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Rain photography is artful and dramatic. Learn the key features of rain photography and transform beautiful rain into your favorite subject.
Rain photography is highly demanding, and many photographers prefer to wait for sunny weather. Taking pictures of rain and wet subjects challenges photographers to use a waterproof camera, special gear, white balance, and other settings, as well as compose in difficult conditions, and convey a poetic message. Unlike sunset photography, rain photography works with low light, gray skies, unsaturated colors, and lots of water. In other words, you need to play around with different angles and settings to get masterpiece shots.
Despite all this, rain pictures are part of all great photographers’ portfolios regardless of their style. There are good reasons for this. Rain is mysterious, moody, and dramatic. It changes landscapes and people. Rain is always different and perfect for artistic approaches. It can easily transform a dull subject into something amazing.
Do you remember Elliott Erwitt’s photograph “Leap on a rainy day,” taken for the hundredth anniversary of the Eiffel Tower? Or the many rainy day images of Henri Cartier-Bresson? His street life pictures wouldn’t have been the same without rain.
Rain photography is indeed an art that opens photo opportunities. You need solid knowledge of photography, a professional camera with high performance in low-light conditions, and a lot of patience. Here’s everything you need to know to add beautiful rain pictures to your portfolio.
Going shooting in the rain, remember about appropriate gear. Because safety, result, and your comfort will depend on it. In terms of gear, there are some vital things for taking rain pictures:
Photoshoots in the rain are a special type of shooting. So, you require not only to protect your camera but also to learn the main settings. They’ll help you to implement creative ideas in the best possible way.
Camera settings depend on the type of photography you do: landscape, urbanism, or portraits in the rain. Your style and the atmosphere of the pictures are also important. The most popular settings below will make the raindrops visible, but you can experiment with shallow depth of field and other settings as well. Bracketing is often used to establish the best exposure. Vary the exposure slightly around the recommended value given by your camera. A camera’s metering system can be tricked by low-light conditions. Here are the most useful settings for rain photography:
These recommended settings will help you start your adventure into the world of rain photography. Nevertheless, they aren’t the only settings you can use. Choose your subject and adapt the settings to your style, weather conditions, and location. Rain images feature a wide range of subjects in front of the camera lens: storms, misty autumn rain, rainbows, night rain, tropical rain, and freezing rain. Sometimes the best images break all the rules.
Rainy day pictures ask for more artful compositions than other types of photographs. Let the weather inspire you and choose the message you want to convey. Then choose the mood for your rain images and consider all the tools you need.
Photo editing software like Luminar Neo is one of the best tools for rainy-day photography that can help you correct the exposure and white balance and make all sorts of other adjustments. Luminar Neo is designed by photographers who understand your needs. Besides exposure and other settings, it has many extraordinary Presets that completely change the mood of your rainy-day pictures, and every new version adds more presets. For example, you can use the Dramatic Look from the Creative set to enhance contrast, details, and colors. Every raindrop will gain personality and weight.
Or you can choose the soft and diffused Preset called Mystic Land from the Landscape set and transform your rain image into something more poetic and delicate. As you see, selecting settings will depend on the result you want to achieve.
Luminar Neo allows you to modify and save each Preset, add adjustments, and work in layers. It also gives you smart tools for photo retouching and photo organizing from. You can download it and try it for free right now.
While good photo editing software can help you improve the quality of your images, it can’t help you improve your composition from a rainy day shoot. For rain photography, there are some creative compositions that can guide you, but you have to find your own perspectives. Study and practice these four compositions, then move on to your own creative ideas:
Photo by Jack Finnigan
Photography in the rain adds artistic value to your compositions. You won’t have just rainy streets or gray landscapes; you’ll have stories. Every story has its own characters and setting, and your role is to build the atmosphere and follow the narrative.
Rain photography gives you the opportunity to work with unique colors and textures. You can experiment with some of the less-used effects and artistic approaches. Rain photography is closer to painting and poetry. It can have the dark side of Edgar Allan Poe or the soft glow of Impressionism. It can have the scary adventure of an Agatha Christie novel or the romanticism of a Hollywood movie. You can find inspiration and rainy-day photoshoot ideas in art museums, movies, music, and literature. You can also find inspiration in yourself and transpose your inner state into images. Here are some guidelines to help you discover the artistic faces of rain photography:
You’ve found out how need to keep your gear when taking pictures in the rain, what settings are important, and how to create a special mood in the scene. Great! But sometimes creating amazing pictures is like a puzzle. This often happens because some beginner photographers face a lack of imagination. They wonder how to take photos in the rain. What exactly shoot? If you’re among them, don’t worry! Below, we’ll share some ideas which will help you to get your creative juices flowing.
Do you notice that the sun begins to show its rays immediately after the rain? Prepare your camera because there is a chance to take a rainbow! This miracle of nature in the form of an arc of several colored stripes is usually born when the light is reflected through moist air and scattered. To get incredible rainy photos, put a polarizing filter in your bag to the camera gear.
Umbrella is a nice rain photoshoot idea. After all, this inventory can do wonders. It gives the photo shape, texture, and color. You can hide unattractive areas in your scenes with this object. And also it helps you tell stories. For example, a couple of newlyweds hiding under an umbrella behind a light source conveys their romantic mood.
It’s not necessary to get wet on the street, adjust the focal point, and take all protective inventory. You can take interesting rainy-day photographs indoors. Just watch the cityscapes through the window of your cozy apartment. Don’t pay attention to the fact that the colored roofs of houses, traffic lights, and ancient architecture are not clear. After all, by focusing on the raindrops, you get abstract photography that shows the city from an impressive side.
Do you want to create a dramatic effect? See the raindrops falling in puddles. If you set your shutter speed correctly and use a tripod, you’ll get the desired result. Longer exposure is excellent for photography raindrops.
Do you notice that the sky hint at an approaching storm? Don’t hurry to run home. After all, this is your star time! It is the dark clouds that give the photo a special mood, the rain wall fills with nostalgia, and the lightning adds dramatic notes. First, hide in a safe place. Put the camera on a tripod, set the aperture between f8 and f14, and set a longer exposure time of between 5 and 10 seconds to catch the lightning.
Taking pictures in the rain gets you out of your comfort zone. You learn to work in hard conditions and adapt to constantly changing scenery. You learn to take pictures in low-light conditions and consider the weather in your compositions. Rain photography is spectacular and easily wins the public and the critics. Ask photographer Andrew Suryono, whose picture “Orangutan in the Rain” received no less than six awards.
More than technical skills and endurance, rain requires creativity and engagement with the subject. You need to feel the mood, understand the narrative, and enjoy the artistic work. Experiment with different compositions and effects when shooting photography in the rain, learn to enhance your photographs in post-processing, and add some poetry to your portfolio. Luminar Neo can help a lot with establishing the mood you want without taking too much time. Moreover, you can try Luminar Neo for free by downloading it right now.
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