9 Ways to Gain Better Rainy Day Photos

That torrential downpour you see out the window some days could signal the end of your next big shoot — or it could indicate a new, albeit slushier, opportunity. Rain brings new possibilities for portrait, landscape and other genres of photos.

 

Take up some savvy ways to set up these rain shots so you and your subjects minimize time spent in puddles as you get the perfect pic.

 

Fear not — it’s just water.

If you want the best rain photography, you have to be willing to get wet. Dress for the weather, whenever possible, and embrace a bit of discomfort for the sake of perfecting your craft.

Photo by Nick Edmunson

 

Use microfiber cloths to keep your gear dry.

Just as you should dress for the weather, so too should your equipment. Even weather resistant gear is better off not getting drenched, and you are going to want your lens dry for most shots.

 

Create contrast by shooting in low light.

Raindrops are most apparent in twilight and nighttime shots, especially if the picture is eventually published in black and white. Viewers’ eyes are called to textures and patterns, like rippling puddles or splashing raindrops, with less light — and thus less colour.

Photo by Bob Cooley

 

Backlight your raindrops for visibility.

While low light calls attention to patterns, backlight makes subjects in its path more visible. Try shooting toward – though not directly into – a light source to see the raindrops against its luminosity. Streetlights are great for this approach.

 

Establish complementary light with your flash.

Yet another way to illuminate raindrops is to use your flash. It does not have to be your primary light source. Instead, it can be lowered by a few stops to supply complementary light that lets the precipitation glisten.

 

Research in advance for portraiture scenes.

Rain can be an interruption to portraiture sessions, but maybe your clients embrace its melancholy vibe. Survey your area for potential compositions where your subject could pose at length without getting soaked.

Photo by Jason Vinson

 

Place your subject beneath an awning or overhang.

Keep your subject dry for a portrait session by setting the shot beneath a covering on the street. This provides shelter, and the composition has a natural feel, seeing as people often wait out storms beneath these coverings.

 

Move out of the shower and behind the wheel.

Like awnings and overhangs, cars serve as adequate shelter and realistic scenes. Vehicles are good for more than composition, though. If the rain is too much for you and your equipment, and if you don’t have a sufficient umbrella, shoot from your car.

 

Capture the humanity in rainy day reactions.

It is difficult to be unaffected by rain. Reactions range from puddle dances to dread-faced power walks. Street photography on rainy days can highlight characteristics of joy, resilience and vulnerability in fresh ways.

Photo by Erwin T Lim

 

Rain does not have to be end of your shoot. It can be the beginning, so long as your eyes stay open to creative opportunities. To learn more about the cameras you could be using for your rain photography sessions, check out our eBook, Which X Series Should I Buy?

 

IN FOCUS: 11 inspiring photography locations around the world

IN FOCUS is a series of articles where we ask some of the UK X-Photographers to give us advice, provide insight into their photography and share some of their favourite images of all time. In this blog, we wanted to go in search of the most inspiring locations for photography.


Continue reading IN FOCUS: 11 inspiring photography locations around the world

5 steps to create mouth-watering food photography

By Chio Fernandez

With social media and specifically the arrival of Instagram seven years ago, we have seen an increase in the amount of people sharing food images. And they aren’t all professional photographers sharing these images. Who hasn’t met with a friend for lunch and hasn’t been able to touch their food because they had to take the perfect shot? They will move the dishes closer to a window and step on a chair to take an aerial shot, sometimes using napkins as reflectors or smartphone flashes as filling light. From a cup of coffee to the most delicious high cuisine dish at that trendy Michelin Star restaurant or just some home baking, it is guaranteed that if you are scrolling through your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feed you will come across a photo of food. Continue reading 5 steps to create mouth-watering food photography

Quick Techniques – Beginners: Bracketing explained

Want to get the most out of your Fujifilm X Series cameras? Our Quick Techniques will provide you with lots of handy hints and tips to help you understand the features our range offers. This week we look at bracketing. Continue reading Quick Techniques – Beginners: Bracketing explained

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer – Stephen Vincent-Grace

We caught up with photographer Stephen Vincent-Grace this month to learn more about how to capture the beauty of the world, and find out what inspires him to continue to pursue photography as a hobby.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where you are from?

 

My name is Stephen Vincent-Grace, although everyone knows me as SVG. I am originally from Adelaide but have lived in Italy, England and the U.S.A. and have now settled in Melbourne, where I am product manager for a creative online marketplace. Besides photography, I am a crazy soccer fan and love to travel with 37 countries ticked off my bucket list.

 

How did you develop an interest in photography using Fujifilm equipment?

 

My interest in Fujifilm developed when I was on a trip to New York a few years back. I had my DSLR gear and over a three-week period took it out twice due to the pain of carrying it around everywhere. Subsequently after that trip I didn’t take a photo for over a year. I knew then it was time to sell the DSLR and look for something else. The X-Pro2 had just come out and I needed a camera. I instantly fell in love with the rangefinder look and manual dials of the brand. I read reviews and I was sold on Fujifilm and have been in love with it ever since.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF16mmF1.4 R WR – 1.3 seconds – F5 – ISO 200

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

Interesting question. I would say my style is still evolving; at the moment it’s about big iconic landscapes and cityscapes with lots of colours but I am also exploring something different from this. I am working on something surrounding the ACROS film simulation with not a landscape in sight. In regards to my strategy, so far it is to research places that inspire me and then plan to see them and share my take on them.

 

What inspires your photography?

 

I get inspired by the the Fujifilm X community, from official X photographers such as Elia Locardi and Jonas Rask (who are my idols) to fellow Fujifilm X enthusiasts. I see what they can create and it inspires me to know that we are all using the same tools and that I can hopefully create beautiful photos like everyone else. It’s nice to know there is a community out there that is passionate and positive.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 20 seconds – F10 – ISO 100

 

Where are your favourite places to take photos and do you prefer a certain type of light for photography?

 

I just love diverse and beautiful landscapes, so it has to be Iceland and New Zealand. They are a photographer’s paradise and they are small enough you can see so many different sites in a short period of time. If I am not wanting a landscape, then for the amazing skyline or cool street photos, it has to be New York City. For me, when it comes to light, it’s the tried-and-tested formula of sunrise and sunset. Sunrise is amazing as it’s hard to do, as you have to get up so early but that is why it is so rewarding because you get lovely, soft light and there are usually not many people around. I think the blue hour is magical too, especially at sunset.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 1 second – F11 – ISO 100

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

My favourite memory is going to Aldeyjarfoss, Iceland. I went to Iceland for five days and hired a tiny campervan and tried to get a few shots in a small amount of time. The magic of Aldeyjarfoss was that I had to drive to a spot in the middle of nowhere, sleep the night at the bottom of a path that could only be accessed via four-wheel drive or on foot. The next morning I got up at 4am, walked 45 minutes with no maps, hoping I was going the right way. When I got there, it was so magical that I got emotional because of how beautiful it was and the adventure of getting there.

 

Can you tell us what’s your favourite Fujifilm camera and why?

 

My favourite camera is the one I own, the Fujifilm X-Pro2. I just love the look and feel of the camera. It can be used as a general purpose camera for travel and landscape or it can be the iconic rangefinder street camera. I probably shouldn’t admit this but it sits on my desk at home and sometimes I just look at it and admire the aesthetic of the camera or just pick it up for no reason.

 

Which Fujinon lens or lenses do you prefer to use with your Fujifilm X-Pro2 and why?

 

My current lens lineup starts with the XF35mmF2, which I use for general walk-around, weddings for friends and family and sometimes for landscapes if my XF10-24mmF4 is too wide. The next is the XF10-24mmF4, which I purely use for landscapes and cityscapes. I absolutely love this lens, although it would be even more amazing if it had weather sealing. The last lens I own is XF56mmF1.2, which I use for portraits and weddings for friends. I intend on getting the XF55-200mm as I need a telephoto for that extra reach on some of my travel adventures. I have also just seen the newly announced XF8-16mmF2.8 WR; if it lives up to expectations and isn’t crazy big then I might have to add that, too!

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 25 seconds – F9 – ISO 100

 

What sort of workflow do you use in your photography? Do you shoot in RAW or JPEG?

 

I shoot mostly RAW, I import the photos, just copying them over to my computer then use Photo Mechanic for the cull process. I then use Adobe LR and Nik Collection and a touch of Photoshop for sharpening and corrections if needed. I have just become a Capture One Beta tester, so I want to teach myself how to use this software as I have heard it handles the X-Trans raws a lot better than Adobe. I do use JPEG when I shoot in ACROS as I have read the JPEGs are tied so closely to the processor that there is a slight difference when coming straight out of camera.

Do you have any technical tips you’d like to share? Perhaps suggestions on the best lighting, shutter speed, white balance, aperture, ISO, etc.? Other preferences?

 

I don’t think I have specific tips as I feel settings really depend on the lighting conditions you are in or what style of photography you are doing. However, my general tips would be first and foremost read the manual of your camera inside out. I actually bought a tip book for the Fujifilm X-Pro2, which explained in detail some of the functions that helped me get the most of my camera and understand some of the settings and how to best set them. I also follow so many blogs and photography Twitter feeds and always find something new I didn’t know. Finally, just keep practicing and use the camera as much as you can.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 9 seconds – F10 – ISO 250

 

Do you have advice for new photographers or the next potential X-Thusiast?

 

Enjoy your Fuji camera, go out and shoot and love the photography journey you are on. It’s a journey that never has to end and can go anywhere you want to take it.

 

To see more of Stephen’s photography follow him on Instagram, PhotoDune or visit his website.

 

Are you interested in becoming our next featured X-Thusiast photographer? Check out our full X-Thusiast Gallery and submission details.

 

Quick Techniques – Beginners: Understanding apertures

Want to get the most out of your Fujifilm X Series cameras? Our Quick Techniques will provide you with lots of handy hints and tips to help you understand the features our range offers. This week we look at apertures. Continue reading Quick Techniques – Beginners: Understanding apertures

7 Ways to Maximise Your Landscape Photography

The natural world provides photographers with some of their most stunning subjects, from mountains and canyons to rolling hills and fields of flowers. Landscape photography is rewarding, but that does not mean the style is easy. You may think that, because the subjects are immobile, the composition is effortless. But this genre requires plenty of premeditation and attention to detail.

 

Bring mindfulness to your landscape photography by practising a few clever tips.

 

Go small with aperture.

You may find the occasional landscape shot that, because of textures in the near distance, warrants narrow depth of field. But most landscape photography works best with a small aperture setting and a large depth of field. Because a small aperture number brings less light into your camera, you may need to boost your ISO setting slightly to adequately balance the shot.

 

Get back to basics with the rule of thirds.

As you stare out at the landscape and wonder where to start with framing your shot, remember a basic principle of photography. The rule of thirds calls for you to imagine the frame as nine smaller squares, or vertical and horizontal thirds. Place your subject at an intersection of these envisioned lines. Be careful to make each of the nine squares contribute purpose to the artistry of your shot.

Image by Christopher Kirby – Captured using the X100

 

Find a focal point.

Most photos are best served by a specific and easily identifiable subject in the frame. Landscape shots are no exception to that rule. Even if you are photographing something grandiose, like a mountain or glacier, select a specific point of focus. Use light and shadows as your guide for picking a particular place.

 

Look for people, or their footprint, in the environment.

One way a landscape photo communicates a story is depicting people and their interaction with the natural world. Look for the roadway that weaves through the hillside. Include the section of the forest where trees were chopped for logging. Find the hiker climbing in the distance. Human influence is one of many facets you can use to communicate through landscape photography.

 

Frame your shot with a foreground object.

Your attention may be on subjects in the distance, but do not let that limit your creativity for framing. Nearby branches, bridges and foliage can fill your frame and distinguish your shot from many others.

Image by Greg Virgona – Captured using the X100

 

Schedule your shot for lively light.

All photography is the art of capturing light, so with landscape shots, like any others, the quality and quantity of light will separate tremendous photos from the mediocre. Golden hour is an ideal time for most landscape shots, as the warm hue creates both contrast and depth against your subject.

 

Invest time and patience in challenging pics.

Because we want to think of landscape photography as easy, you might feel dejected if a full day of shooting does not lead to the perfect shot. The natural world can be a fickle source of light, so remain patient. Invest hours, if not days, in capturing subjects in their optimal light.

Image by Clèment Breuille – Captured using the Fujifilm GFX 50S

 

With your settings, composition and outlook at their best, you maximise your potential to take landscape shots that tell stories and stand out among the masses.

 

Fujifilm offers a wide range of cameras to help you achieve the perfect landscape photo. Our eBook, Which X Series Should I Buy?, can help you learn more about the X Series and determine which one will help you with your landscape shots.

IN FOCUS: 12 unusual images and how they were taken

IN FOCUS is a series of articles where we ask some of the UK X-Photographers to give us advice, provide insight into their photography and share some of their favourite images of all time. In this blog post, they share some of their most unusual images and explain how they were shot.


Continue reading IN FOCUS: 12 unusual images and how they were taken

Quick Techniques – Beginners: Understanding shutter speeds

Want to get the most out of your Fujifilm X Series cameras? Our Quick Techniques will provide you with lots of handy hints and tips to help you understand the features our range offers. This week we look at shutter speeds. Continue reading Quick Techniques – Beginners: Understanding shutter speeds