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How To Take Pictures In The Rain

Photography taken in the rain

For the creatives amongst us, rainy afternoons are far more than just an excuse to stay inside and do nothing. While doing nothing can be quite tempting (let’s be honest, cosy days inside are pretty bliss), the rain is actually a great opportunity to whip out your phone and take a few impressive, moody shots for your Instagram page.

If you are a keen photographer building up a portfolio or planning to create a neat-looking photo book, then you should see a rainy day as a godsend. With rain comes textures, patterns and, most importantly, atmosphere. In short, it is a fantastic opportunity to perform a bit of an artistic flex and beef up your Instagram with something a bit different.

But how do you take pictures in the rain, and what do you need to do to actually make them good? Well, as always with good photography, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to get the best out of your camera:

Make Sure To Waterproof

Rainy photographs are great, but they are not so good that they should be taken at the expense of your smartphone! When you’re going out into the rain (especially if your phone is not already waterproof), then the first thing to do is cover it up and make sure that none of the electrical components get damaged. Try to avoid waterproof cases as these can be quite bulky and limit manoeuvrability. Instead, purchase a zip lock or wrap the phone up in a plastic bag (leaving openings for the specific buttons and lenses that you need).

Think About The Camera

The most important thing to remember is that your phone is taking the role of a professional camera. In this way, you should make sure that it is not inhibited by the rain itself. Bring a cloth for cleaning glasses, and make sure to wipe down the lens if it is being spattered with rain drops. Try to also buy a pair of touchscreen-friendly gloves. You don’t want to pass up on a great photograph opportunity just because your phone isn’t responding to your contact or fingerprint!

Think About The Textures

Moving on from technical precautions, let’s look at the more practical area of rain photography. Firstly, the great thing about rainy days is that they can offer you some beautiful compositions with light and textures. This is especially true if you are planning on creating an Instagram photo book. In print, photographs with elevated light and intricate texture really sparkle on the page and look both professional and beautiful.

Look For The Light

During a rainy day, it is likely that the day is overcast, so try to wait for moments when the sun pokes out of the clouds and shines on the water on the ground. If you live in a city, try to go out and start capturing urban photographs late in the afternoon when the street lamps start turning on. This can lead to some great reflective photography, with the scene around you glistening and glowing in a way that makes the entire street change in tone and atmosphere.

Apps Are Your Allies

It’s never a bad idea to have a scan through some apps that can elevate your photography and put it above anyone else's. Remember, although your camera phone might be good, it is not as technically brilliant as a professional camera. With a few specific apps, however, you can get it pretty close to the real thing. When it comes to rainy days, the app Lightroom is a great strategy to capture water droplets up close. Magnified photography was made for water pictures, so take advantage and download an app that can help you get as close as possible.

Wait Around For The Fog

It’s important to be in touch with the weather as a photographer. If you know what the specific temperature is on a rainy day, you will also know if a fog is expected. Fog begins to form when water vapour condenses into droplets that are suspended in the air, ordinarily when there is a drop in temperature after a downpour. When this occurs, the fog is a great opportunity for atmospheric photographs that have a unique texture and a beautiful story to them.

Movement, Movement, Movement

Static energy is rarely a good thing in photography. If you’re going out there to capture something candid, then movement can be a really important factor when it comes to achieving this (especially on a rainy day). Experiment a bit with splashing around and making things kinetic. If you’re not near a naturally bustling city, try to find another way to add movement. Find out where your local beach is and try to capture the stormy, foaming waves. There will be plenty of ways to instil some movement into your pictures, so go out, explore and find something that will make your photographs come alive.


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