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Photography in the Rain


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Photography in the Rain

28 Apr 2021 6:13PM   Views : 549 Unique : 286

Why would you pack your camera away at the first hint of a few drops of water falling from the sky? Soft light, glistening surfaces and reflections to name a few of the opportunities you'd be missing out on.

Photography is an all weather pursuit. If it isn't so for you then it should be. Earlier I blogged about low light photography under the heading 'Poor Light?'. Rainy conditions are part of the low light scene and more likely to make people put the camera away than low light levels. It's like saying 'I only photograph landscapes in the mountains'. You're missing out on a chunk of photo opportunities.

Rain leaves attractive droplets on many subjects. The soft overcast conditions re ideal for capturing all the details. Shooting just after a shower will give you good images without getting wet, or at least too wet.


Papua New Guinea impatiens

There are times when you have no choice but to shoot in the rain. I guess you do have another choice and that's to go home but in that case you need to consider a different hobby. Unless you're a cricket photographer. Talking of sport and outdoor events, the action usually carries on in the wet. And the action can come in buckets (well it is raining!).


Michael Schumacher at Donington

For a great example I'll take you back to the 1993 European Grand Prix at Donington Park in Leicestershire. The morning was dull to start with, followed by drizzle and then heavy rain for the race. You would be sinking a dozen centimetres into the mud if you wanted to walk anywhere. Alain Prost found it difficult. The group of German fans in front of me went quietly home when Michael Schumacher (der Regenmeister, inappropriately on this occasion) spun out. Ayrton Senna drove round as if it were dry. To get back to the photography, there was plenty of action to capture with cars struggling for grip and plumes of spray shooting up behind the cars. That shows action, so much more than a frozen subject on a sunny track that just looks as if the car is parked. Attending a BTCC race there later in the year was also in wet conditions. Donington is well known for its rain.


A round of the BTCC at Donington

There's the usual concern, understandable and rightly so, of keeping the camera dry, or at least protected from the worst of the wet. A little drizzle or few spots of rain won't be a problem. I hae a waterproof coat that's roomy enough to put my camera under if necessary. Sports photographers have been known to use a chamois leather over their gear. I use a microfibre cloth to wipe down equipment, and to clean the lens and I'm careful to avoid getting any grit on the cloth. Rain on the camera isn't so troublesome as rain on the front of the lens as that does affect the image. Simply using a lens hood (they're not just for sunny days) will keep the front element reasonably clear in most situations.


Protective measures at Cosford Air Show

Outdoor shoots with models can be interesting in the wet. Having back-up plans and contingencies is good practice. Even if it doesn't rain you'll have those alternatives if you need further ideas.

So next time it rains get the camera out.


Dani with an umbrella

All text and images © Keith Rowley 2021

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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
28 Apr 2021 8:23PM
Definitely! Even cameras that aren't rainproof can usually take a bit of 'weather', and mopping the joins and buttons with a hankie can help. A shoulder strap and keeping the camera just under your arm helps, too.

Mind you, I did a lot of damage to two cameras the day that I started a walk in the Brecon Beacons in sunshine, only to find horizontal hail at the top of the hill...
Minty805 Avatar
Minty805 Plus
7 55 11 United Kingdom
29 Apr 2021 12:24PM
All the elements have something to give to photography; it's just a matter of making use of them. When we were travelling round New Zealand, just before the pandemic, we arrived at Franz Josef Glacier in rain, which only got heavier. We had the choice of walking to the glacier and getting very wet, or not seeing it. Was I going to leave the camera behind? No chance. I had bought a couple of weatherproof covers, but didn't use them and my Olympus took it all in its stride. The bad conditions just made the whole scene even more majestic.
Stevetheroofer Avatar
30 Apr 2021 7:37PM
I was told the Badgers would be in the field last night with the rain we were having out searching for worms. How wrong was the information, it chucked it down and my hide doesnít keep out the rain, in fact I think it actually diverts it onto me. My kit stayed dry under their covers but it was cold and miserable and all I saw was a sheep that had escaped from its field and couldnít keep quiet if itís life depended on it.
I went home cold and wet deciding that rain was the time I fixed roofs and that my camera stayed in the dry where it belongs

dark_lord Avatar
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
2 May 2021 9:49PM
That's Sod's Law alright Steve.
Mind you, I think as photographers that as long as our gear is unharmed anything else is ok Smile

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