Wet Weather Photo Tips

Rainy days
through a window

Looking out your window and wishing that the weather was better so you could get out and take some fantastic photographs? Do rainy, windy, stormy days “dampen” your photographic ambitions? Put your winter woollies on, wrap your feet in some wellies and grab your camera - there are wonderful opportunities waiting for you if you want to do photography in the winter.

Rainy days

Rain tends to make surfaces look glossy and adds a sparkle to highlights. It also saturates colours and adds details and texture to a scene. Make use of a polarising filter to enhance colours and cut out any unwanted reflections. The clouds that accompany rain diffuse the sunlight, making the light uniform and eliminating shadows

Rain is awesome for artistic and creative photos - shoot through rain streaks on windows to make high impact abstract images. Get creative with reflections and ripples in puddles, lakes and other water bodies.

A wet rainy day gives you macro photography opportunities, by providing you with drops, ripples, and rivulets, perfect in the flat, even light of a rainy day.

Stormy clouds

The skies are at their spectacular best just before, during, or immediately after bad weather.

Look for an interesting foreground element and position the horizon line low in the frame, to emphasise the drama in the sky.

Wait for the sky to take on warm, blazing hues to maximise the impact. If there is a strong burst of light peeping through stormy clouds, expose for the highlights to make the clouds appear dark and ominous. Right after a storm, the light tends to be warm, soft and pastel, which enhances colours and can create a unique contrast.

Fog and mist

Fog can be used as a “backdrop” to hide distracting backgrounds to isolate your subject.  It adds an instant pastel effect to your images, which can make for stunning fine art photography.

Imagine rays of sunlight making its way through misty woods, or silhouettes of people walking down a fog-filled path. Foggy conditions result in evenly-diffused lighting and tend to evoke feelings of mystery, romance and even melancholy. Both fog and mist act like a diffusing filter, softening light as it filters through these hazy conditions. This also results in muted colours and reduced contrast in a scene. However, be aware that fog and mist are generally bright conditions and can fool the camera’s light meter. This causes images to be underexposed—you will need to increase the exposure by one stop or bracket your shots to see which setting works best.

Wind & waves

Windy days provide you with all you need to make excellent motion studies for daytime long exposures - when the wind is blowing, things are moving. Capture this in a single frame and you have an instant “wow” shot – tall grasses flowing like waves, trees swaying wildly, waves on the lake with whitecaps.

To make great pictures in such weather, it is important to create a sense of motion. It is important to have one strong, identifiable subject to appear sharp in the frame, so that a viewer’s eye can rest on it and then go into the frame.

Set your camera on a tripod and choose a long shutterspeed. If you are shooting in very windy weather, you may need to weigh down the tripod with a bean bag, your camera bag, or even a stone suspended from a string. Choose a small aperture to ensure a great depth-of-field. In case the light is too bright for a slow shutterspeed, choose the lowest ISO setting or use a Neutral Density filter.


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