Shoot right as rain.
When you take photos in the rain, first be aware of your surroundings and the elements at all times. “Rain doesn’t just fall straight down. You’ve got wind blowing and splashing,” says Weingart. “Stormchasing has taught me a lot about how rain works, like how sometimes the rain turns into softball-sized chunks of ice. You want to be aware of what kind of storm or weather you’re dealing with,” he adds.
1. Adjust your camera settings.
Experiment with different camera settings to find the right one for your shot. If you want to freeze falling rain in midair, or mid-splash, use a very fast shutter speed. “If you’re shooting without a tripod and holding your camera, you’ll introduce camera shake if you shoot any slower than 1/60 of a second, and you’ll start getting blur from that,” says Weingart. Since rain moves so quickly, you’ll need to take quite a few photos to capture one with the rain where you want it in the frame. So take lots of photos and review them later when you’re out of the elements.
If you take outdoor portraits or landscape photos in a rainstorm, be sure to keep your ISO and aperture in mind as well. When it’s raining or overcast, there’s typically less ambient light, so do a few test shots to ensure you’ve got the right settings for a successful exposure. In low light with rain clouds overhead, you may need to open your aperture wider. This will create a shallower depth of field, so be aware of that as you plan the composition.
2. Keep your lens clean.
“Always check for raindrops on the lens after every couple of photos, especially if it’s a really rainy, windy situation,” says Jones. A stray raindrop can ruin countless photos if it splashes on your lens. This will distort all the images your camera captures until you clean the surface, so be sure to pack extra lens cloths or towels so you always have something on hand to dry off the lens.