The best camera settings for rain photography
Learn how to set up your camera to capture fast-moving raindrops, even on cloudy, poorly lit days.
Taking pictures on a rainy day can be a challenge: Along with packing your raincoat and waterproof gear bag, you also need to cope with low-light conditions and fast-moving raindrops. Here’s how to pick the right camera settings for rain photography.
Choose the right camera settings for a rainy day.
Since rain only happens on cloudy days, it’s important to set your camera up so it can capture the most light. Unfortunately, low-light environments also reduce shutter speed, making it hard to capture brisk raindrops. Use these settings to find that perfect balance:
- ISO — You’ll need a medium-to-high ISO to compensate for low-light conditions on a rainy day without sacrificing shutter speeds.
- Shutter speed — Keep shutter speeds fast to catch the rain in midair, especially if you’re photographing splashes. If your shutter speed gets too slow, the raindrops will blur as they hit the ground.
- Aperture — Find an aperture that lets in enough light to maintain shutter speed without sacrificing depth of field. Start at f/8 and experiment until you find the one you like.
- Manual focus — Each raindrop can literally be a potential subject in rain photography. Use manual focus to capture your specific rain-photography inspiration.
It’s also a good idea to use a tripod when shooting rain photography, especially if you want long-exposure shots. The tripod will hold the camera still, ensuring you don’t get any motion blur in the picture.
Use photo editing software.
Finding the right camera settings for rain photography can be tricky. Luckily, you can use photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to make adjustments to your pictures, even if your settings weren’t quite right.
Discover more great photo tips for photographers of all skill levels. Whether you’re shooting in a downpour or a drizzle, learn how Photoshop and Lightroom can help enhance your atmospheric rain photography.