Monsoon is magical! Smell the rain as the drops of water sprinkle over the thin air. Rains are always fun to click and it is the only season where you’ll find various moods, colors, and even light. Frames and moments everywhere poised exactly for the attention of a photographer, rejoice and mould some of the unseen toasts of monsoon. If you love photography and intend to make images with a difference this article is for you.
[The first bout of monsoon rain has come. It shows the transformation of the landscape from a seemingly lifeless, parched brown of summer to a transformed green vista of the monsoon. The warm evening light and double rainbow creates one of my favorite monsoon shots.]
Safety comes First:
With a few well-prepared items, you and your camera can take on whatever the weather throws at you, making the most of the conditions and ultimately keep shooting when others are heading home. Here are a few items you should pack before heading out.
- Not really helping when trying to frame shots, an umbrella is however the cheapest and simplest way to keep the rain off when you’re walking between shoots.
- Make sure your camera bag is either waterproof or, at the very least, you’ve a waterproof cover to protect it in a matter of seconds. Or better yet fill your bag with silica gel.
- Water and electronics rarely mix, so always opt for a camera cover just to err on the side of caution. A simple freezer bag with a hole cut in the end and rubber bands to hold it all together can be a good alternative.
- Use hand towels to wipe down cameras, lenses, and tripods on outdoor shoots. Also pack some lens wipes/cloth, to wipe away any rogue raindrops on your lens or filters (it can really ruin an image).
- A lightweight waterproof jacket and some pull-on over trousers are the best for a wet day. These can pack down small in any bag, and once the weather passes, they’re quick and easy to remove.
During monsoon clouds get more heavy and they come closer. Either side of any downpour and you can expect shapely cloud formations filling the skies, or even backlit/silhouetted downbursts on the horizon, especially if you’re on the coast shooting out to sea. As the clouds are already white, keep your exposure one or two stops below so that you can get the dramatic cloud effect.
- Stormy winds just before the arrival of the rain are also one of the most captivating elements. At this time if you happened to be on the streets, you can get some action packed candid pictures of people, wild pictures of trees and plants swaying around. Keep your camera in burst mode, so that you don’t miss any interesting shot as there will be a lot of fast movements happening around you.
- Reflection can give you some mind-blowing images. With reflections you can take pictures of a new paradox world. Keep searching for reflexes and interesting subjects all the time. More than the camera settings, composition factor is very important while capturing reflections.
- Rainy days are normally gloomy and therefore it is perfect weather to click some portraits. The clouds themselves act as diffusers due to which you get a perfectly lit image. Using this natural screening together with natural elements can create layering. Try out photographing trees in a woodland, distant hills, or a receding coastline far into the distance. Water splash also gives a cool water trail effect.
- Hill stations have opportunities for photographers of all genres. You will find amazing landscapes. For a macro photographer, there are a plethora of insects and reptiles. If you want to shoot landscapes, a wide angle lens is recommended. For macro, a macro lens or extension tubes. If you want to shoot snakes, a macro lens with a high focal length is recommended.
- Waterfalls not only look spectacular in full flow, the overcast conditions will help with your exposures too and highlights will be neutralised whilst retaining shadow details. Using a polarising filter is a good idea too, cutting down on any surface reflections and boosting natural colors. Try keeping a slow shutter speed so that you can get an interesting dreamy water flow effect.
- There’s nothing quite like a well-executed close-up image of water drops on leaves, flowers, or plants. Plus, you don’t need to travel far to capture them too! Any foliage or flowers in your garden or local parks, with interesting shapes, can work brilliantly. Use a macro-lens for frame-filling close ups of reflections in the droplets.
- Raindrops are a pain to control on any image. Even with special waterproof coatings, smaller drops still cling on. One way to combat this is to use a long exposure technique (obviously only if the image calls for it). The trick here is that whilst the camera is exposing the sensor, you can wipe the filters with a lens cloth every few seconds; as long as you don’t hold your hand in place for too long, you will end up with a lovely raindrop-free, long exposure image.
- Tricky to predict, generally short-lived, but magic when they appear — Rainbows. You will need to be out while it’s raining and ready to photograph as the sun starts to shine. In most cases, you’ll want to go wide if the complete arch is visible, but sometimes it’s good to shoot a little tighter and compose it with a strong foreground. Also, don’t forget to use a circular polariser too; it will enhance the colors greatly in your image.
- Near the heavy traffic intersections, one can shoot the rain against the vehicles’ headlights so that the raindrops glitter because of the backlighting effect. Shoot out of your car. While doing this always try to angle yourself opposite the direction of the rain.
- Subjects in any frame are more beautiful. E.g. a rain-soaked football game, a young woman waiting for a bus in torrential rain, a Punjabi dress, a pat on the cheek; these photos are more vivid. They speak directly to the viewer. Find interesting mini-props within the broad theme of the monsoon. Umbrellas are taken — anything else is fine…
Monsoons should not be the reason for you to be home. Because at this time everything blossoms and nature is at its ultimate limit. Feel free to step out during monsoon precariously and capture Monsoon Madness! Buy trendy monsoon wear from LOVZme and enjoy the bliss that surrounds you.