How to photograph in bad weather?
Updated: Feb 15
Bad weather is one of the challenges for travel photography. This is especially disappointing when you are travelling on vacation and you have only that one day to be at that particular place.
So, don’t let bad weather stop you from photographing.
Here are some examples to create images while waiting for the rain to stop.
Look for some point of interest such as colours and people's expression or gesture which usually would liven the dull scene of a poor or bad weather.
Avoid the sky as much as possible if there is not much of texture in the cloud to create something dramatic. Instead, look for interesting subjects without getting the sky in the picture.
Sometimes you might want the dull sky in the picture too, to show the mood and ambience of the actual situation of that moment.
These two photos (above and below) were shot in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia. It was the opening ceremony of the nationwide summer festival called Naadam. It has been raining heavily throughout the day. I have only that few hours to document this event.
In this situation, my zoom lens of 70mm - 200mm came in handy when I had to take shelter and was standing at quite a distance from the ceremonial ground.
There are always some splashes of colours somewhere, be it night or day, rain or shine.
In the following image, lights came on in all the shops when the storm turned the day darker. Those lights added some colours to the dull moment. I took this shot from the corridor of the opposite shop.
Always look out for spontaneous shots especially with people, which can be quite animated.
Make use of the puddle of water, if there is any, to create nice reflection. It would be even more interesting with colourful lights.
Always keep the camera dry. Some camera brands have well fitted rain cover. Check that out in the camera store.
Sometimes, I use a plastic bag over my camera when I have to be in the rain to take some shots that I don't want to miss.
Most camera bags have rain cover too. If there is none. A poncho would do the work. I carry a poncho with me all the time. Easy to slip in and out. It covers me and my camera bag.
An umbrella above your head would be ideal. That is, if there is someone to hold that for you.
Use a lens hood to prevent droplets of water on the lens and to avoid lens flare.
Microfiber cloths will definitely come in handy to wipe off water drops on the camera and lens. I have two pieces with me all the time. A small piece for the lens and a hand towel size for the camera.
Having said all that, there is strong wind, heavy rain and lightning, being out there should be totally avoided.
Have fun photographing on rainy days!
If you need help with your photography, check out my other photography workshops in Singapore and abroad.