ten Tips for Taking Beautiful Photos in the Rain

“Rain, rainfall, go away, come again a later date. ” This line from an old nursery rhyme has popped into my head often over the years growing up in the soggy Pacific Northwest. It came to brain again when I arrived at North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Parkway to photograph autumn and was greeted by comfortless clouds dropping lots of humidity. I prefer the comfort associated with warm and dry climate and at first was bummed about the drizzle, but the fall photography shoot figured out better than I hoped – not just in spite of the rainfall but actually because of this.

This was an excellent reminder for me as I believed back to other photographic organized tours in the past where rain at first dampened my mood yet ended up enhancing the photographic possibilities. Now armed with a fresh appreciation for rainy days, in this article I will share ten tips for taking pictures in the rain that have helped me make the best of damp weather conditions and produce a number of my most memorable pictures.

10 Tips for Taking Lovely Photos in the Rain

1 . Utilize a Golf Umbrella

I prefer a large golfing style umbrella for taking photos in the rain compared to standard, smaller umbrellas I have seen and tried. The golfing umbrellas are large good enough to keep all of you and your equipment dry (including a larger telephoto lens), and they tend to be much better constructed to withstand some breeze.

In the past, I might use a clamp to attach the umbrella to my tripod, yet I learned the hard method that any breeze sends vibrations in the open umbrella down into the tripod and leads to a softening of the pictures at many common shutter speeds . There is also the risk that a large gust of wind can take your tripod and precious gear quickly to the terrain – don’t ask myself how I know: -).

I now choose to slip the umbrella the whole length inside my tightly zipped jacket and tuck underneath into my belt or even waistband, providing a stable keep for the umbrella without the potential problems of tripod connection. Other times, I’ve found I could hold the umbrella with a singke hand while still operating our camera with the other, and on occasion I’ve had an acquire me on the shoot who also serves as the umbrella holding assistant.

Rainy fall forest
NIKON D850 + 24-70mm f/2. 8 @ 55mm, INTERNATIONALE ORGANISATION FÜR STANDARDISIERUNG 800, 1/10, f/16. 0

2 . Hand-Hold Using Picture Stabilization

As I drive an area scouting for good panorama photography opportunities in the rain, I sometimes just want to stop and make an image quickly to minimize our exposure to nasty weather, or even avoid the extra time and effort setting up a tripod if the structure I want to make is along the roadside where vehicle traffic would be a concern for slower methodical work. And sometimes I just want my shooting to be more free and spontaneous.

For people situations where I’m operating fast, hand-holding the digital camera is a great option. With the frequency of optical image stablizing built into many lenses, along with image sensor stabilization of all mirrorless cameras, hand-holding is much more effective than it used to be before these technologies and may produce very sharp images. Additionally , modern cameras produce quite good image quality in the INTERNATIONALE ORGANISATION FÜR STANDARDISIERUNG 400-1600 variety with less noise when compared with older digital cameras, so raising ISO to enable a quicker hand-holdable shutter speed when needed works well. And in the rainfall, it can be needed quite often.

Raindrops on fallen leaves
NIKON D850 + TAMRON SP 90mm F2. 8 Di Macro VC USD F017N @ 90mm, ISO 800, 1/250, f/11. 0

3. Use a Raincoat Instead of Umbrella

There are times when it’s more effective to use a raincoat instead of patio umbrella, tucking the camera within when not taking an image (or use a rain cover at the camera/lens combo for further protection). This works well with my prior tip to hand-hold, enabling me to stop when I come across a great scene and get out to take a picture with good speed – then back into the warm, dry vehicle.   Especially when wind can make umbrella usage a serious issue, I find a large rain jacket well-suited to securing both me and the gear for shorter intervals out in wet conditions.

Hocking Hills waterfall
GFX100S + GF30mmF3. 5 R WR @ 30mm, ISO one hundred, 5 seconds, f/16. 0

4. Photograph From Inside Your motor vehicle

When your chosen subject can be seen from an overlook or the aspect of the road, photographing from inside the vehicle can be a viable choice and one that effortlessly helps to keep you and your camera gear dried out. A scenic drive along with views can be perfect for this particular, as I found along the Blue Ridge Parkway which offers over 200 overlooks along its 469-mile length.

One rainy evening, I presumed I was finished shooting for the day as darkness contacted. But as I drove back again toward my campground, I actually spotted a potential composition because rain clouds slowly rolled down a mountainside blanketed with fall colors. I had been able to use a pullout, roll down my driver’s windowpane, and take pictures of this fantastic scene while keeping out of the drizzle.

Ridges in rain clouds
NIKON D850 + 70-200mm f/2. 8 @ 200mm, ISO 800, 1/50, f/8. 0

5. Minimize Zoom lens Changes in the Rain

When photographing within the rain, I often maintain my photo backpack inside my vehicle and take only the camera with one zoom lens out into the elements. Choosing your zoom lens before you get out will keep your camera mount and rear lens element from getting wet. Focus lenses work really well here. Based on the scene I’m getting ready to photograph, I might put on a 24-70mm, 70-200mm, or whatever will be the most likely range necessary to take that picture. A variety 28-200mm zoom could be ideal, especially if it is relatively well-sealed against moisture.

6. Small Add-ons Can Make a Big Difference

A few little stuff in your camera pack can add up to making a rainy day shoot more enjoyable. I always attach the matching hood onto each of my lenses and locate them effective at keeping raindrops off the front element. The rain cover included with many photo backpacks helps keep all my camera gear dry while i take the pack into the rainfall. And a large, soft towel (not the typical thin microfiber cloth) is something I personally use all day to dry out of any rain on digital camera and lens after every photography session.

Dogwood in rainy foggy forest
NIKON D300 + 16-85mm f/3. 5-5. 6 @ 26mm, ISO 500, 1/50, f/9. 0

7. Make use of a Weather App to Track Storms

You have a great tool in your pocket to help plan your shots during rainy weather – your cell phone. A good weather application will allow you to view the satellite image with animation showing expected cloud path, and the latest default weather app in iPhones often shows an estimate of when a drizzle will end and a lull begin. Having information about the actual storm is doing will help you increase your shooting opportunities. (For specific suggestions, here’s a list of our favorite photography apps , which includes multiple weather-related app recommendations. )

seven. Watch for Special, Photogenic Situations

My personal favorite thing about a rainy day time is that it often brings additional conditions that benefit pictures, sometimes in a quite spectacular manner. Waterfalls that are otherwise small or dry is going to be full and beautiful throughout and after rains. Autumn colors will be deeply saturated, and rocks and earth that could normally look dull will have newfound richness.

Driving into higher elevations on a rainy day may immerse you in fog-like conditions full of atmosphere, or you may see breaks in the clouds where sunbeams stream straight down. I’m always watching just for rainbows , lightning , hail, and the potential for rainfall to turn to snow. These types of special weather conditions can bring the drama we photographers crave, and they’ve provided me with some of my favorite pictures on a day that started with just rain.

Devils Tower rainbow in rain
NIKON D850 + 24-70mm f/2. 8 @ 70mm, ISO 64, 1/40, f/8. 0

9. Maximize Your Post-Processing

Photographing in the rain can produce files out of your digital camera that appear dull as well as lack contrast and deal, so I like to compensate inside the development to bring the images time for the full life I perceived when I made the compsitions. I will usually add some spare contrast, clarity, and vibrance above my standard flow of work, and this makes a big difference whenever rainy conditions have offered me a flatter image. I prefer to shoot RAW , not in-camera JPEG, to give me often the widest latitude for post-processing work.

Also, the images produced from a drizzly day inspire me to perform with the misty atmosphere together with convert to black colored & white during post-processing. For someone with this problem who normally loves colour, this opens up an entire ” new world ” of inspiration and resourcefulness, and a black & white interpretation can make the right landscape really sing.

Black & white foggy rain
NIKON D850 + 24-70mm f/2. 8 @ 24mm, ISO 400, 1/10, f/11. 0

10. Adopt a temperament of Adventure

This tip may be the most crucial for me! I’m predisposed to be able to desiring comfort and sunshine as a result is usually not thrilled once it’s rainy, and if my very own attitude starts tending towards the negative, my ceremony of photography does not go off as well. It’s something Make it happen always need to remind my shape of: When I adopt a temperament of adventure and positively engage with the conditions I’ve been given, Im able to better see the prospects available and make the most associated with these.

Grand Canyon lightning
PENTAX 645Z + 45-85mm f/4. 5 various, ISO 200, 2 no time, f/16. 0


While drizzly days can seem dreary and at times make me want to ditch up indoors, I’ve found that they hold great potential for producing beautiful photographs. Using these tips and ideas for taking photos in the rain, you will most probably be rewarded for stretching out of your comfort zone and engaging when using the weather conditions. I hope you find ideas in this article for your next rainy trip outing, and please feel free to share in the comments your current tips that have worked for you.

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