Rain Photography Tips

A lot of people are drawn to rain photography, since it is quite an artistic type of photography. With that being said, rain photography can be quite demanding as you need to wait for the perfect conditions.

Rain Photography Tips

This is so you are able to achieve your desired shot. In addition to this, you need to be careful when taking images in the rain, as you don’t want to damage your camera.

There is a lot to think about when it comes to rain photography, but don’t worry as we have made everything a lot easier. In this article, you will discover our top tips for rain photography, so you can snap the best rain images possible.

Why Choose Rain Photography?

Rain photography is great if you enjoy taking images with low light, lots of water and unsaturated colors. You can play around with a lot more angles to create more interesting shots.

Rain is enigmatic, sad, and tragic. Both people and landscapes are altered when rain is introduced, as it creates a completely different atmosphere and mood.

The unpredictable nature of rain makes it ideal for creative endeavors. A mundane subject can be quickly transformed into something remarkable.

Camera Settings For Rain Photography

The camera settings you use will depend on whether you shoot landscapes, urban scenes, or portraits. It’s also crucial to consider your photographic style and the environment.

You are able to play with the depth of field as well as additional settings listed below, which will make the raindrops apparent. To determine the appropriate exposure, bracketing is frequently utilized.

Adjust the exposure a little from the value your camera suggests. The metering system on a camera can be deceived by dim lighting. The following are the best options for shooting in the rain:

Shutter Speed

Consider the shutter speed when using various rain photography techniques in the street. The rain requires a quick shutter speed, just like any other moving subject. Your camera needs to be very fast, especially if you want to capture water splashing.

During a nature photography trip in the rain, you may utilize a slower shutter speed to capture a waterfall. However, be careful not to overdo it, or you risk losing your focal point.

ISO Speed

The sun is hidden by clouds. Therefore, there is usually an inadequate amount of illumination. Poor weather makes for poor rain photography.

Thus modify your ISO to make them better. To deal with low light, increase your ISO setting. It will enable you to keep your shutter speed quick and capture the raindrops.

Manual Focus

Any photography taken on a rainy day has a main subject that deserves attention. Therefore, don’t let the camera determine the focal point. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing attention to puddles, water droplets, or another important element of the rainy day photo.

You also have exposure control with manual focus, so you may decide whether to emphasize the lighter or darker areas of the scene.


When photographing rainy scenes, you can manually balance the depth of field and light filtration by adjusting the aperture. A bigger aperture lets in more light, which is necessary if you intend to keep your shutter speed quick.

However, you need a narrow aperture and deep depth of field to keep the rain in focus. Start with f/8 and experiment up to the point where depth of field and shutter speed are perfectly balanced.

Tips To Keep In Mind For Rain Photography

The following tips will ensure that you create the best rain images possible. It will also help you to keep your equipment safe, so you can go snapping shots on another wet day.

1. The Right Equipment Is Essential

The most important component of taking photos in the rain is having the correct gear. You need to take care of your body, lenses, and camera. Your camera body will require a waterproof case or rain cover.

A waterproof lens hood or weather-sealed lens may also be necessary. If you don’t have this gear and get caught in the rain, then try to have a plastic bag to wrap your kit in. Also, don’t forget to pack rain gear and waterproof clothing for yourself!

When taking pictures on a rainy day, a tripod can be very helpful. Long exposures can enhance certain scenes, but you must maintain camera stability.

Furthermore, at night, when the lights cast reflections, rainy scenes appear even more appealing. It is best to use a tripod to provide your images with stability, so the reflections look much clearer.

2. Macro Photography Benefits From Rain

Rain adds intrigue to a story in addition to macrophotography’s inherent beauty. It creates the atmosphere and gives texture to a plain background. In macrophotography, large apertures are used. This indicates that the scenery is totally blurred.

Although it may display color, the rain gives the background texture. Try it out with your best macro lens. You might even observe that certain characters in your scene respond to the severe weather in various ways.

3. Umbrella Portraits

An image of an umbrella gains form, color, shape, and texture. They also include the metaphysical concept of protection on top of that. Another excellent tool for adding narrative to your rainy-day photos is an umbrella.

A romantic feeling can be conveyed by a pair shielding themselves from the elements. However, they can also have the reverse effect, with one figure holding an umbrella and shielding themselves from the elements.

They may also serve as a perfect backdrop for your subject. Additionally, you can use an umbrella to hide unsightly areas in the background. Finally, in your photograph, an umbrella can function as an abstract feature.

4. Use Reflections 

Beautiful reflections are made by rain that accumulates on pavements, sidewalks, and roads. It is a simple technique, yet you will have lots of fun finding different puddles or even lakes to showcase different scenes.

Reflections are wonderful because they allow you to display two sides of a single space. The texture is seen in the foreground. Then there are structures, shapes, and forms in the distance.

Your perspective significantly impacts your photography. Consider taking upside-down pictures of reflections. Viewers will then start to guess which way is the right way around, as they become confused on which side is the puddle and which is real life.

Puddle reflections can make the world appear to be upside down. Yet, they can highlight the beautiful colors and forms seen at that moment.

5. Rain Covered Window Shots

Cityscapes don’t have to be flawless. Traditional, precise exposure and the typical composition are not usually required. Here, rain can be used to highlight a different aspect of a city. In this sample image below, the city is out of focus and in the background.

Buildings and roofs are not jagged. The water droplets are what are at the forefront. Thus, the rain becomes the main focus of this image, not the buildings behind it.

It’s a fantastic way to use color, shape, and texture to depict a location. For a lot of people this simple image can tell numerous stories.

6. Don’t Forget Your Flash

Any photography situation benefits from having a flash on hand. Also, when using umbrellas and the low lighting caused by the rain clouds, you might need more light. Flashes might assist you in stopping movement.

Rain barely registers when you don’t use a flash. However, when you do use a flash, you can enhance the way the light from the rain reflects towards the camera, bringing out the raindrops. For this reason, you shouldn’t use a diffuser with your flash.

By using a flash, the raindrops’ shape and form are made visible rather than disappearing into obscurity. Thus, even the simplest of images contains a lot more detail.

7. Juxtaposition Can Create Interesting Compositions

One of the strongest compositional principles in photography is juxtaposition. You juxtapose two subjects or set up a situation that goes against the central notion or message.

Placing a subject which you would not typically find in that place or area is one method to demonstrate excellent rain photography. For instance, combining rain and fire creates a potent and iconic shot. This is the most dramatic juxtaposition you could try.

8. Isolate Raindrops

Rain falls so quickly. In pictures, it frequently appears as very slight blurring. Additionally, these splotches of texture and light serve as additional subjects. However, you can emphasize each raindrop by altering your shutter speed.

You may produce motion blur by using a long (slow) shutter speed. Although, you can stop any movement by utilizing a quick shutter speed.

Remember that photographing in the rain results in less harsh lighting. Therefore, for accurate exposure and a dramatic shot, don’t forget to set a wider aperture or increase the ISO.

Raindrops that are falling become heavier and more shaped and formed, almost like pieces of glass, when they are isolated. This can create really dramatic but interesting images.

9. Dark Clouds Add More Atmosphere

Rain might make you appear melancholy. It relies on the hues, textures, lighting, and perspective of your scene. However, you may also capture gloomy and ominous landscapes.

Even if not every single rain cloud is ominous, they can give you the impression that the end of the world is near. Look for elements in your setting that can bring out this gloom.

You should also include individuals in your photos as well. The influence of the weather and impending rain might be increased by their presence and reactions.

10. Condensation Creates A Soft Focus

You can be sure that if it is warm inside and is rainy and chilly outside, condensation will appear. Condensation is found on most glass-covered surfaces. This adds intrigue to street photography. You now have a mysterious, hazy scene in your shot.

You might choose to keep your subjects’ identities hidden, and you can use a soft focus on them. Amazing results are possible in terms of color, shape, and form. In this situation, use focus peaking or intelligent autofocus mode selection to get the best shots possible.

11. Try Different Perspectives

One of the most basic yet crucial compositional tools is the form and shape. You don’t have to accurately capture rain, much like abstract rain photography. A scene might become creative by being viewed from a different angle or light.

Your perspective around the raindrops will alter as you get closer to them. Try to get the raindrops to fill as much of the frame as possible. You will also discover some intriguing forms and shapes that raindrops can create.

Even raindrop reflections can be photographed with a macro lens. You will be surprised how interesting a simple close up of a raindrop can be. Look at different surfaces which are being hit by rain, and you may be inspired to discover what that perspective looks like.

12. Capture A Storm

There are a ton of photo opportunities with extreme weather photography. Just take precautions and avoid putting yourself in danger. The combination of rain and ominous clouds heightens the mood. They create some striking images when combined.

In order to give your pictures even more drama, you may also photograph lightning. It is important to note that if a lightning storm is coming, run for cover first. Then, only after it has passed should you try to photograph it.

Simply set up your tripod and adjust your camera’s aperture so that everything in the picture is in focus, which should be between f8 and f14.

Set up a longer exposure time of five to ten seconds to get lightning in your photograph. A storm that is moving quickly will start to soften and blur if you wait too long.

You might also spend money on a lightning trigger, a camera accessory that will take pictures when lightning strikes. However, this isn’t a necessity if you aren’t going to be capturing lightning that often.

13. Use Backlight

We have spoken about using a flash which will highlight the details of the raindrops, yet another way you could consider is using a backlight. A backlight is a great ball of light, which you will typically position behind your subjects.

If there is a great downpour of rain, then every single droplet will be highlighted by this. This can make really spectacular images for anyone who is getting married in the rain. Otherwise, it puts the attention onto the subject you are snapping.

They look as if they are glowing, while the farthest parts of the image are quite dark. You could use an artificial light to achieve this.

However, if you are completing street photography the same effect can be achieved by lights from shops or lampposts, which are positioned behind the subject.


Rain photography can be a lot of fun, since there is plenty of room to experiment and try different techniques out. The most important thing when it comes to rain photography is to ensure that you keep your equipment dry, so it continues to work.

However, you can play around with light sources, colors, and the style of images you wish to create. There are many options for you to experiment with, and you can have a lot of fun with rain photography.

Try capturing a rainstorm or portraits in the rain. We hope this article has been helpful. These tips will help you to become a much better rain photographer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can You Photograph When It’s Raining?

The options are endless on what you can photograph when it is raining. You could keep it simple and photograph reflections, raindrops, splashing water or people out and about with their umbrellas.

Rain adds its own mood and atmosphere, so you can photograph most things and create some truly amazing images.

Is It OK To Use A Camera In The Rain?

You need to be careful on how long you are out in the rain with your camera. It is vital that you try to waterproof the camera so that no water enters.

However, do you need to be aware of condensation from occurring after spending prolonged periods outside. Thus, you can use your camera outside, but try not to be out there for too long if you can help it.

What Is Puddle Photography?

Rain photography goes hand in hand with puddle photography. This indicates that the audience sees the subject entirely through the water’s surface.

This approach can be particularly intriguing because it juxtaposes the reflection on the surface with the puddle. Keep the camera as low and as near to the water’s surface as you can for this.

Laura McNeill
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