Watch the weather
A different look for macro photography
People in the rain
Weather as a landscape element
New windows on the world
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It’s easy to wait for the nice, sunny days to schedule an outdoors photography session or shoot, but often rainy days will provide more opportunities for interesting photos and the challenges that will improve your skills. Follow these tips to make a rainy day one of your favorite and most creative photography environments.
Plan ahead for a day the weather reporter says the probability of rain is very high. If possible, then take notice of what kind of rain he or she is predicting. You probably want to stay indoors if the weather is to be violent: windy, lightning and downpours. Your safety and your camera’s safety must be first considerations. It may be possible to find a covered location from where you can capture interesting images of what occurs during a heavy rainstorm. A better situation is a day of light, drizzly rain, without gusty wind or lightning, so people are still going about their business.
It’s paramount that you and your equipment remain dry during a rainy-day photo excursion. Wear a complete rain suit and wide-brimmed hat, parts or all of which you can remove if it stops raining. You’ll be happy you overdressed instead of having inadequate protection. If possible, then you only want to shoot with a camera and lenses that are weather-sealed. Even if they are, seriously consider obtaining an appropriate rain cover for your camera/lens that protects it and allows you to shoot quickly. Remember to find a dry place to change lenses, preferably indoors, even if you must duck into a store or your car. PhotographyTalk recommends keeping your camera dry with this camera Rainsleeve HERE.
A rainy day can provide macro images that you would never otherwise be able to capture. Because of the clouds, the light is more diffused, which provides nice, even light of macro subjects. In addition, you’ll find opportunities to photograph dripping water and how water changes the color and textures of objects and surfaces when photographed at a macro distance.
Having to deal with the inconveniences of a rainy day is more likely to cause people walking through it or working in it to give you emotional reactions that don’t occur when it’s sunny. Although you don’t want to be mean and necessarily show people at their worst, someone soaking wet or splashed by a vehicle is an excellent storytelling image of how the rain affected him or her. A good tactic is to find a camera position that provides a view of a busy sidewalk or street and just wait for these kinds of photos.
You are apt to capture much more interesting and dramatic landscape photos when you shoot during a cloudy, rainy day. The cloud patterns in the sky are often much better complementing elements to the landscape elements than a flat, blue sky. Plus, you’ll have the advantage of that soft, diffused light again. Wet streets and objects many glisten and create unique reflections. As during any season or weather conditions, early morning and late afternoon are still the “magic hours” on rainy days. Sunset can generate a totally different color palette as the storm moves from your location and the clouds begin to disperse.
Windows can be excellent subject matter and backdrops on a rainy day. Use a macro lens to frame individual drips running down the window or a series of drips that create a pattern. A wet or dripping window can serve as an interesting background for various still objects place in front of it. Once again, you’ll have that diffused light providing an even distribution of light on the object or subject.
Photo copyright PhotographyTalk member Kim Price
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