Thursday, July 5, 2012
Like most photographers, I live for the beautiful golden light at the beginning and end of each day. I like the play of light and shadows, and the sun sparkling off of water. But every once in awhile, I really like a rainy day.
I am always on the look out for something different to shoot. A different place, a different subject from my norm, or just a different way to shoot a subject. But on a rainy day, what calls to me is the rain itself. The soft lighting of a rainy morning, the rain drops on petals, the saturated colors on a rainy day. I just have to shoot!
When it's a nice gentle rain, and NO thunder and lightning, I drive to my favorite spot. I usually have it all to myself on rainy days!
Some of you may be thinking that I'm a little crazy. Who would go out in the rain with their camera and gear? I understand. I never used to shoot in the rain. A rainy day was always a day that I stayed inside with my camera. But a friend of mine makes it a point to shoot in the rain and has always told me what great photos one can get. So one day I took the leap. As Dotti wrote about in her post on Tuesday, I stepped out of my "usual" and tried something new. I "shook things up" and I'm really glad that I did.
Obviously, there are some precautions that you need to take if you will be shooting in the rain. No one wants to replace expensive cameras and equipment. There are plenty of "camera raincoats" for sale at photography stores and websites, but I've learned how to make one out of a ziploc bag. Last week I posted the easy instructions for making this on my personal blog hey jude photography. I also posted tips for shooting in the rain from Jim Richardson, a professional photographer for National Geographic.
I'm sure I look a little comical as I start down the trails with my camera in my handy dandy ziploc camera rain coat, my tripod under one arm, and an umbrella over my head. It's a little bit more work to shoot in the rain, I admit. Holding my umbrella in my left hand over the tripod mounted camera, while using my right hand to control the camera settings, works pretty well. Since I'm planning on doing rainy day photography more often, I am going to purchase a clamp that will hold my umbrella on my tripod, and will make things a little easier.
If you don't mind getting a little damp yourself, you can get some really great shots when it's raining. Colors are more saturated, rain drops dangle from petals and leaves, and the lighting is soft and beautiful. If you don't usually photograph nature like I do, rainy days are wonderful for street and urban photography as well. I really enjoy the photography of Christophe Jacrot, a French photographer who focuses on street photography in inclement weather -both rain and snow. His images are beautiful.
If you're thinking that you'd like to try rainy day photography, but that what I just described sounds like too much work, Jim Richardson suggests shooting from the protection of an awning, a gazebo, or a porch. Or shoot from your car. Try it. I think that you will really like the results and you'll be able to look at rainy days as another opportunity to be creative with your photography.
Our theme this month is "water." Rain may not be the first thing that you think of when you think of a water theme, but, hey, it's water - it works! Do you always photograph in good weather, or have you braved the elements and gotten wet? Do you have any good rainy day captures? We'd love to see them in our FOL flickr page. Be sure to post your rainy day photos and any other water photos that you've captured. Label them "WATER" to be considered for the INFOCUS selections this month.
(As a side note - after shooting in the rain I always make sure I use a soft cloth to wipe my camera and lenses off. I have never had any visible moisture or drops on them, but I wipe them off to be certain they are dry. I also keep silica packs, that come packed in many different products these days, in the bottom of my camera bag. If there ever was any moisture, these would absorb it. I learned this tip from a professional photographer while visiting his shop.)