How I Shot It | Rain Images

With the rain images I won’t get into the exact camera settings I used.  Why not?  Well it will vary for everyone and each individual image so I’ll go into the thought process instead.  Before I ever bring the couple out into the less than ideal weather, I always dial in the ambient exposure I want.  In the below example I wanted to kill ambient so I did just that.  If you want to include some ambient elements, develop a vision in your mind and then expose the ambient for that vision.  When dialing in the ambient I want I always prioritize to keep my ISO as close to base ISO as possible.  Also, there is NOTHING WRONG with stopping down.  It will give you some wiggle room to focus in the dark and if you’ve already killed all the ambient why not give yourself that wiggle room!?

For lens selection, when I’m doing a rain shot, I ALWAYS go with the longest focal length possible.  The more compression you get the more impactful the rain will appear.  For me this is the 85mm F/1.8G as I don’t carry anything longer.

Now time to add the flash.  I usually prefer to set up my speedlite around chest high about 7-8’ behind the couple.  This allows me to use the couple to hide it and maximize the light spread I get in the frame.  To aid that light spread I usually flip down the wide angle plastic thingy from the head of my speedlite.  A Magsphere or anything similar would also work well to help spread the light as much as possible. Flash power will vary based on your ambient exposure but a good starting point is typically around 1/16th-1/32nd.  From there I'm almost always within one or two stops of my final power. 

These are the basics to getting a solid deliverable shot in the rain.  Once you have that down you can introduce elements such as the freelensing in top image.  With the free lensing remember that your F/stop will be whatever your widest aperture is so you'll need to adjust your ambient for that.  Also it’s a good idea to have cover overhead since your sensor will be exposed.  


This will work the very same way in the snow!

Another good thing to take into account with all these types of shots is the location.  You can use that to your advantage.  In the free lensed shot you will notice what looks like a fill light.  That fill light actually came from the giant white stone arches and roof of the patio I was standing under.  I like to travel light on wedding days, so I’ve trained myself to look for helpful things to use on the fly.  It’s a very good practice to have whenever you walk into a room with or without a camera!  And if you’re going to get creative.  Get the basic "safe" shot first!  If you're make your couple go out in the rain you better deliver something!  See safe shot below for the free lensed image.


Feel free to post any questions in the comments! Thanks for reading!

- JD