Tips for Wildlife Photography in the Rain

Adverse weather conditions can make shooting more difficult, but can also yield more interesting and attractive images. Here are some tips for photographing wildlife in the rain.

I’m undoubtedly a pluviophile, which is defined as someone who loves rain and finds joy and peace of mind in it. Nothing makes me happier than writing or photographing in the rain, and by chance, it’s stormy and raining as I write this from a room in England. My enjoyment of writing during heavy rain is purely auditory; I find the sounds calming and during stressful periods of my life, I’ll listen to rain sounds to fall asleep. However, from a photography standpoint, my love is the visual atmosphere.

There are of course a number of challenges with photographing when it’s raining. The most obvious is keeping your equipment dry. While many cameras are weather-sealed, you don’t want to test their effectiveness at it particularly. In Iceland, I shot several days during really poor weather, and the way I dealt with that was to use rain covers whenever I couldn’t shoot from the comfort of the rental car.

One tip I’d like to add — which is touched on in this video — is the lack of contrast in poor weather. With so much in the air, shots will often look washed out. If you’re photographing wildlife, the temptation is to bring the contrast back in post, and you should to some degree. But one way I’ve had success is to bring the contrast back up about halfway, then use localized contrast on the subject to make them pop.

Do you go out with your camera in the rain? 

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