How To Take Photos of the Rain

25 October 2021

As photographers, a rainy day can either be a hindrance or an opportunity to explore your photographic creativity further. With the right waterproof camera gear and by learning the best camera settings for rainy days, you can turn storm clouds and rainfall into a photographic wonderland. Learn how to photograph rain with our handy tips!

The best waterproof camera gear

When it rains, it pours, and using cameras and electronics around water is not such a great idea, despite manufacturers’ efforts to make their cameras and lenses more weather-resistant. To protect your camera gear from the rain as much as possible, we recommend the following rainfall photography equipment:

  • Weather-resistant camera bag: Keep your gear clean and dry with a waterproof camera bag as you make your rounds.

    How To Take Photos of the RainHow To Take Photos of the Rain
    How To Take Photos of the RainHow To Take Photos of the Rain
    • Rain Cover: For non-waterproof camera gear, we suggest using some type of rain cover if you are shooting in the pouring rain. Some people purchase custom-made shells; others go the DIY route. Just make sure no rain can get in!
    • Umbrella and raincoat: Provide some overhead protection for yourself and your gear with an umbrella. Golf umbrellas are a great option as they typically come with their own mounting. Don’t forget to pack a trusty raincoat to keep yourself dry.
    • Tripod: Rain equals clouds, which means less natural light. Eliminate camera shake and better expose your photos by mounting your camera to a tripod.

    Rainy day photos

    To make the most of rainy day photography, you need to embrace the rain as a critical component of your subject. Think about how the falling rain can add to a scene, the emotions it can bring, and its impact on the viewer. Here are some rain photoshoot ideas if you are getting stuck.

    • Photograph the raindrops running down windows (you don’t even need to go outside for this one!)
    • Capture the falling rain bouncing off the surface of the water
    • Use a slow shutter speed to capture heavy rain (waterfall photography style)
    How To Take Photos of the RainHow To Take Photos of the Rain
    • Use a macro lens to capture raindrops that have gathered on leaves or other surfaces
    • Capture the reflection of lights and signs in rain puddles

    The best camera settings for a rainy day

    How To Take Photos of the RainHow To Take Photos of the Rain

    Camera settings will always differ from camera to camera and photographer to photographer. And that’s without mentioning the impact of your subject matter and lighting conditions. That being said, by understanding the exposure triangle - ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture - photographers can more easily capture rainy day photos. To help you along the way, here are a few suggestions for camera settings.

    • ISO: If the lighting conditions are low, which is often the case on rainy days, you will need to bump up the ISO of your camera. Remember, raising the ISO also increases the noise levels of your images, so make these adjustments gradually and when necessary.
    • Shutter Speed: Your choice of subject will typically determine your shutter speed. To capture sharp images of rain as it falls, select a fast shutter speed of around 1/500 of a second to start with before increasing your shutter speed. A slower shutter speed is required to intentionally blur rainfall in your image, such as illustrating its movement down a window.
    • Aperture: For macro-style shots of raindrops on leaves, or close-ups of raindrops on windows, use a wide-open aperture to increase the amount of bokeh. If you’re capturing the whole rainstorm, a smaller aperture will keep everything in focus.

    Top tip: Adjusting one part of the exposure triangle will require further adjustment to the other elements to produce a well-exposed image.

    Capture the rain with Ted's Cameras

    With your rain capture techniques under wraps, all you have to do is wait for a change in the weather. If you need more assistance, talk to the experts at your local Ted's store or browse our blog for more photography tips.

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