Capturing Monsoon Splashes

 

The monsoon is a glorious time to shoot, especially considering that it transforms a cityscape or a landscape into a completely unique vista. Explore this wondrous season with the help of a few simple tips!

To make rain clouds more ominous, use a Graduated filter or simply underexpose the image by one stop. Photograph/Michel Meynsbrughen.

To make rain clouds more ominous, use a Graduated filter or simply underexpose the image by one stop. Photograph/Michel Meynsbrughen.

Think of What to Include
When it starts raining, there is always so much of activity—people rushing to find shelter, someone trying to catch a taxi and so on. The hustle and bustle gives you a number of photo opportunities, but it is important to realise that this can lead to excessive clutter in your frame as well. Narrowing down on one subject helps you make the composition more impactful, whether you are shooting the gumboots of a child, a colourful umbrella or even the water droplets on a car’s windshield.

Including Rain in the Frame
To capture rain in your frame, set the camera to the Shutter Priority or the Manual mode. Choose a shutterspeed of around 1/30sec or 1/60sec, as this will ensure that streaks of rain are registered within the frame. If you do not have control over shutterspeed, you can try a simple trick with your compact camera to capture rain, though with a slightly different effect. Switch on the flash of the camera and shoot. If the raindrops are within the range of the camera’s flash, they will show prominently in the frame. The flash will freeze the movement of the drops, and will also create a white reflection in the drops, making them stand out.

Monsoon photography is not just about capturing rains. Skies and cloud formations can be potential subjects too. Photograph/Kstevensx.

Monsoon photography is not just about capturing rains. Skies and cloud formations can be potential subjects too. Photograph/Kstevensx.

Just After it Rains
This season is not just about the rains. The quality of light truly comes alive just after it has stopped raining. Overcast skies and windswept landscapes provide many shooting opportunities. Trees and other plants look lush green and wet roads tend to become reflective. Watch out for the play of sunlight that happens during this period. The light is really soft and ideal for subjects like portraiture.

When Water Falls on Your Lens
While shooting in heavy rain, the equipment may get wet, despite taking all necessary precautions. Never take a chance with your digital camera, as there are a lot of electronics inside that can get spoilt due to water. However, if there are water droplets on the lens or on the fi lter, you can use this creatively for some interesting effects. Point the camera at an artifi cial light source like a street lamp and shoot an out-of-focus image. Each water droplet will look like a bright circle of light! If the lens gets fogged due to excessive humidity, do not stop shooting! A hazy lens can create a unique dream-like look that can make colourful scenes seem like a painting.

This article originally appeared in the August 2016 issue of Better Photography.

Tags: Compact, Camera, Water, Lens, light, flash, monsoon, rain, freeze, Landscapes, rains, splashes, out of focus, reflection, drops, shutter priority, manual, white, overcast, windswept, cityscapes