When you think of the perfect day for a photo shoot, you picture clear skies, birds chirping, and crisp air. A little rumbling of the clouds overhead can give many photographers the heebie-jeebies. However, in a country where the monsoon takes up a third of the year, packing away your cameras till the rain subsides is not always practical. We bring forward the best rain photography ideas for you to capture this season. So, instead of sticking to indoor photography during a downpour, you can use the dramatic effect created by the stormy weather to shoot unique pictures that you wouldn’t be able to capture otherwise.
10 Rain Photography Ideas to Shoot like a Pro
We bring you the best riveting ideas to start you off with the amazing world of rain photography. Try these creative rain photography ideas this rainy season and make great images.
We have all seen pictures of lightning and they look magnificent, but it is not very easy to capture. A lightning storm can be dangerous, so your priority should be finding a safe spot. Look for shelter, as standing in an open field during a lightning storm is never a good idea. However, make sure that you have a good view of the sky from your safe spot. Look for an interesting composition, such as lightning over rivers or mountains, or aim for the classic shot of a lightning bolt over an entire city taken from the outskirts.
Another thing to remember while capturing lightning is that autofocus will most probably not work due to the dark environment, so set your camera on manual focus mode before you start taking photographs. Even though capturing a perfect bolt of lightning can be tricky, the effort you put into it will be worth it in the end!
2. People in the Rain
Everyday activities such as school children running on the streets, someone cycling on a lonely road, or a teenager skateboarding, seem novel during a rain shower. Even something as mundane as a traffic jam can be aesthetically pleasing in the rain. You can even attempt to recreate the iconic scene from the movie The Notebook, of people kissing in the rain.
A rainbow shot is a classic due to a reason. Rainbows are very appealing to look at, but you need to wait for the right moment to capture it. Look for days when part of the sky is clear and part of it is covered with rain clouds, those are the days when there is a maximum possibility of getting a rainbow. If you happen to see a rainbow, but the colours are dull, don’t be disheartened; a polarizing filter can help you render the colours more intense.
If you are lucky enough to be at an altitude, you might even be able to capture to a full circle rainbow!
Grey clouds give an eerie feel to a place, which is excellent for adding a theatrical and dark touch to your photography. To capture the sky at its most magnificent, wait for dusk or dawn on a cloudy day. Sunsets and sunrises provide even more drama on an already overcast day.
Another advantage of a cloudy day is that you don’t have the glaring sun beating down on your subjects, which means you can take pictures in soft lighting, avoiding squinting eyes. If you don’t want to include anything in the foreground and want the sky to be the key element of your picture, then a cloudy day is your best bet.
An umbrella is something you are never short of during stormy weather. Capture a beautiful view of a street, where the umbrellas held by passers-by form a canopy. You can even take portraits with umbrellas used as props, or just let the umbrella be the hero of the picture by placing it at different angles on the ground or footpath.
Get creative by using different colours of umbrellas, such as rainbow-colored umbrellas against a dull background. One of the ordinary rain photography ideas but it can be quite versatile as a photography subject. And of course, don’t forget to carry one for protecting your photography gear!
6. Empty Places
Think of isolated places and the rain, and Taylor Swift’s lyrics spring to mind – “There is something ‘bout the way the streets looks when it’s just rained. There’s a glow off the pavement.”
Empty places give a melancholy feel to a picture, such as deserted park benches, bus stops, or streets. On a typical day, it is hard to capture these places devoid of people, but most people stay indoors during rains, and you can use this to your advantage.
7. Animals in the Rain
These could be frogs in a pond, grasshoppers on a leaf, or even birds trying to fly through a storm. Dark green backgrounds of the shrubbery can bring out your subject and is one of the most followed rain photography ideas. Most of the adventure photographers love this idea. Shooting at slow shutter speeds will ensure that the rain drops look like blurred streaks, which gives a surreal effect to the photo. Look for unusual animal behaviours during a rain shower, such as animals taking shelter, shaking the rain out of their fur, or a peacock displaying its iridescent feathers.
You can stay dry within the comforts of your home and shoot your windowpane to capture the spectacular patterns made by raindrops. Raindrops can act like tiny lenses and can invert or warp the background; this makes for interesting pictures. You can even photograph raindrops on flower petals or blades of grass after a rain shower, or think out-of-the-box, such as this picture of raindrops on the surface of lightbulbs.
Experiment with the manual focus setting of your camera till you get the hang of it, and then shoot away!
Another classic shot and is one of the best rain photography ideas. You can time a photograph perfectly to capture the ripple created by a drop falling in a puddle, splash of a car tyre as it drives through one, or someone stepping into a puddle and making a splash. You can even aim for reflections in the puddle, which gives the photograph a very artistic effect.
Reflection photography can be tough during sunny days but the light during an overcast day is perfect for it. Just make sure you find a clean puddle that does not have plastic wrappers or cigarette butts floating in it.
10. Paper Boats
We end this list with a trip down memory lane. Next time it rains, make a few paper boats, put them in a small puddle, and get your camera out. This is one of the best rain photography ideas along with reliving your memories.
You can experiment with the colours of the boats, or even use boats made out of newspapers. Shoot from different perspectives, and play with the focus. You can even add other subjects to your shot, such as children playing with the boats. The nostalgic feeling of the picture will add a lot of value to your project.
Let us know if we missed out on your favourite rain photography ideas/shot in the comments below!