6 Tips For Taking Rain Photos In Seattle
The weather in Seattle isn’t quite as bad as some people like to make out. That said, the city has a reputation for its gray and gloomy weather for a very good reason.
So if you’re a photographer in Seattle, you’re going to learn a few key skills and hacks for shooting in the rain. If you’re a photographer in the Emerald City, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll need to tackle the challenge of shooting in wet weather.
So before you even start comparing Seattle photoshoot venues, searching for the perfect lighting, or looking around for some creative inspiration, make sure you’ve mastered these top six tips for taking photos in the rain.
Protect your gear
Let’s face it, high-quality camera gear sure ain’t cheap. And just like any other type of electronic equipment, DSLR cameras do not cope well with excess moisture. To protect your investment, it’s vital that you invest in some protective gear for your photographic equipment. And we’re not just talking about taking along an umbrella whenever you head outside for a shoot.
There are a few options to choose from to create a complete wet-weather kit. A custom raincoat for your camera can help keep it out of the elements, while waterproof camera cases protect your camera but still allow you to access key functions. Lens hoods can also help keep those pesky raindrops away from your lens, so they’re a very practical and affordable addition.
Don’t just focus on protecting your camera gear in the rain — you need to protect yourself against the elements, too. Spending hour after hour standing out in cold, wet conditions is never a good thing, so remember to always look after your health.
This means rugging up with enough layers to stay warm, wearing a quality rain jacket to ensure that you stay as dry as possible, and using fingerless gloves for extra warmth. No one said you had to suffer for your art, and when you’re comfortable, you’ll be better able to focus on the task at hand.
Remember the importance of backlighting
When it’s absolutely bucketing down, you may not have any problems capturing the shot you want. But when it’s only sprinkling or simply raining steadily, it can be a whole lot harder to capture the rain in your shot in a way that reflects how it looks to the naked eye.
This is where backlighting comes in. You can set up backlighting with your own gear, or take advantage of whatever is available in your shot — streetlights, car headlights, and even natural light can all help the raindrops in your images stand out. Even setting your shot against a dark background will help make the rain more visible, so experiment until you find something that works.
Experiment with shutter speed
Even if you’re relatively new to the world of photography, you’re probably already well aware of the many varied creative effects you can produce by adjusting the shutter speed.
Set it fast and you’ll be able to capture crisp, sharp images of the falling rain; slow it down and you can create a blurred effect. Of course, if you’re planning on playing around with longer exposures, remember that a tripod is a must to help keep your camera stable for each shot.
Harness the magic of reflections
You don’t necessarily be out in the middle of a rainstorm to capture beautiful wet-weather images. Once the rain has passed and the clouds are starting to clear, load up your camera gear and head out in search of reflections. The rain that pools on streets, sidewalks, and in countless other unexpected spots around the city can become a wonderful artistic tool. The reflections created by the rainwater in these pools can be used to craft everything from beautiful streetscape shots to abstract and unexpected images.
There’s no shortage of interesting opportunities to explore, so let your creative instincts run wild.
Make the most of the creative possibilities
The mere mention of rain can send many photographers running for cover. That’s understandable, but it’s also a real shame. Rain offers a seemingly endless array of creative possibilities for photographers to explore. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, there’s so much you can do with a dark, cloudy sky and a little bit of precipitation.
Don’t go booking an indoor photo shoot venue all because of a little rain. (Or a lot of rain.) Instead of seeing rainy weather as a problem, consider it an opportunity. Once you embrace everything it can offer, you’ll be able to take your wet-weather shots to the next level.