5 Photo Projects for a Rainy Day - Digital Photography School

5 Photo Projects for a Rainy Day

Don’t let bad weather keep you from scratching that photography itch. With a little creativity, you can find plenty of indoor subjects to take pictures of. Chris Folsom explains:

1. Random Objects

Toys, fruit, flowers, musical instruments, books, clocks… there are probably more things around you to photograph than you realize. Take some time to focus on composition and lighting and you can turn these “common” items into a great photographic subject. If you have a macro lens, now is the time to use it as it will give you a whole new view on familiar objects.

All the King's Men - by Zero1o1

2. Indoor Portraits

Grab a family member or call up a friend and make some portraits. Get your subject next to an open window and take advantage of the subdued diffused lighting that comes along with a rainy day. And there is no reason why you have to stay home… go shoot at a museum, school or any other indoor location that comes to mind. Just do a little research on their policies regarding photography first. Can’t find someone else to photograph? Then now might be a good time to try some self-portraits!

3. Water Drops

I won’t go into too much detail about the “how-to” because DPS already has a great tutorial available here (http://digital-photography-school.com/water-drops-behind-the-shot). Capturing images of water drops is very fun and is a very fitting pursuit considering the weather outside.

Splash - by Zero1o1

4. Go Abstract

Take a walk around your home and look for interesting shapes, textures and colors. If you keep an eye out for them, there are almost certainly a number of abstract photos waiting to be discovered.

5. Pet photography

Have a cat? Dog? Fish? Show your pet some love by spending time with them and capture some great photos in the process.

Man's Best Friend - by Zero1o1

Chris Folsom is a photographer based in Baltimore, MD. You can view more of his photos at Flickr or follow his photographic endeavors on Twitter.

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  • http://shannonhuntphotography.com/blog Shannon

    Good article. It holds true everywhere: When conditions are limiting you, you just gotta be more creative.

  • http://bjornsramblings.blogspot.com Bjorn

    Very important to remember that just because it’s not nice outside, there’s still opportunities elsewhere.

    Personally, I also still shoot film and I’m quite willing to get my film gear wet / cold / frozen if need be :)

  • http://www.kimberlygauthier.com Kimberly

    A fantastic post; today’s a rainy day, but I made a goal that I wouldn’t allow a weekend to pass without getting some great shots. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so this post is most helpful.

    Here are some random shots I’ve gotten on cold or rainy days… http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimberlygauthier/sets/72157623412615677/

  • http://ruleofthirdsphotography.com Brandon

    Yep, it’s always sort of a challenge when it’s not nice enough to go outside… need to be really creative!

  • http://foodientravelbug.blogspot.com MeiTeng

    Great ideas! There are plenty of things to photograph right within our homes.

  • Steve

    I think the idea behind this article is good, but what’s wrong with going outside on a rainy day?

    The atmosphere is an amazing thing that we live inside, and seeing, and photographing it in action can create some amazing shots.

    Everyone has seen the typical landscape shot of your city on a bright sunny afternoon, but often times the same shot in the rain, with fog and clouds can be equally spectacular.

    Just a thought, keep shooting!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/dynastyphotoinc/ Devansh

    More random stuff:
    forks, knives, MnMs (Hershey’s), fruits shoes, rolls of thread, crayons colored pencils, makeup items, baked items, nuts & bolts, screws, light bulbs, buttons (on a shirt), office supplies, matchsticks/books.

  • http://karenstuebingsdailyshoot.wordpress.com/ Karen Stuebing

    Shooting indoors is a lot more problematic than shooting outdoors because of artificial lighting and the color cast and low light conditions.

    Maybe I’m just too lazy to want to deal with it. My kitchen is about the only room with adequate light. I’ve already got a gazillion pet photos. Not interested in finding a new way to shoot fruit. Rather get a real live apple on one of my many apple trees.

    I agree with steve that fog and rain can make for some great outdoor photos. I have a weather sealed camera though.

    And there’s another alternative in bad weather. Take a break. Let your right brain percolate some new ideas. Listen to music and get some inspiration from that.

    Just my two cents worth. And I’m not putting down the article at all because it does have a lot of good ideas. It’s just the execution is going to require more effort than an outdoor shot.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/superdewa/ Deirdre

    Personally I look forward to taking outside photos on rainy days. Everything is shiny and clean, puddles are great for reflections, there are splashes everywhere (why would one need to set up a water shot?), and the light is usually interesting. I have one of those “bubble umbrellas” that’s clear and doesn’t block the light and rests easily on my shoulders so it’s easy to shoot from under it. Some of my favorite photos have been shot on rainy days. I especially love close-ups of plants with dripping water. Here is my most recent example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/superdewa/4478554648/in/set-72157623316060293/

    Figurative “rainy days,” however — those days when I just can’t get myself going — sometimes rainy days, sometimes sick days, usually mid/late winter days when I’m feeling uninspired by nature — that’s when ideas like this come in handy for me :-)

  • Pete

    Here in Portland, OR a rainy dat is the norm. Though it is not usually plausible while it is raining, I have found that right after one can find some great relections in puddles, windows, car bonnets and other reflective surfaces.

  • Jim

    Ummm, moody Rainy Day Still Life.
    Love it…

  • http://photo-bytes.com Henk

    Hmmm, I guess that in some regions of the world, if you want to stay inside because of the weather, you might as well throw out the camera.
    Wet weather, Cold (freezing like here in Winnipeg), Hot, all weather is good for shooting outside, provided you take the proper precautions. Outside by -20C ? Go and see here Photo-Bytes

Some older comments

  • Henk

    April 10, 2010 03:27 am

    Hmmm, I guess that in some regions of the world, if you want to stay inside because of the weather, you might as well throw out the camera.
    Wet weather, Cold (freezing like here in Winnipeg), Hot, all weather is good for shooting outside, provided you take the proper precautions. Outside by -20C ? Go and see here Photo-Bytes

  • Jim

    April 9, 2010 07:27 pm

    Ummm, moody Rainy Day Still Life.
    Love it...

  • Pete

    April 9, 2010 03:46 am

    Here in Portland, OR a rainy dat is the norm. Though it is not usually plausible while it is raining, I have found that right after one can find some great relections in puddles, windows, car bonnets and other reflective surfaces.

  • Deirdre

    April 6, 2010 12:03 am

    Personally I look forward to taking outside photos on rainy days. Everything is shiny and clean, puddles are great for reflections, there are splashes everywhere (why would one need to set up a water shot?), and the light is usually interesting. I have one of those "bubble umbrellas" that's clear and doesn't block the light and rests easily on my shoulders so it's easy to shoot from under it. Some of my favorite photos have been shot on rainy days. I especially love close-ups of plants with dripping water. Here is my most recent example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/superdewa/4478554648/in/set-72157623316060293/

    Figurative "rainy days," however -- those days when I just can't get myself going -- sometimes rainy days, sometimes sick days, usually mid/late winter days when I'm feeling uninspired by nature -- that's when ideas like this come in handy for me :-)

  • Karen Stuebing

    April 5, 2010 09:11 pm

    Shooting indoors is a lot more problematic than shooting outdoors because of artificial lighting and the color cast and low light conditions.

    Maybe I'm just too lazy to want to deal with it. My kitchen is about the only room with adequate light. I've already got a gazillion pet photos. Not interested in finding a new way to shoot fruit. Rather get a real live apple on one of my many apple trees.

    I agree with steve that fog and rain can make for some great outdoor photos. I have a weather sealed camera though.

    And there's another alternative in bad weather. Take a break. Let your right brain percolate some new ideas. Listen to music and get some inspiration from that.

    Just my two cents worth. And I'm not putting down the article at all because it does have a lot of good ideas. It's just the execution is going to require more effort than an outdoor shot.

  • Devansh

    April 5, 2010 08:17 am

    More random stuff:
    forks, knives, MnMs (Hershey's), fruits shoes, rolls of thread, crayons colored pencils, makeup items, baked items, nuts & bolts, screws, light bulbs, buttons (on a shirt), office supplies, matchsticks/books.

  • Steve

    April 5, 2010 03:26 am

    I think the idea behind this article is good, but what's wrong with going outside on a rainy day?

    The atmosphere is an amazing thing that we live inside, and seeing, and photographing it in action can create some amazing shots.

    Everyone has seen the typical landscape shot of your city on a bright sunny afternoon, but often times the same shot in the rain, with fog and clouds can be equally spectacular.

    Just a thought, keep shooting!

  • MeiTeng

    April 4, 2010 05:43 pm

    Great ideas! There are plenty of things to photograph right within our homes.

  • Brandon

    April 4, 2010 02:41 pm

    Yep, it's always sort of a challenge when it's not nice enough to go outside... need to be really creative!

  • Kimberly

    April 4, 2010 09:06 am

    A fantastic post; today's a rainy day, but I made a goal that I wouldn't allow a weekend to pass without getting some great shots. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so this post is most helpful.

    Here are some random shots I've gotten on cold or rainy days... http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimberlygauthier/sets/72157623412615677/

  • Bjorn

    April 4, 2010 08:25 am

    Very important to remember that just because it's not nice outside, there's still opportunities elsewhere.

    Personally, I also still shoot film and I'm quite willing to get my film gear wet / cold / frozen if need be :)

  • Shannon

    April 4, 2010 06:16 am

    Good article. It holds true everywhere: When conditions are limiting you, you just gotta be more creative.

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