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Useful Photography Tip#36: 5 Ways to Take Advantage of a Rainy Day

by Gevon Servo on 06/29/2012

We seem to be getting a lot of rainy days in our area lately. Rain can be a great time to capture unique images. I am not saying rush out into a storm, however. Take a chance, get a little wet. As crazy as that may sound, we also recommend bringing an umbrella, weather sealed lenses, and perhaps even a rain cover. Your efforts will be greatly rewarded.

Things to Consider Before Shooting in the Rain

Do you have a weather sealed camera? If not, consider rain gear for yourself and your camera. If you are shooting with an interchangeable lens camera, don’t change your lens in the rain.

 Macro

Pull out your macro lens; rainy days provide many opportunities for great images of water. Rain drops falling off of leaves, wet flowers, and abstract images of metal. There are so many things available to shoot, if you are willing to get a little wet. If you need lighting of some sort, try and use a waterproof flashlight,especially if you’re flash is not weather sealed. An interesting idea I have yet to try is getting wireless flash triggers and place those and my flash in a zip lock bag.

People

When’s it s a nice sunny day, people as subjects can be boring sometimes. In the rain, the same people can be dramatic. They have a single focus and that is to stay dry. They are bobbing and weaving their through the rain. There are people who have just given up and accepted being wet. Something I suggest is to find a busy location where you can stand and stay somewhat dry. Be patient and a shot will appear.

Landscapes

In most landscapes you have nice clear skies and while the shots are nice, they lack drama. During and after a rainy day you can really make a shot epic. If you time it right, you get epic clouds after a rainy day. Working with morning and evening clouds you can get epic colors and levels of details that make normal sky’s look boring. The best thing to do, I find, is really pay attention to the weather reports. Most of the weather apps, channels, etc., have hourly forecast which can help you judge when to go out and shoot.

Windows

You have to be out in the rain to take advantage of it. Widows are great giant soft boxes if used correctly, but they also allow for interesting composition when it rains. Depending on your subject, you can place it on a stand in front of a window and use the rain as a back drop. You can focus on the rain as it drips of your house and create abstract works. It’s all up to you really.

Experiment with Depth of field

In the rain this is the most fun. No matter what you are shooting you can use it to your advantage. Gingerly throw on a prime lens, like the 85mm f1.8 or a 50mm f1.8 and just enjoy. The fun is to see what you can come up with. Start off with a single subject. Put your camera on a tripod, with your lens set somewhere between f4 and f1.8 and get it close and play. With the rain it can be your subject when outside or next to a window. Don’t be afraid to manually focus either.

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