We've talked about special tools and equipment that can help you take great photographs of rain, but not everyone owns the latest lens hood, rain cover, speedlight or even a tripod. The truth is: You don't have to be standing out in a storm in order to snap a good photo of rain. You could take it from inside the comfort of your home, as water beads and streams down a windowpane.
Cars can also be very useful to rain photographers because they have so many windows, and in them, you can keep your camera equipment dry and safe. You can sit in a car and take the time to establish and frame a shot through an open window (preferably one on the other side of the car). Rainwater tends to collect in small droplets on cars' skylight, which can create interesting distortion. And if you don't have a car, try ducking under whatever cover is available: awnings, overhangs, carports or any other architectural feature that will keep you and your camera protected [source: National Geographic].
When you're out in the field, pay attention to all the different ways water sits, flows and dances on various surfaces -- not just the stuff falling from the sky. Pooled water can of course be highly reflective, especially when it stands still. Try looking at puddles from a variety of angles in order to capture interesting reflections. Also keep an eye out for other effects of rain, like broken umbrellas discarded in the gutter [source: Fotoflock].
Rain is also excellent subject material for macro (close-up) photography. If you have a macro lens, focus on the point of contact where the raindrops land on a solid surface (like the leaves or the ground), or try taking a photo of still water droplets on a flower petal.
Keep reading for lots more information on rain photography.
- Gampat, Chris. "Tips for Shooting in Rain and Bad Weather." Photography Bay. 2009. (Dec. 13, 2010)http://www.photographybay.com/2009/10/18/4-tips-for-photography-in-rain-and-bad-weather/
- Greer, Matt. "Taking Photos in the Rain." Matt Greer Photography. 2006. (Dec. 16, 2010)http://mgreerphoto.blogspot.com/2006/10/shooting-in-rain.html
- Hassinen, Matti. "Protect Your Camera From Rain Using An Old Pair Of Rain Trousers." DIY Photography. 2010. (Dec. 13, 2010)http://www.diyphotography.net/protect-your-camera-from-rain-using-an-old-pair-of-rain-trousers
- Kukday, Neeraja. "How to: get stunning rain shots." Fotoflock by Epson. 2009. (Dec. 13, 2010)http://www.fotoflock.com/index.php/learn-photography/how-to/32-shoot-how-to/2801-how-to-get-stunning-rain-shots
- Richardson, Jim. "Taking Photos in the Rain." National Geographic. 2010. (Dec. 13, 2010)http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-tips/taking-photos-in-rain-richardson/
- Valentin. "How to Take Great Photos in the Rain." Photopoly. 2010. (Dec. 15, 2010)http://www.photopoly.net/how-to-take-great-photos-in-the-rain/