Quick Tip: Why You Need to Photograph in the Rain

Night cupola

In the rain just after dark, this cupola was positively glowing. Canon 70-200mm @100mm f2.8, 30 seconds, ISO 50. Aren't the reflections on the tin roof fantastic? (Copyright 2011 / Andrew Boyd)

I was out shooting in a stiff, cold sprinkle last night as a cold front blew in right at dark and found myself thinking about what it takes to get the photographs we want when it’s raining. Rain photography is special: there’s a quality to the light, in both the rain and the foggy mist, both before and after dark, which can make for fantastic images.

I had my umbrella and chamois cloth, along with one camera, one lens, and a very wet tripod, working on some long exposures of this lit-up, glowing cupola, trying to keep the front element of the lens dry between shots.

Many people are scared to venture out in the rain to shoot, but you don’t need to be. As long as you’re prepared for what you’ll encounter, it’s an adventure that you need to take.

Umbrella with classic handle, bath towel, poncho, rain pants, rubber boots, all part of the rain photography kit. (Copyright 2009/Andrew Boyd)

Decent dexterity helps: you have to balance the umbrella, tripod, chamois cloth and camera, but it’s well worth the effort. You’ll make images that you’d otherwise never experience and you’ll come back a better photographer.

Extra Quick Tip: rain covers from Fotosharp (http://www.fotosharp.com)  are fantastic, and inexpensive. I highly recommend them. If it’s really pouring down, your gear deserves its own dedicated rain coat.

Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Posted in: How To

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

3 Comments on "Quick Tip: Why You Need to Photograph in the Rain"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Will Dochertaigh says:

    I’ve used the Fotosharp rain cover successfully for several years.
    One notable piece of equipment not mentioned – lens hood. A deep hood is extremely valuable. If you only have a shallow petal type, getting an inexpensive deeper rubber hood is worth it for precip photography. Easy enough to work around the vignetting for the occasional rain shoot.

  2. Great point, Will. I’ve never been happy with the plastic bayonet-on hoods that my wider Canon lenses have, although the 70-200 has a great one built-in.

Post a Comment