Aug 20, 2013

Photo Tips for Raindrop Photography

Photo tip #1 of 12: Equip your DSLR camera with a macro lens ideally that focuses to 1:1 or life size. Alternatively use close-up filters, extension tubes or reverse lens adapters to explore the world of raindrops.
Photo tip #2 of 12: Use a solid tripod to minimize camera shake and image blurriness. The tripod should get close to ground level allowing shooting raindrops on grass blades or leaves. I recently observed photographers stating in a couple of forums that a tripod is a pain to drag around and to set up. This may be the case but if you are serious about your photography there is no way around it. A tripod slows down your process, makes you think about composition and it will eliminate one source of blurry, low quality pictures: the ├╝ber exited photographer himself.
Photo tip #3 of 12: Brace the weather after a fresh rain shower as raindrops add interesting detail to a composition; it may open a new chapter with tons of inspiring photo opportunities.
Photo tip #4 of 12: Look carefully for raindrops that have interesting reflections of the surrounding environment or other flowers in the droplet.
Photo tip #5 of 12: Operate with extreme care and do not get too close as bumping the flower, leaf or a blade of grass might cost you the chosen raindrop and subject in front of you. You might also end up with a water drop or 2 on your lens which often annoys the heck out of me.
Photo tip #6 of 12: Select a low setting like ISO100 or lower for highest picture quality and to keep the image noise level low.
Photo tip #7 of 12: Choose your aperture setting wisely for the right amount of Depth of Field. Isolate a single droplet on a blade of grass or tip of a leaf by choosing a large aperture setting (small f-stop number like f/5.6 or lower). The large aperture setting creates a clean, out of focus and calmer background. Photograph raindrops on a rain drenched flower blossom or leaf by selecting smaller apertures (large f-stop number like f/8 or higher) for a wider range of depth of field reaching throughout the entire photo subject.
Photo tip #8 of 12: Switch to manual mode and pinpoint the focus on the center of the drop. Switching to manual focus is probably the best photo tip in this installment; try it combined with the magnifying feature of your camera and see what it does for you!
Photo tip #9 of 12: Get in real close to capture how raindrops magnify the veins in leaves or blossoms. 
Photo tip #10 of 12: Use a polarizing filter to create an image with more saturated colors and brilliant reflections.
Photo tip #11 of 12: Use a remote release, cable release or your camera live view to minimize camera shake for better photo results when releasing the shutter. 
Photo tip #12 of 12: Create a good picture composition by trying different angles and perspectives. The photographic goal is to incorporate a background with beautiful colors and light that does not distract the viewer from the main subject.


  1. Great tips J. Could you elaborate more on the 1:1 versus 4:3 aspect ratio please?

  2. Thanks anonymous ~ magnification is quite a hand-full to cover. Check this link to Digital Photography Review article about Understanding Magnification ~ hope this helps. Regards, Juergen