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9 Tips for Street Photography in the Rain

    Tips for Street Photography in the Rain

    Fun and beautiful images can be made when shooting in the rain on the street. When it starts to rain, the atmosphere changes and takes on a more gloomy and dramatic tone, especially in metropolitan settings. Many striking and original photographs are taken as a result.

    However, there’s more to it than just keeping dry and pressing the shutter when it comes to street photography in the rain. It can be difficult to get good shots in the rain, but if you’re prepared with a variety of strategies, you can brave the elements and come home with some very remarkable images.

    In this piece, I’ll show you how to take great rainy-day street photos and give you some pointers on how to do it yourself. I really want to encourage and push you to get creative with your photography, even if the weather isn’t cooperating.

    1. Plan your photography session

    You may greatly improve your photography experience in the rain with just a little bit of preparation.

    If you must venture out in the rain, think about the locations you might visit and the subjects you would like to photograph before you set out. If you are familiar with your surroundings, you may already have a notion of how to best position yourself to prevent getting wet. Places with good lighting, lots of foot traffic, and cover should be prioritized.

    Put your go-to lens for street photography on your camera before heading out the door, and don’t bother switching lenses while you’re out and about. It’s ideal to keep your camera’s sensor away from the increased humidity in the air on rainy days, even if it’s not actually raining. If you need to change your lenses, do it quickly and in a dry area. The longer your camera’s sensor is subjected to the elements, the more damage it will sustain from condensation.

    Although I go into detail on lighting in a later section, it is essential that you time your visit according to the available light. If you’re hoping to take dramatic photos, avoid shooting on days when it’s going to rain heavily and the sky is quite cloudy. (However, you may still take beautiful photographs in dim lighting if you choose an appropriate subject.)

    2. Keep yourself and your gear dry and safe

    Your shooting session could be cut short if you don’t take care to keep your equipment dry. It’s possible that your camera will need expensive repairs as a result.

    Water and cameras just don’t get along, unfortunately. Even if you have a weather-proof camera, it’s best to play it safe. It’s important to keep electronics as dry as possible because even a drop of moisture can cause problems. You can either try to find a dry place to shoot, or you can purchase a rain cover for your camera. How you feel about it is the most important factor.

    In addition, avoiding wetness will make for a more pleasant session; this may sound inconsequential, but you won’t want to stay out for very long if you’re uncomfortable.

    Use decent footwear. Once you get your feet wet, you won’t want to stay out for long. Wearing a raincoat or carrying an umbrella is also a good idea, however this will depend on the locations you visit and the style of photography you prefer. (A raincoat will allow you to operate your camera without having to hold an umbrella over it.) When it’s raining and I want to photograph shots in the street, I bring an umbrella and a raincoat.

    3. Take your tripod

    I understand that using a tripod isn’t always feasible when snapping photos on the street. A slow shutter speed and a tripod are both useful when shooting in low light conditions, such as during a rainstorm.

    If you set up your camera on a tripod, you can use one hand to hold an umbrella while using the other to change the settings. Using a tripod will slow you down, but it can help you take better photos by forcing you to shoot more methodically.

    When setting up your tripod, be mindful of any slick surfaces. If you want to avoid camera wobble (or worse), you need to make sure your tripod legs are stable and won’t slip easily.

    4. Think about lighting

    Before setting out to shoot, you should think about the light, like I said before. Photograph on days with a mix of rain and sun if you want to add drama to your shots, or take advantage of significantly cloudy skies if you want your photos to have a neutral tone. Last but not least, if you still aren’t sure what you want, opt for decent lighting and contrast.

    Backlit rain looks great when exposed properly, so try to position yourself so that the main light is coming from behind your subject when shooting in the rain.

    One piece of advice: if the light isn’t too exciting and you want to take pictures, use a flash to spotlight your subject. Adjusting the flash output such that it overexposes your subject (which can be a beautiful effect when rain is falling in the background) is another way to add depth and dynamism to your street photography.

    5. Seek out reflections

    Reflections appear everywhere on rainy days. When you’re out and about with your camera, keep an eye out for reflective surfaces like windows, puddles, sparkling objects, and automobile windshields, and make an attempt to include them in your shots. When used as foreground interest in wide-angle compositions, reflections may make for stunning street photography.

    Focusing precisely is essential while taking photos of reflections. Focusing in on a reflective surface can cause blurring of the reflection. It will be more difficult to maintain the reflected subject and the reflective surface in focus if the subject is further away from the reflective surface. If you want to get truly professional results, don’t be scared to switch to manual focus.

    6. Make the most of water

    Now that you’ve gone through the trouble of getting out and about with your camera, take advantage of the water! Find interesting perspectives that capture water splashing or beautiful reflections instead of the usual street photography fare.

    Rain falling from a bus stop’s ceiling can be filmed as it splatters into gutters and puddles below. People leaned over, their umbrellas bouncing off the rain. I have no doubt that once you begin your search, you will discover a wealth of fascinating photographic opportunities.

    Find a coffee shop with a window overlooking the street when you need a break. You can keep snapping shots through the glass of your warm beverage (rainy day photos are some of the best there are!).

    7. Include electric lights

    You want a fast shutter speed to avoid blur, so shooting in bright daylight is ideal. However, early evening is also a terrific time to perform street photography in the rain.

    Keep an eye out for the electric lights as they start to come on for the night. Check out how they bounce off of windows and other surfaces in buildings. Turning on the street lights can completely alter its appearance.

    The “blue hour” of each evening, when artificial light is used to counteract natural light, is my favorite time to take pictures. In this method, you may expose for the brightest parts of the image (the lights) and wait for the sky to become a deep blue. While this is at its most beautiful against a blue sky, it can also provide a bluish tone in overcast conditions.

    8. Capture isolated colors

    As I alluded to earlier, the lighting conditions are often difficult to work with during a rainy day. Finding a vibrant pop of color to enliven a dull situation is a useful trick.

    A splash of color, such as that provided by a yellow, red, or blue umbrella, can be a welcome addition to a crowded setting. A person crossing the street while wearing a bright yellow raincoat might be an arresting sight.

    If you come across an intriguing raincoat or umbrella, stick with it for a while. Don’t follow them about like a stalker, but instead follow in their footsteps and take a sequence of photos that highlight the brilliant spot of color in an otherwise drab day.

    9. Experiment with different shutter speeds

    While most street photographers utilize quick shutter speeds to freeze the motion, a slower shutter speed can produce interesting results on a rainy day.

    Using the slowest shutter speed possible without overexposing the shot, set up your camera on a tripod and tweak the exposure settings. (Close your aperture and keep your ISO at its lowest setting.)

    Your shutter speed will be able to keep up with the falling raindrops if you use a low ISO and a small aperture. Try shifting where you look around the room. If your focus point is not too close to the camera, the depth of field will be very large due to the small aperture.

    When you’ve captured some good long exposures, try turning the camera around. To capture raindrops in your photographs, increase your shutter speed to at least 1/500 second. This will generate extremely different-looking photographs than those taken with a slow shutter speed, since the droplets will be frozen in mid-fall.

    Street photography in the rain: final words

    You should now feel confident in your ability to take stunning photos during a rainstorm. You’ll have more fun taking pictures on the street if you plan ahead. Look for dry spots and other places where you feel at home, and don’t be afraid to stay put for a while. More active people tend to miss more photo possibilities.

    Consider how you may make use of the wet conditions and the low lighting. To create lively compositions, try looking for light reflections on moist surfaces. Take pictures that other people would never think of taking if you use your imagination.

    Keep yourself and your equipment dry at all costs. It’s a good idea to bring along a couple of dry microfiber cloths and a few large plastic bags for storing and transporting your gear after use.

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