Rain in the weath­er fore­cast can be a pho­tog­ra­pher’s worst night­mare when shoot­ing out­doors, or it can be an addi­tion­al cre­ative tool for tak­ing unusu­al pho­tos. Read this arti­cle to learn how to pro­tect your equip­ment in the rain, take beau­ti­ful pho­tos and enjoy the process.

Nature has no bad weath­er for film­ing / Pho­to: unsplash.com

What cool pic­tures you can get dur­ing and after the rain
How to know if it’s going to rain
How to shoot in the rain, how to pro­tect the cam­era from mois­ture

In autumn, any­one who takes a lot of pic­tures in the open air becomes a fre­quent vis­i­tor to weath­er fore­cast sites. And the biggest fear usu­al­ly looks like this.

Rainy week­end? My five sched­uled shoots were cry­ing! / Illus­tra­tion: Alisa Smirno­va, Photosklad.Expert

How­ev­er, rain may not spoil some of the pho­tos, but rather dec­o­rate them. The main thing is to prop­er­ly pre­pare for shoot­ing and, if you shoot peo­ple, con­vince them that rain is not a prob­lem.

Rain gives many oppor­tu­ni­ties for pho­tog­ra­phy, you just need to learn how to see them. Here is some of them.

Reflec­tions. Dur­ing and imme­di­ate­ly after the rain, the whole world around begins to shine with mois­ture and turns into one big mir­ror. This is espe­cial­ly true for film­ing in the city. Espe­cial­ly in the evening. When film­ing night scenes in a movie, the asphalt is often delib­er­ate­ly sprin­kled with water so that the road from an inex­pres­sive gray mass that sim­ply takes up space in the frame turns into a shiny strip that adds vol­ume.

Reflec­tions can be used both lit­er­al­ly, reflect­ing the main char­ac­ters or objects in them, and sim­ply as a back­ground. In any case, wet asphalt will give more vol­ume than dry / Pho­to: unsplash.com

Desert­ed streets. Shoot­ing in the rain is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to take pic­tures where crowds of tourists and passers-by usu­al­ly get in the way. Because nor­mal peo­ple usu­al­ly hide from the rain.

Run­ning through pud­dles, danc­ing in the rain. When it comes to fam­i­ly shoot­ing or love-sto­ry, rain makes it pos­si­ble to shoot unusu­al effects. Unless, of course, it is too strong and with­out wind. You can catch drops with your tongue, put on rub­ber boots and splash while run­ning through pud­dles, and no one will say for sure that this is a “banal autumn shoot with leaves”. Rel­e­vant for those cus­tomers who val­ue orig­i­nal­i­ty.

And danc­ing lovers in the rain is just a clas­sic roman­tic plot that often caus­es a wow effect / Pho­to: sewinginthepast.com, listelist.com

When plan­ning these shoots, don’t make them too long. Jump­ing through pud­dles and danc­ing in the rain is fun and roman­tic, but cold. The best option is half an hour out­side, half an hour warm, for exam­ple, in a cafe with cups of hot tea in your hands.

Umbrel­las as an inter­est­ing props. The right umbrel­la can make a bor­ing shoot more inter­est­ing. The choice of an umbrel­la should be treat­ed in the same way as the choice of cloth­ing. It should fit into the over­all col­or scheme or, con­verse­ly, be a bright accent. Bright red and yel­low umbrel­las look good. Sol­id white is suit­able for wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy.

White umbrel­las are also con­ve­nient because they trans­mit light well and do not tint it. Thick­er dark options can cre­ate shad­ows on faces, you need to con­stant­ly mon­i­tor them so that the hero’s eyes do not fall into black­ness. And either throw the umbrel­la back on your shoul­der, or use a flash or reflec­tor.

Col­ored peo­ple may have anoth­er prob­lem: they look beau­ti­ful in the frame, but they can cre­ate col­or reflec­tions on faces. A uni­ver­sal option is a trans­par­ent umbrel­la.

Trans­par­ent umbrel­las are also in fash­ion now. They are not very prac­ti­cal, but very pho­to­genic / Pho­to: greenweddingshoes.com

Flash-frozen droplets in the air. Such pic­tures are easy to get by shoot­ing in the evening with a flash.

Read also:

Pho­to Ideas: How to Freeze Motion in a Frame

The stronger the rain, the more spec­tac­u­lar this shot will look / Pho­to: perspectives.co.nz, greenweddingshoes.com

To achieve this effect, you need to put a flash direct­ly behind the main char­ac­ters. Hard back­light will illu­mi­nate the droplets, a short burst of flash will freeze them in the air, pre­vent­ing them from smear­ing. Pay atten­tion to the dif­fer­ence between the two shots above: in the first, a stronger pulse illu­mi­nat­ed the space a few meters from the new­ly­weds, in the sec­ond, a weak­er one illu­mi­nat­ed only a small spot around their heads.

Well, what con­vinced you that nature has no bad weath­er and it’s cool to shoot in the rain? Yeah, now let’s try to catch this rain. If you do not fol­low the fore­casts, it may seem that it is pour­ing all autumn long out­side the win­dow. In fact, it’s worth sched­ul­ing a rainy shoot and the weath­er fore­cast starts show­ing part­ly cloudy all the time. Mur­phy’s Laws in action. This is espe­cial­ly true if you want to remove a down­pour, and not a slug­gish driz­zle.

When plan­ning a shoot in the rain, it’s worth look­ing at a few weath­er fore­casts. Yandex.weather and yr.no work well in the North-West of Rus­sia. If both fore­casts show rain on the right date, it most like­ly will. If the read­ings dif­fer, then the weath­er is still unsta­ble and you may not catch rain. The most trust­wor­thy is the hourly fore­cast, which appears 24 hours in advance.

Cap­tur­ing the weath­er can often be tricky, so tips and tricks for rainy shoots are more like­ly to be mem­o­rized and applied when the weath­er catch­es up with you.

When shoot­ing in the rain, it is worth remem­ber­ing the safe­ty of the equip­ment. Each sys­tem has a class of water­proof cam­eras that are not afraid of rain, but they should not be wet for an hour in a row.

Rain-proof com­pact cam­eras designed for shoot­ing under­wa­ter and in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions. For exam­ple, Olym­pus Tough TG‑6, Sony RX0 II or GoPRO action cam­eras. They with­stand not only rain, but also div­ing to a depth of 5 meters. But such devices will not give all the pos­si­bil­i­ties of DSLRs and mir­ror­less cam­eras.

Many old­er mod­els of dif­fer­ent sys­tems have mois­ture pro­tec­tion. For exam­ple, Canon 1Dx m II, Fuji­film X‑T3, Olym­pus E‑M1 m III, Sony a9 m II, Nikon D6. It is also impor­tant that not only the cam­era itself, but also the lens is pro­tect­ed from mois­ture. So when buy­ing, you should pay atten­tion to the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the lens.

For some man­u­fac­tur­ers, it is easy to under­stand whether the glass is pro­tect­ed from water or not. For exam­ple, Fuji­film will have such lens­es marked WR (Weath­er Resis­tant), Olym­pus will only have pro­tec­tion for lens­es marked Pro. For oth­er sys­tems, this is not so sim­ple, you need to look at the instruc­tions for a par­tic­u­lar lens. At Canon, all L‑series glass­es def­i­nite­ly have mois­ture pro­tec­tion, at Sony, mois­ture pro­tec­tion is found in lens­es of the GM sys­tem, Nikon has no offi­cial­ly pro­tect­ed lens­es.

If you shoot with equip­ment that is afraid of water, one of the con­ve­nient and bud­get options for pro­tect­ing your cam­era from mois­ture is a rain cov­er. He will close the cam­era and at the same time will not inter­fere with your shoot­ing.

A dense rain­coat with a trans­par­ent win­dow will allow you to see what is hap­pen­ing on the cam­era screen / Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

If the rain caught you by sur­prise, a spe­cial rain­coat can be replaced with an ordi­nary plas­tic bag of a suit­able size. But work­ing with a cam­era in a pack­age is not so con­ve­nient.

When shoot­ing, it is use­ful to have microfiber cloths with you to wipe the lens if it gets rained on. You can also pro­tect the lens with a fil­ter if you are wor­ried that the anti-reflec­tion coat­ing may suf­fer from fre­quent rub­bing.

There are also ful­ly sealed cas­es that com­bine the func­tions of a rain cov­er and pro­tec­tive fil­ter with a lens. They can also be used to shoot under­wa­ter. But such acces­sories need to be cho­sen more thought­ful­ly, care­ful­ly read­ing whether a par­tic­u­lar mod­el will fit your equip­ment — they are more rigid than plas­tic rain­coats, and you need to choose the right size.

If you shoot with a flash (for exam­ple, with back­light), it should also be cov­ered from the rain. You can just pull a trans­par­ent bag on top. It does not great­ly affect the pow­er and dis­per­sion of light and will pro­tect the flash from mois­ture.

Anoth­er handy option for shoot­ing in the rain is to have an assis­tant hold­ing an umbrel­la over you. You can also look for places to shoot where you can be under a roof (under a porch canopy, for exam­ple, or shoot from a win­dow or from a car), and your char­ac­ters can be in the rain. This approach allows you to make spec­tac­u­lar shots and not risk equip­ment.


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