Today I decided it appropriate to write about taking photographs in the rain. Cape Town, South Africa, is currently experiencing rain and cold weather due to the fact that winter has really set in. So instead of sitting at home and complaining about the weather, do something creative and different, you will not be disappointed with the outcome.

There are a few pointers on the “preparation list” before you venture out, that being, take an umbrella to keep yourself and your camera gear dry, and rain free. Just like you getting drenched and catching a cold, your camera will also suffer and may end up costing you a hefty penny to repair from the water damage it has consumed.

A waterproof or resistant bag, a reflector and a tripod are the next things to add to your list. Make sure your card is in your camera and you have the appropriate lens attached to the camera body with decent range and aperture for the look and feel of what you are planning to capture. One thing you do not want to do is to have to change lenses in wet or rainy weather as it might be detrimental to the camera sensor.

Shooting daytime

Rainy weather spoils us with so many moods especially during the day where we are still able to use natural available light. Normally the light is great, as the diffusion from the clouds provide an evenly lit look to the landscape or subject you are shooting. A small, but relevant suggestion for those who enjoy shooting during the way, learn as much as you can about daylight outdoor photography, this will play a major role in the outcome.

Puddles of water in the open fields to gushing drain water in the city sewers provide an energy that is expressed only through a good eye and a good shot. Both scenes offer a specific energy and depth, one a reflection of the landscape such as tire tracks forged into mud, while the body of still water casts reflections on the trees above. The other, a fast electric energy, as the water is channeled, as it carves its way through gutters and flaws in the streets designated architecture, there is a certain power that can be captured, manmade concrete open funnels competing with natures force.

There is also the macro beauty, the look and feel that surrounds you with the likes of capturing water drops on a petal of a flower or rivulets running down a leaf. Even keep an eye open for the likes of thirsty insects and spider webs that glisten in this environment and these creatures tend to their thirst .

Lastly, if you are fortunate enough to live close to the coast, go capture the waves breaking on the rocks, the patterns in the sand while mother nature takes her toll. Such elements are really amazing to capture especially playing with you shutter speed and depth of field while using a tripod for stability.

Shooting at night

This is one of my favorite times of day, being in a vibrant city at night, during or after a heavy pour down. Search for locations with lots of lights, signage and street activity. Wet streets in a brightly lit colorful city mean abstract mirrored reflections. Distorted combinations of moulded reflections bouncing off the wet roads is definitely worth taking note of to capture.

Another place of interest would be bus shelters and train stations, once again, the ability to capture and freeze movement using static backgrounds fighting with the motion of the trains and buses. This provides a platform to experiment with abstract and color simultaneously.

Well, I trust this has inspired some ideas for that rainy day or evening that will keep you busy and creative. I find that the use of certain direct references is always a motivator and a guide to what I am wanting to achieve in my photographs, use the like of Pinterest to gather your thoughts and formulate ideas first, then hit the road.