When the weather turns rainy, most photographers pack up their gear – but in my opinion, that’s a mistake!
there is literally hundreds great rainy day photography ideas. They don’t require great technical expertise, fancy equipment, or a waterproof case; in fact, all of them can be done from the comfort of your own home.
In this article, I share my 7 favorite ideas for photo shoots in the rain. So the next time you want to take pictures but the skies open up, you’ll have something to capture!
Let’s dive into it.
1. Shoot through your window
On rainy days you may not want to venture outside with your camera…
…but you can still capture that beautiful rainy atmosphere by working near a window.
You can start by photographing impressionistic scenes from the outside; use a wide aperture, approach the window, and then focus on the outside world. The window should fade, softening your photos without distracting the viewer.
You can also try shooting droplets at windows. For this I’d recommend getting a macro lens – that way you can get closer – but it’s also possible to get great results using a standard 50mm lens.
Focus on the glass, then use a large aperture to blur the background:
The more droplets you can capture, the more spectacular your images will be. Also be sure to experiment with different types of lighting!
2. Shoot household objects with a close-up lens
Macro photography, or close-up photography, is ideal for rainy days. With a macro lens, you can focus on small details of ordinary objects, and getting closer, you’ll turn even the most boring objects into abstract masterpieces.
As with window photography, a macro lens is helpful, but not required. You can get closer using extension tubes, close-up filters, or even your smartphone. Then you can have fun photographing everything within reach!
Personally, I like doing macro photography at home even on sunny days; the house is a relaxed environment, so you are free to take your time and get the perfect shot. Often in the field, I feel pressured to complete a shot as best I can in a limited amount of time.
By the way, you don’t have to look far to find an interesting topic. You can shoot clothes, carpets, shoes, furniture, water droplets, food, plants and more!
3. Do a DIY still life
Did you know that a little construction paper and aluminum foil, as well as a few knick-knacks, jewelry, or even toys, can be turned into a photographic masterpiece?
Well, it’s true! Every house is a treasure trove of photographic opportunities – as long as you have arts and crafts materials, as well as small items to use as subjects.
First, walk around your house looking for interesting items, such as action figures, earrings, collectibles, or even Christmas decorations.
Then dive into your craft box. See what backgrounds you can find and look for paper that can fit under your subject. Have fun creating different “sets”.
This little guy was photographed with a background made of aluminum foil and cardboard:
To get a similar photo, take a piece of cardboard (the size is up to you, but the bigger the cardboard, the more light you’ll be able to reflect onto your subject), then cover it with aluminum foil. Place the figure on one end of the foil, then wedge the other end:
It’s also a great setup for product photography!
4. Try CT scans
Scan-o-what? CT scan! CT scan is a photograph with a scanner.
In other words, instead of capturing photos with your camera, you use your home scanner!
If you have a scanner then you are basically set. Just take a few items and try placing them on the scanner. Flat objects like flowers or paper work best, although you can always try scanning your hands:
This one is a very simple rainy day photography idea, but the results have the potential to be stunning.
A tip: once you’ve scanned an image you like, import it into Lightroom, Photoshop, or your favorite editing program, then play around with different adjustments. Scanners aren’t designed to take great photos, so you’ll often need to tweak contrast, saturation, and exposure to get the best results.
5. Re-edit old photos
No, it’s not strictly a photography idea for rainy days, but it will definitely improve your photos, and it’s something I recommend everyone to do once in a while.
Just jump to your computer, then back to your files. The goal is not to find unedited images – although you can still do that too! – but to find images you have already edited, then see if your editing style has changed.
I suppose you will find that your style has changed, and perhaps even significantly so; I’m always surprised how much my editing has improved year after year.
When you find an image that might need re-editing, take some time and make the necessary adjustments. And once you’re done, you can even post the before and after photos on social media.
6. Try flash photography
Stuck at home during a nighttime thunderstorm? If so, see if you can capture lightning!
Take your camera and place it on a sturdy surface or tripod. Point your lens in the direction of the lightning, set your camera to Shutter Priority mode and select a shutter speed of 30 seconds. It’s best to set the ISO to the lowest possible setting (but be careful with your aperture – you don’t want it to get so wide that you’re out of focus!).
Pro tip: don’t wait for lightning to strike before pressing the shutter; you’ll never catch it in time! Instead, press the shutter button and wait for the 30 seconds to pass. With any luck, you’ll capture a decent flash while the shutter is open – and if you fail to capture a lightning strike, that’s okay. Just press the shutter button and keep going until you get a great shot!
7. Create a mood board
Looking for photographic inspiration? If you’re like me, you might find a mood board useful, which simply contains anything that might inform or inspire your artistic talent, including prints, objects, notes, and online sources.
If you want, you can print your moodboard elements, but you also have the option of creating your moodboard online using a website like Tumblr or Pinterest. (Pinterest, in particular, is a popular moodboard creator!)
To get started, choose your moodboarding method, then look for inspiration. See work done by your favorite photographers, view your own images, and view paintings, drawings, and even books. Think about what you want to create and what inspired you to create.
Note that a moodboard is never complete. Instead, you can add more whenever you want — in fact, adding to your mood board can be therapeutic when the thoughts in your head start to feel overwhelming. (Drawing diagrams and taking notes that you can physically see is a proven way to relieve anxiety and increase productivity!)
Bonus: once the rain has passed, you will have plenty of subjects to photograph!
Rainy Day Photography Ideas: Last Words
Now that you’ve finished this article, you’re ready to take some great photos in the rain!
So remember the ideas I shared, grab your camera and have fun!
Now your turn :
Which of these home rain photography ideas do you plan to use? Share your opinion in the comments below!