Usually, the last thing we all want to do when it's raining is head outside with a camera. However, if you do take the time to brave a little wet weather, especially in the evening, you can produce some great results.
Wet weather may be great for images but you do need to stay dry and so does your equipment so ensure you pack / wear the right gear. Make sure you put on your waterproofs as even if it's stopped raining when you head out, you may still encounter a shower or too while taking your shots. Gloves, sensible shoes and a flask won't be out of place either. As for protecting your kit, take a waterproof bag out with you and it's also worth investing in a rain sleeve for your camera if it's not weatherproof. If you do own a weatherproof model such as the Pentax K-3 it's still worth leaving your equipment out of its bag for a while once home to give it chance to dry out fully.
If you don’t mind getting a little bit wet head out while the rain’s still coming down as you’ll get great abstract/artistic shots as the raindrops disturb the surface of the water, sending ripples across it. Straight lines of buildings will be turned into zigzagging shapes while a colourful display of lights can be turned into interesting shapes of colour by simply waiting for a raindrop to break the surface of the puddle.
If you live by the sea or are near a river that’s flowing quite quickly find yourself a landscape or building you’d like to photograph and set your tripod up so your subject stays pin-sharp as this contrast of a still object against its blurry reflection always works well.
For those not so brave, head out when the rain’s cleared but the streets are still damp to give images of everyday objects such as buildings in towns or trees in a park a new twist. Just remember that a brightly lit subject will produce a better reflection as objects that are shaded can just end up looking dull and rather miserable.
If it’s rained all day but it looks like you’re in for a dry evening head out in search of puddles and wet streets reflecting city lights. This works particularly well at this time of year when colourful lights begin to decorate our towns and cities.
As well as focusing on the reflection try stepping back and including the object or person in the shot. Shots of people, particularly if it’s raining, will often have great facial expressions. Try shooting commuters huddled under brollies or people wrapping their coats around themselves to keep dry. Find a line of people waiting for a bus and shoot them from behind. If you can get them as a silhouette even better as the shapes created by coats bags and, of course, brollys will look great.
Don’t forget to photograph people jumping in the puddles too. Shots of kids in bright boots and coats always look great, particularly if you line your shot up so you can see their facial expression in the puddle.