5 Tips for Taking Photos in the Rain

Cherry blossoms in spring rain from Pinterest. Photo by Kujio Tomisha

By Vanessa Mallory Kotz

 

As spring finally starts to show its lovely face here in the Mid-Atlantic, people are coming out of their apartments and houses with joyful expressions and lighter outerwear. Dog walkers have an extra pep in their step. Children tiptoe through the tulips and their parents take dozens of photos of the cherry blossoms right as they are about to fade. The last few days, however, it has rained. A lot. Staring out the window at the overcast skies and thinking of all those tourists at the Tidal Basin makes me wonder—what is the best way to take photos in the rain? I scoured the Internet for tips from the pros. Here are five of the best.


 

 

 

 

 

1. Protect your gear
Look for shelter (a store awning, parking garage or porch. Also, carry an umbrella and a raincoat. “Not necessarily for yourself — nobody cares if the photographer gets wet. I mean a raincoat made specifically for cameras. These are available from a number of manufacturers in a variety of shapes and sizes, capable of covering not just the lens and camera but an attached flash as well. You can find a decent one for not a lot of money. If you’re more of the DIY type, you can use a plastic bag — preferably a clear one.” –Jason D. Little for Light Stalking 



2. Pay attention to reflections
“One of the great things about reflections is that they tend to help lighten up an image –especially if it’s night, and you have a light source, such as streetlamps, that are reflecting off of the water. While most people think of crystal-clear water when reflections come to mind, ripples at the surface can add some unique texture to your composition, and the result will be more abstract than a mirrored image.” –Christina Harman for Loaded Landscapes 


 

 

 

 

 

3. Be patient
“As many landscape photographers will testify, a great time to shoot is immediately after the rain stops. Rain enhances colors, and as the sun emerges you’ll see some great opportunities, possibly even a rainbow.” –Staff Writer for Amateur Photographer

 



4. How to shoot from your car
It you are trying to get a picture during a downpour, trust nature photographer Art Wolfe. Park at an angle that will keep the weather out of your open window. It also helps to know the behaviors of your subjects, which for one shot were a herd of Impalas in Kenya. ‘“The rain was so heavy,” he says, “that the animals stopped and stood facing away from it. The impala just stopped moving, because, in that type of rain, they assume that the rainstorm will be over in 20 minutes. It’s not worth moving during that time into uncertain territory when they have marginal visibility. There could be lions waiting for them. They just waited out the rain, and I was able to position myself and get that shot.”’ –Jack Crager for Popular Photography


 

 

 

 

5. Be on the lookout for joy or misery
“Rain transforms people. We react to rain with a gamut of emotions, from the sullen dread of rain-drenched commuters to the wondrous joy of children. Capture those emotions and you’ll have a great rain picture.” –Jim Richardson for National Geographic

 

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5 Tips for Indoor Photography

Are you feeling frustrated with indoor photography? Here are some ideas to help make your indoor photos look better:indoor photography

 

Take advantage of daylight.  Shoot your photos wherever sunlight is available, whether that’s by a window or a doorway. Take note of what kind of light enters each room throughout the day. You’ll notice that sunlight has a warmer look at sunrise and sunset. At midday, it has a cooler or neutral color. Use this to add different effects to your photos.

 

Use a reflector!  Not only is this one of the cheapest pieces of equipment you can buy, but it is also one of the easiest pieces of equipment you can make yourself! Here’s how you make a reflector:

Step 1: Get a blank piece of white poster board or paper.

Step 2: Have someone reflect it on your subject!

That’s it!

 

Blank white paper can provide you with a lovely, soft fill source for any shadows on your subject, and helps give your photograph a professional look. If you need something stronger, use a piece of tinfoil to cover that piece of paper.

 

Avoid direct overhead lighting. Make sure your subject takes a few steps away from the light source so that it bounces from the floor onto your subject instead. Direct overhead lighting often casts unflattering shadows.

 

Turn off your flash. This is along the same lines as the previous suggestion, because the flash on your camera can result in a washed out, unflattering photograph if you use it indoors.  Avoid it at all costs, even if you need to raise the ISO.

 

Pay attention to the details.  Whether you’re photographing a group of friends in your living room or working on a paid architecture gig, the details matter!  Look at the countertops — are there pens and paper that belong in the shot, or can they be stashed somewhere else? Are there dishes in a sink? Is a lamp coming out of someone’s head? Take the time to stage your photograph.

 

Do you have other questions about indoor photography? We are big fans of Digital Photography School, so be sure to check out their site from some of the best photographers in the world. 

 Happy photographing!


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What to Expect from a Photography Class

Some people have no problem using their camera and seem to have an innate ability to take fantastic photos.


But most of us are more comfortable with a camera after taking a few lessons or a course. If you’re one of these people, here are a few things you should know beforehand:



What You’re Getting Into: Do some research to find the right photography class! Think about what you like, what you would like to develop more in your photography or what you’d like to learn about. Use that information to choose your course. Knowing what you’re signing up for will not only ensure you enjoy yourself, but it will make life a lot easier for the workshop organizers and your classmates.


Where You Put Your Camera Manual: We know it’s big and boring-looking, but the camera’s manual can really help you troubleshoot your technology. Chances are, your instructor won’t be able to work with you one-on-one to figure out exactly how the different focus modes work on your specific camera. So, knowing how your equipment works (or at least knowing where you can find the manual online) can help.



Be Ready to Go Beyond the Assignment: When you’re first learning, you’ll probably need to take more photos than you think for your assignments. If you are taking a traditional darkroom class and a teacher asks for four final images, you will probably shoot at least two rolls of film. If you aren’t happy with the results, keep shooting! It’s the only way to learn.


 

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5 Black-and-White Photography Tips

One of the main reasons people want to shoot photographs in black-and-white is because it lends a timeless quality to the images.


Here, in no particular order, we present some tips for helping your black-and-white photos come out as works of art:


1) Look for subjects with strong shapes and lines, texture and detail. Remember that the composition of your photo will rely on contrast. Sometimes, shadows will define shape and form, so pay attention to areas of both darkness and light. Fine detail, or strong textures (such as clouds, stones or foliage) can help give your black-and-white photos depth and interest.


2) Set your ISO to the lowest setting possible. This is important in order to avoid noise, which becomes more obvious in black-and-white photography, especially in low light situations.


3) When photographing a portrait, keep your backgrounds simple and clean. This will help make sure that your subject is in focus and that details pop.  


4) When photographing a landscape, look for imagery that offers grays along with contrast and lighting.


5) Check your histogram. This is the graphical representation of the tonal values of your image. When you frame an image, check your histogram to make sure there is a full range of tonality available in the viewfinder.


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How to Take Incredible Party Photos

party photosWe are officially at the height of party season. Christmas and New Years will be here before you know it and we’ll be attending all sorts of parties and events to celebrate.

 

So, to ensure you’re snapping the best possible party photos at your next shindig, we pulled together the following list of tips and tricks.

 

Take a look:

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