7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days

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Try these helpful tips from seven experienced photographers for capturing beautiful photos of rainfall and cloudy weather.

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy DaysFor many photographers, a rain shower is enough to ruin a perfect outdoor shoot, but before you duck for cover, remember this: gray and gloomy days can bring more possibilities than you ever imagined. After all, a downpour offers up a plethora of compositional opportunities, like reflective city streets, bright umbrellas, and misty windows. As Shutterstock Contributor ​Jaromir Chalabala​ tells us, “The worst weather is actually the best weather for photographers.”

We asked seven expert photographers to reflect on some of the most striking pictures they’ve taken in inclement weather, whether they were out strolling in a light drizzle or caught in a formidable storm. These photographers have some ingenious tricks up their sleeves, ranging from DIY camera covers to improvised umbrellas, and fortunately for us, they agreed to share what they know. Read on to learn their best tips.

1. “First and foremost, take care of your gear and your health.”

Nik Waller Productions

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days — Take Care of Your Gear

What’s the story behind this photo?​

I was going to the shop, but before I left the house, I looked out the window and saw that it was raining outside and there was a rather thick layer of fog. I wasn’t sure if I would take any pictures, but I dressed warmly and decided to take the camera and the tripod with me.

When I got outside, the rain began to subside. A light rain, like water vapor, began to fall, and I quickly prepared my tripod and camera. I chose the best angle and began experimenting with different exposures.

My initial idea was to wait for a passing car to enter the frame and capture it with a long exposure. But I got wet, and I was not lucky enough to get the picture I had in mind on that particular evening. The result was this moody image, and I ended up really liking it because it conveys the mood and atmosphere of my small town.

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days — Keep Your Safety in Mind

Pro Tip

When photographing in rainy weather, there are a number of obvious difficulties, including the risk of moisture damage to your equipment. First and foremost, take care of your gear and your health. Wear water-resistant clothes (i.e. jacket, pants, and shoes). Pay special attention to the shoes; your feet should always be dry.

You should always have a waterproof case for your camera, and you should have access to all the basic camera settings without needing to remove the camera from its case. If you do not have a cover or you forgot it at home for some reason, use an ordinary plastic bag. You can wrap it around the camera and secure it with an elastic band.

In order to reduce the likelihood of rain droplets on my lens, I usually use a lens hood; a small visor is usually enough. If raindrops still find their way onto your lens, use a dry cloth to clean it carefully, and then store it in a dry place.

2. “Don’t forget to experiment with the shutter speed to get different raindrop effects, sharp or blurred. “

ju_see

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days — Always Experiment

What’s the story behind this photo?​

I will reveal the secret of this picture. I did not have time to go out into the rain at the right moment, and, by the time I went outside, the shower was almost over. So, I took a spray gun with me to get more drops for extra effect.

I love rain because it shows us a different world, full of new reflections and textures. Rain distorts space and creates a special mood. In rainy weather, it is usually gray and dark, so I often introduce a bright object into the frame, which then becomes the main character and attracts attention.

Pro Tip

​Rain is a real test of strength for both the photographer and the camera. When I’m shooting in bad weather, I wear rubber boots and a raincoat, and, for my camera, I bring a plastic bag and a protective lens hood. If I don’t have what I need, I might use an umbrella, but in order for both my hands to be free, I securely attach the umbrella to my backpack behind my back. I guess it might look funny, but it gives me the opportunity to focus only on the shoot itself.

Usually, I capture the moment when the rain is already over. This time brings more interesting light, and the raindrops are not so aggressive. Don’t forget to experiment with the shutter speed to get different raindrop effects, sharp or blurred. If you are not ready to go out with the camera in rainy weather for fear of damaging it, then you can create the rain yourself. Use a spray gun with water or a watering can to simulate a rain shower.

3. “Try to set your scene against a dark background to highlight the rain more clearly.”

Mirko Macari

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days — Use a Dark Background

What’s the story behind this photo?​

I love to walk in cities when it’s raining or snowing. In this case, I was at a crossroad in Turin, Italy. I waited for the traffic lights to switch on, providing great contrast against the gray tones of the city.

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days — Mind Your Shutter Speed

Pro Tip

It’s very important to mind your shutter speed if you want the actual raindrops to appear in your picture. A low speed will erase those tracks of falling rain. At least 1/125 should be okay, but make sure you also keep your ISO as low as possible to avoid noise. Try to set your scene against a dark background to highlight the rain more clearly.

4. “I recommend monitoring weather apps so you can plan your shoots to coincide with rain showers.”

Jaromir Chalabala

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days — Monitor Weather Apps

What’s the story behind this photo?​

We were having an afternoon coffee break at home, and when we saw that rain was on the way, we improvised. We brought Sam, my dog model, for a walk, and we went to a favorite spot a few minutes away. Sam is a very old dog now, and he is from a dog shelter.

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days — Improvise

Pro Tip

​I recommend monitoring weather apps so you can plan your shoots to coincide with rain showers. If you want to catch the actual drops of water as they fall, the best way to do it is to use a dark background, whether it’s a building or natural scenery.

When shooting in the rain, make sure to protect yourself, your model, your camera, and your equipment. Taking photos with an umbrella in hand is not very comfortable, so the best thing to do is get a raincoat for your camera. It’s much cheaper than a camera repair!

5. “Plan in advance, and, above all, just have fun!”

Lando Aviles

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days — Plan Ahead

What’s the story behind this photo?​

This is my sister wearing my jacket since she was not prepared for rain. We were heading back to the car since it started pouring on us, and we decided to take a few shots while we walked back. It was very spontaneous but epic!

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days — Have Fun

Pro Tip

We would recommend looking at your local forecast to predict the weather the best you can. This should help you prepare a list of what to bring to your shoot (e.g. rain jackets, umbrellas, towels for your gear and subjects, the right shoes, and extra clothes). You also need to understand your gear and its limits. Most professional DSLRs are weather sealed; however, some entry-level camera bodies and lenses are not. Plan in advance, and, above all, just have fun!

6. “It tends to be darker outdoors on cloudy days, so I would suggest using wide aperture lenses.”

otsphoto

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days — Incorporate Pops of Color

What’s the story behind this photo?

I wanted to have an image that could be used for forecast announcements, so I waited for a very cloudy day to shoot this one. I love adding vivid colors to my rainy day photos to make them pop.

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days — Use a Wide Aperture Lens

Pro Tip

​It tends to be darker outdoors on cloudy days, so I would suggest using wide aperture lenses. If you don’t have one, bumping the ISO and using the widest aperture available for your lens is definitely one way to go.

Most cameras are weather sealed, so if you’re shooting in light rain, it’s probably okay; however, if it pours, protecting your gear is always a good idea. There are a lot of options available, including rain cover bags for both your camera and backpack. These things don’t take up a lot of space, so keeping them in your bag is always a good idea; sometimes rain can surprise us. Most importantly, keep your feet dry and your camera ready, and have fun!

7. “…I like to use high shutter speeds to be able to see the raindrops clearly.”

ANURAK PONGPATIMET

7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days — Treat it Like Any Other Time

What’s the story behind this photo​?

I wanted to show the love of a sister who takes care of her younger brother, using her hands to shield him from the rain.

Pro Tip

For me, shooting on a rainy day is just shooting at any other normal time, only I like to use high shutter speeds to be able to see the raindrops clearly.

The post 7 Photographers on Taking Beautiful Photos on Rainy Days appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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