Bad Weather Photography
Think of all the things that could get in the way of a perfect photo shoot. If rain, lightning or other so-called bad weather are on your list, you can scratch them off now! Once you learn how to use these elements to your benefit, you’ll be heading out the door with your camera in hand instead of moping inside on a rainy day. Read the tips below to get you started:
You never know when a downpour may start. It is wise to bring protective gear to prevent damage to your camera and equipment. If you’ve never heard of a camera rain hood, do a quick online search. They look like shower caps for your camera and are pretty inexpensive considering the investment you are protecting.
Adjust your shutter speed
Your shutter speed is the amount of time your shutter is open for light exposure. Standard shutter speeds range from 1/2000 of a second to minutes. The shorter the shutter speed, the crisper your picture will be. Your photo is literally capturing everything that happens during the time of exposure. When it comes to wet weather, your ideal shutter speed depends on what type of look you are going for.
Falling rain can drop a long way in an entire second, so if you use a one-second shutter speed (which is really slow), you’ll get streaky rain pictures. To show movement of water of try to get a shot of a lightning bolt, try using slower shutter speeds. Remember to use a tripod when using these longer shutter speeds, as the camera will also capture the motion of your camera shaking.
On the other hand, to capture falling rain (and clearly see the droplets), you’ll want a fast shutter speed. If, for example, you use a 1/1000 shutter speed, your picture will only show the movement that occurred within that millisecond. The rain will look frozen in air. This is something you’ll want to experiment with on your camera.
The lightning photograph above was taken at a low shutter speed. Since it is hard to predict exactly when lightning will strike, having a lower shutter speed allows you greater exposure time and more of a chance to nail the lightning in your picture.
Blankets, umbrellas and any other accessories that show what the weather is like will make the photos realistic, interesting and enjoyable to look at. Capturing goose bumps or wind-blown hair can also make for a really great photo.
Along with being a stellar photographer it helps to have good photo editing skills. Have you ever heard of the Photoshop Clone Stamp? This tool allows you to copy and paste from other pieces of your image so that you can cover up an unwanted power line in a lighting photograph or pull out your rain cover that just barely got caught in your bad weather photo. The Clone stamp and other Photoshop tools can help you get those photos to be just right.
Good luck taking bad weather photos!