Things To Photograph When It Rains On Your Vacation

Written by | Photography

You’ve been saving up your money and vacation days all year and now your big photography trip is finally happening! You’ve scoured the internet for the best travel photography tips and researched your destination. Only trouble is–yikes!–it’s raining and the weather looks miserable for the whole week. You can either sit in the hotel bemoaning your fate, or you can throw on a rain poncho and get out there and take some photos.

Truth is, if great photos are the goal, nothing could be worse than a week of clear blue skies and bright sun. Besides, those harshly lit, midday shots are the same ones everyone else is coming home with. Sure, it would be nice to lounge on the beach all day, enjoying beautiful weather and have some nice puffy clouds roll in for sunrise and sunset, but you know what? That rarely happens.

The most spectacular light and dramatic skies usually happen when the sun is breaking through the storm clouds. If you’re fortunate enough to have a storm rolling in or breaking up during golden hours, those will be the best photos of the week.

Travel Photography Tips To Get Great Photos In Rainy Weather

So, what can you photograph when the weather is bad? Here’s a list of subjects you should still get out and photograph, in spite of the rain.

1. Waterfalls

When life hands you rain, photograph waterfalls. They’re usually tall, so it’s reasonable to compose in a way that cuts out the dull, grey sky. They can be challenging to photograph at any time because of the spray, so a little rain won’t make much difference. The diffused light will keep you from having blown-out highlights on the water and black shadows on the rocks. If the skies are fairly dark, your shutter speeds may be slow enough for those creamy, flowing water shots without needing a neutral density filter.

You’ll need a tripod and a rain cover for your camera to keep your camera safe. Throw a cloth over your lens to keep water droplets off it between shots. If you do get water drops on your lens, I find it better to dab than to wipe. Use your lens hood to help keep your lens dry.

2. Rainbows

You don’t get rainbows without the rain. If you’re out in the rain and the sun pops out, but the sun is at your back and start scanning the sky for a rainbow. Even a fairly mundane scene can be transformed by a rainbow. There’s usually a lovely, glowing quality to the light when these conditions occur. Don’t let it go to waste!

3. Fog

Fog is a frequent companion of rain and can transform any boring old scene into a mystical dreamscape. Rolling hills or seascapes with plunging cliffs can look flat and one-dimensional in a photo. However, fog can add depth, mood, and atmosphere to a scene, giving it more dimension. Fog is hands down my favorite weather condition for taking landscape photos

Last modified: July 20, 2021