
Contrastly — Helpful Tips & Tricks for Taking Photos in the Rain
This post has useful tips both on preparing to shoot in the rain and when taking pictures.
National Geographic — Taking Photos in the Rain
Jim Richardson is a seasoned photographer who also has a few useful tips for shooting in the rain, especially for city and town photography.
Popular Photography — Tips From a Pro: Shoot in the Rain
If you’re interested in how to capture different weather conditions, then this article is a good start. It covers how to capture hight-contrast storms, downpours, lightning, and more.