Have you had enough rain this Spring? I have decided to stop cursing the rain and be one with it. Very Zen of me don’t you think?
The challenges with shooting out in the rain are obvious. Keep the equipment from getting soaked. Cameras are light-tight so a little rain will not harm them. A down pour or long exposure to wet weather will so it is best to be prepared. While I am not a big fan of using a lens hood, they come in handy when it is raining. They stop the lens from accumulating water droplets which cause all kind of havoc when looking through the viewfinder. For keeping the rest of the camera dry, I recommend using inexpensive rainsleeves by Optech.
Another challenge you will be faced with are low light conditions. If you are not using a tripod, this will mean having to raise the ISO some to keep a shutter speed fast enough to hand hold. Don’t forget the technique I shared with you called Da Grip where you can hand hold a camera at very slow shutter speeds. I feel comfortable using half of my camera’s highest native ISO. For the Nikon D70, I used ISO 800. For the Nikon D700, ISO 3200 is as high as I like to go though I have been known to surpass it on occasion. 😀
An advantage of photographing out in the rain or on cloudy days is the soft, even lighting coming from the sky. Colors are more vibrant and textures stand out. However, try and keep the overcast sky out of your photos as it is very bright by many stops than the subjects you are photographing on the ground. If you look at your LCD in blinky mode, the whole sky will be totally blown out and flashing If I do get some of the sky in, I tend to crop it out later.
Water on surfaces is something you need to be aware of. Shiny surfaces cause highlights and reflections which are hard to deal with in photo editing. The use of a circular polarizing filter will remove them and give you even better and truer colors. Filters are easier to wipe off than most lenses as an added bonus.
To see many of these tips in action, follow this link of a video by New England photographer Jerry Monkman. Like us, Jerry has been dealing with our wet Spring and shows us how to find peace with it.
Enjoy. If you live in the United State, have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!