Remember when we were little kids and we always got excited whenever it rained? We would sneak out running around and jumping in the puddles until our parents dragged us back in the house? They always would say that the rain would make us sick, and until today I have had a perpetual feeling that they are not telling the truth.. Back then who cares what f/5.6 means, give me a break, I couldn’t even count past five. Oh those were the days..
But those days are gone. Most of us are very good kids now. Whenever it rains we just keep ourselves as dry as possible perhaps to prove that we’re good big kids or we simply don’t want to get sick even though we know our parents just say that to get us back in the house.
Many would think you’re out of your mind when you ask someone to go out shooting on a rainy day. Perhaps the thought of not only getting cold but also missing out the joy of lying underneath the warm blanket coupled with sweet pitty patty noise of the rain hitting the roof in the background is too big of a trade off.
Although challenging in terms of trying not to get wet (both you and your gear) as well as not to push the ISO setting to its max due to the low lighting, the rain can actually add some mood to your shot. Most importantly more often than not the end result tends to give you more satisfaction since you have to work extra harder. However, shooting in the rain is not as simple as just grabbing your gear and hop in the car like your usual shooting outings. There are some preparations that require some basic planning to ensure your outing would be more successful.
Five things you should have as part of the preparation.
1. Get weather proof gear. If you’re familiar with Canon gear, most of the L series lenses are weather-proof: i.e. they can withstand rain, dust, and snow long as they are not abused or exposed extreme weather condition. Accidentally submerging the lens for a low angle shot is a big no no. Both Canon EOS 7D Mk II and 1DX bodies that I own are weather-sealed.
2. Get a proper rain jacket/coat for your gear since it only costs a fraction of your investment, even if your gear is weather-proof. It makes more sense if your gear is not weather-sealed. The jacket cost ranges from a $9.99 to over $100 from China made to Lens Coat depending on the make, size, and materials used. You can even use an oversize garbage bag if push comes to shove.
3. Get rain clothing for yourself to stay dry and comfortable. If you don’t have a set of rain jacket, rubber boots, and waterproof pants, at least get a poncho. Once your inner clothing gets wet, it will be cold and uncomfortable.
4. Bring your tripod and be prepared to use your remote trigger since you will be dealing with slow shutter speed and high ISO settings. Shooting handheld with a super telephoto lens makes it extra challenging, therefore, your tripod is a big help on a rainy day..
5. Lens wipe. Only on a rainy and windy day there is high chance your lens will get wet so bring the wipe along.
If we’re lucky we get to see a rainbow and if we’re luckier we can shoot our subject within the rainbow.. As for me, I’m still waiting for that opportunity..
Click here to view the GIF sequence of the Western Grebe Rush in the rain taken at Quarry Lake of Newark, CA.