“On any day of the week, I prefer rain to light”. David Oxtaby, a well-known amateur photographer, fully agrees that rain significantly enhances photographs. David is based in West Yorkshire and primarily focuses on shooting local landscapes, however, he occasionally travels to Wales and the Isle of Wight. His book, Yorkshire – A Different Perspective, is expected to be published later this year. His work has twice been selected for the national Historic Photographer of the Year competition’s shortlist.
Additionally, he has a pure talent for capturing rainbows. You know there’s a chance of a rainbow when the conditions are just right because you get this sense when you monitor the skies and see a break where the sun can shine through, and the clouds are vanishing. I take my camera out and wait for it to happen.
His breathtaking image of a double rainbow taken on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales close to the village of Embsay on October 23, 2020, when rainbows served as a sign of appreciation for important workers during the epidemic, was picked up and widely publicized in the national news.
Once I noticed the clouds started moving, I knew I’d see a rainbow not and I prepped all that I needed. I couldn’t speak as the double rainbow emerged. It was a fantastic moment, so after taking a few pictures, I paused and just observed. It’s rare to witness a second rainbow that’s as brilliant as the first.
When photographing rainbows, I hardly ever use a tripod because I want to focus on the rainbow. I’ll make sure the camera—typically my Olympus E-M10 Mk II—has the adaptable and portable M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18 mm F4.0-5.6 wide-angle zoom lens mounted because you’ll frequently be close to the rainbow, and I’ll set the aperture to 7.1.
It’s crucial to use a polarizing filter to bring out the colors. I’ll bring an umbrella if there isn’t any wind to keep the camera dry, but it doesn’t always work. It usually blows against your back when a rainbow is there”, he recalls.
As a huge admirer of Olympus, I frequently utilize their cameras to capture rainbows. I might soften the shadows in the editing process. I barely changed the Embsay double rainbow at all. When you turn on your polarizing filter, you essentially get what you see on the screen,” says David.
“A clean sky without clouds is the worst kind of weather in my opinion since it is repetitive and devoid of drama or mystery. It all enhances the photograph when there are clouds in the sky, whether they are rain or storm clouds. It’s challenging to take photos on a bright, foggy day when the light is quite flat, but as you watch the water-filled clouds approach, there’s drama. Sunniness is the worst type of weather. I do adore photography since I can share it with others, and it helps me stay in check. Photography has several benefits. Even a picture of rain might make someone’s day better!”
Photographer Alex Saberi for National Geographic is likely best known for his images of Richmond Park (ACC Editions 15 Jun 2012), which were taken close to where he resides in London. He also enjoys a good downpour in the city. You gradually learn to look at a rain forecast and shout, “Awesome!,” even though the majority of people don’t seem to be fans of the rain. Head outdoors to take shots after getting your camera ready.
His handheld images of London landmarks reflected in asphalt, water, and fissures are highlighted with color streaks. “I enjoy color, and my eye is adapted to it.”
When creating the Rain series, it was important to capture the vitality and color of the scene. For this, the sun had to be almost set when Big Ben or Tower Bridge lit up, bringing out the colors of the street lights and waning daylight.
People moving across the scene can still be captured with a high ISO. More intriguing colors and patterns are created by the rain. Regarding myself, I enjoy photographing upscale events like the Henley Royal Regatta and Royal Ascot. When the clouds open up, you might see a tremendous visual transformation since everyone is dressed up. To sharpen the colors and make the raindrops stand out, I prefer to use a flash that is one to three stops under.
Therefore, you must have the ability to work in the rain if you want to be an all-around effective photographer. It teaches you to creatively adjust to and include the subject in front of the lens. You are missing out if you just shoot when the weather is ideal.