Photographing in the rain

Photographing in the rain. On safari, rainy weather is often seen as a "sleep in" or "stay at camp" time, however, this could be when you produce your most dramatic and rewarding images.

On a recent safari to the Masai Mara, we had THAT moment...

We were having a number of afternoon thunderstorms that built up every day.  We would have showers so big that finding the roads proved to be a challenge.

On our first afternoon, we left camp to a very gloomy looking sky. We had seen lions earlier in the day, so our plan was to go back to them and see what they were up to. Now, during the rain, lions can become more active, which is always exciting to see. It also offers unique photographs in the rain. This comes down to the scene you go to and the image you wish to create.

Whilst heading towards the lions, we went over settings with our guests, what shutter speeds to use to achieve what results. Between trying to get the roof down, getting the windows open, grabbing cameras, shouting out to keep focus on the lioness as the camera tries to track her between the raindrops, we managed to capture a few images as one of the lionesses kept on shacking her head and sent water flying everywhere!

Photographing in the rain
Photographing in the rain

A few things when photographing wildlife in the rain:

  • Don't worry about your lens!  Your camera gear is water resistant and if you are photographing for a few minutes in heavy rain, dry it afterwards and all will be fine (using some common sense).
  • Wherever possible, look for a nice dark background.  Whether it be a line of trees, a mountain etc. This will help the rain drops stand out a bit more.
  • Fast shutter speeds 1/800 and upwards will highlight more individual drops (depending on how hard it rains) where slower shutter speeds 1/200 and less will give you a more streaky affect.  Remember at these slow shutter speeds to use some form of support, either a tripod or beanbag etc.
  • Your camera will struggle for focus in heavy rain as it picks up the raindrops, DON'T GIVE UP, keep trying.  Manual focus is also an option in this case.

So next time when it rains, don't stay at the lodge, see it as an opportunity to create something unique.

I truly believe this is what sets us apart from everyone else, no matter the conditions, we create photographic opportunities for our guests, which is why you are on safari in the first place isn't it?

Till next, keep creating beautiful and unique images.

Trevor

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