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5 Creative Photography Ideas for Rainy Days

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Are you a fair weather photographer only? Many might frown at the idea of taking their camera out when the weather turns wet. In a recent article we offered various solutions for protecting your camera from the rain. Now that you know how to keep your equipment dry, it is a good time to talk about some creative possibilities that the rain offers for your photography. Here are 5 ideas on how to use rainy days to your advantage and produce some great images.

1. Use reflections for a double view

The first thing you notice while out on the rainy day is reflections. Puddles, wet pavement, benches – everything with an even surface is covered with water and reflects traffic lights, architecture, or people passing by. Observe reflections and you will discover some interesting images of the upside-down world reflected in water. 

2. Capture umbrellas to add a splash of color

What is the most frequent thing used outside when it rains? Umbrellas! Look for the most colorful ones: make them stand out against darker backgrounds or combine them with other colors, such as store fronts or trees in the park. Let the colors splash in your images.

3. Try panning and zooming in/out

When the sky is covered with grey clouds and less light is available, it is a perfect time to try some panning of passers-by with colorful umbrellas. Find a comfortable spot with lots of activities and pan people running away from the rain. Another way to play with longer shutter speed is to zoom in/out to create bursting images that give the impression the subject is moving towards you.

4. Get cozy and look through wet windows

When you feel like you’ve had enough of that rain, pop in a nearby café for a hot drink and get a window seat. While sipping your hot chocolate, take a few photos through the wet window. Dreamy images through steamy windows used as a natural filter will convey the mood of a rainy day. Another option is to focus on the water droplets on the window using a shallow depth of field. This will blur the background and let the viewer wonder – what is hiding behind the rain?

5. Capture the special light after the rain 

When the rain stops and the sun starts peeking out from the clouds, everything suddenly shines. Use this magic moment to capture scenes set in the sparkling and shiny wet streets. For some dramatic effect, underexpose slightly to increase the contrast between the dark and bright areas in your images.

So next time it rains, don't give up. With proper protection and a little effort you will get unique photos you would otherwise miss. So grab your camera with its rain cover and go out. Of course, remember to share your best photographic findings with us!

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About the Author

Nadia Gric

Nadia Gric

Nadia is passionate about the visual aspect of life and the personalities she meets along the way. Living in the heart of Paris, Nadia never stops exploring the City of Light through her camera and readily shares her knowledge and love for photography.