How To Freeze Rain Drops In Photography

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You can alter the feel of a photo significantly past making constructive use of pouring pelting. In this article, I will share how yous can use an external flash to produce beautiful, surreal-looking portraits in the pelting. (Reported past: Shoichi Asaoka)

Model in white crouching in front of night scenery in the rain

EOS 5D Mark III/ EF24-70mm f/2.8L 2 USM/ FL: 41mm/ Manual exposure (f/2.8, 1/15 sec)/ ISO 800/ WB: Auto

Using 2 off-camera flashes with dull sync flash technique brightened the raindrops to create a surreal temper, where the model appears to be bathed in divine lite.

Setup diagram

Extra equipment

– 2 Speedlites
– Remote trigger
– Bounce flash reflector/softbox


one. Position the model
2. Determine the exposure settings that allow the nightscape to exist captured without a flash
3. Set one Speedlite each behind and to the diagonal front of the model

Hither are more than details about each footstep.

Stride 1: Visualise your shot and position the model

Details such as the background and reflections from the road surface can bear on your shot. Be very enlightened of them every bit yous do your setup.

For this shot, I took into consideration how the illuminated panels in the groundwork gradually became smaller ane later the other, too as their balance with the colour of the light. To balance out the limerick, I framed the shot so that there was empty space to the left when seen from the front.

Stride 2: Betrayal for the background

Calorie-free from the flash will not reach the background. To ensure that the dark scenery at the dorsum will still be captured beautifully, find the exposure settings that will brand the groundwork look properly exposed fifty-fifty without the wink. This likewise determines the overall brightness of the prototype.

For stride-by-step instructions on how to observe the best exposure for irksome sync flash, click here.

I took this shot by manus, just as for all slow shutter speed shots, using a tripod helps to minimise camera milk shake.

Step 3: Set up ane flash unit each behind and to the front left of the model

Finally, set upward the Speedlites and adjust their flash output. To burn down the flashes off-photographic camera, y’all will need to use a wireless transmitter, besides known as a flash trigger.

(New to using a Speedlite? Familiarise yourself with it in
Start Flash Photography in 9 Steps!)

I placed one Speedlite behind the model to brighten the raindrops and cast direct low-cal onto the model at the same time.

The other Speedlite was placed to the diagonal front of the model to low-cal her from the forepart. I attached a bounciness flash reflector to it to diffuse the light and prevent it from getting also harsh. I made sure that this setup could stand up on its own.

My must-accept: Rogue FlashBender Due south


The FlashBender is a useful particular that tin can piece of work every bit a softbox likewise as a bounciness flash reflector. A flexible wire is congenital into the back, which enables y’all to conform its shape easily, making it a great tool for shaping light.

Detect out more well-nigh light modifiers in:

Cosplay Photography Techniques (1): Lighting Gear


– If you are non familiar with using multiple flashes simultaneously…

  • Try controlling them individually start.
  • You might besides want to use your built-in flash/ an on-camera wink that can act as a principal to trigger the off-photographic camera flashes.
  • It’south possible to try using another light source (such equally an LED torch)  to help you lite the model, but the results volition look slightly different. For example, while a flash freezes the raindrops; constant lighting could crusade them to exist captured as streaks.

For more tips on shooting with multiple flashes, check out:

Multi-wink Photography

If yous are having trouble nailing focus with the AF in the darkness

  • Smoothen a light on the model to help. Remember to plow information technology off before you shoot.

Note: Get everything (and everyone) out of the rain as before long every bit you tin

This is i scene where y’all don’t have the luxury of fourth dimension to experiment. Each time you modify the position of the model or the camera, you volition also take to alter the positions of the flashes and readjust your flash output. Nevertheless, the heavy rain tin cause your model’due south hairstyle and wearing apparel to become out of shape. Y’all don’t want the model or your gear to be out in that location getting soaked for as well long either. Decide the position of the model speedily, and piece of work as efficiently as yous can.

Tip:Use pelting protection to further protect your gear from rain harm. This might purchase you some time, but you should still try to piece of work fast!

For more tips and tutorials on low-cal setups, check out:

Cosplay Photography Techniques (three): Examples of Different Lighting Setups
2 Uncomplicated One-Light Techniques for Gorgeous Day/Night Hymeneals Portraits
Taking Dramatic Food Photos in Chiaroscuro Style

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