Backlit on a rainy day


This article is primarily about backlit photography in rainy condition. How to emphasize the effect of rain, but also how to protect your gear. Photographing rain might sound easy, but it is not as easy as you might think. Add backlighting to it… and you are up for a challenge.


So why risk getting wet and your camera soaked, photographing in the rain can produce some great photos. One reason is that rainy photo’s is not something we see every day, another reason is the harsh and joyful contrast it adds to your photos and not least affects you can produce.



When doing urban photography, rainy weather is your friend; capture stunning reflections in city centers as it starts to get dark. Shop lights and lit advertising signs gives formidable effects on dark wet concrete and asphalt surfaces. Streetlights and lights from vehicles will give you the most wonderful backlit scenarios. Consider what is the best shooting angle; you need to shoot into the light, the rain will stand more clearly defined when it is backlit.

The Settings

  • Shutter speed. How do you want your rain, as motion blur then use slow speed, if you want to freeze the drops go fast.
  • Aperture. Typically want to use a shallow depth of field, combined with your lens sweet spot, start out at f/8 and keep the rain and immediate buildings in focus.
  • Focal length. You can use any focal length you want to capture rain; as long as you remember its impact on DOF.


It is worth considering the elements you are exposing your camera too, a raincoat for it is a good investment. Another option is the rain sleeve from op/tech.


Do remember

To read the other articles about backlit photograph

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