Spring is in full swing, which means it’s time to dust off your camera and head back outdoors. Don’t let April showers keep you from taking photos! Stormy skies can add a moody atmosphere to your photos, while wet city streets can create a magical glow. The reflective surface of a puddle of rain can add a surreal feel to your image.
Here are six tips for photographing puddles to create epic photos, whether you’re shooting with a DSLR, a point-and-shoot camera, or your smartphone.
1. Get low to the ground and try different angles.
When you’re shooting into a puddle, the reflection becomes a viewfinder—providing a different perspective. Shooting from a low angle can make a puddle look like a large body of water. Try angling your camera up to include more of the skyline. Move around until you find your sweet spot.
2. Don’t be afraid to get wet, but keep your camera safe.
Chances are you might get wet. Be prepared and use the water to your advantage. There are countless products to help protect your camera from the rain. I always keep a plastic bag in my camera bag just in case.
Pro Tip: Use a fast shutter speed (1/500 or faster) to freeze action and capture water splashing in midair.
3. Look for symmetry.
Symmetry is extremely pleasing to the human eye. Turn your puddle into a mirror image. Look for architectural details, patterns, and leading lines to direct the viewer’s eye through your photo.
4. Shoot at the golden hour.
The hour before sunset or after sunrise is known as the golden hour. It’s when the sky comes alive with a range of colors and cloud patterns. Check your weather reports to determine the exact time of sunset/sunrise so you can give yourself ample time, but move fast as the light changes by the minute.
5. Seek out bright city lights after dark.
Once the sun goes down and the city lights are on, you’ll get a completely different view. Be prepared to boost your ISO and use longer shutters speeds to get the perfect exposure. A tripod could come in handy to prevent camera shake, but if you don’t happen to have one, try using a solid surface like a park bench or street sign to keep your camera steady.
6. Enhance colors and details with post-processing.
Chances are the reflection in your puddle can benefit from some enhancement to bring out the colors and details. Use Photoshop, Lightroom, or your favorite mobile app to adjust the tones and sharpness of your photo. Experiment with cropping and filters to bring your photo to life.
Check out these great photos for more inspiration:
Submit your rainy day photos and tips in the comments section below. We love to see what you’re working on.