Many photographers go home when it starts to rain, but rain photography offers up a number of fun photo ideas that allow you to get creative with the right techniques. Our tutorial explains how to capture amazing pictures of raindrops.
Rain photography carries the obvious risk of both you and your camera getting soaked, so an umbrella is an essential accessory, as is a rain cover for your camera.
If you don’t fancy going out in the rain, you could always get a similar effect by ‘faking it’ – using a watering can with a rose attachment.
As long as you are shooting close- ups and you can cover the whole area of your image in a realistic ‘rain’, this approach can actually produce convincing results.
Speed is the key
The key to recording rain is the shutter speed you choose – use too slow a speed and the drops will disappear. If you want to capture the rain drops you’ll need to use a shutter speed of around 1/1000sec, while a slower speed of around 1/125 sec is perfect for recording falling rain with a slight blur to give a sense of speed.
This means that unless you are shooting in bright conditions you’ll have to shoot at high ISO settings such as 800 or above. In dull conditions it is also possible to use flash to ‘freeze’ raindrops.
How to capture pictures of raindrops
1 The best lens for the job
It’s better to keep the camera as far from the subject as possible to avoid splashes, so use a long focal length lens. This distance from the subject also gives you more options for keeping your camera dry, including just covering it with a brolly.
2 Blur the rain
You’ll need to take control of the shutter speed, so switch to Shutter Priority or Manual mode. Set the shutter speed to 1/125 sec, take a test shot and use a faster speed for less blur, or slower for more. Go too slow and the raindrops will vanish.
3 ‘Freeze’ the rain
If you want to get more definition in your raindrops, you can try shooting at faster shutter speeds. To freeze the rain completely you’ll need a shutter speed of 1/1000sec or faster, but even in bright conditions you may find you need to set the ISO to 400 or higher.
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