I have always loved taking pictures of the sea and waterfalls. I love these dynamic environments and don’t hesitate to get wet as I approach the subject matter. I made it. But no longer. I have found a solution to the limitations imposed on my photos and I am sharing it in this article.
The following picture may seem silly. Why would I photograph my umbrella like that? Well, that’s not what’s going on here. The photo is the setup before taking a photo near the powerful waterfall. In our feature video, we share a clip we recorded at Kapas Biru Waterfall in Indonesia. It only took a few seconds for the GoPro to be completely wet with the spray. Taking good pictures in such an environment would have been unthinkable without this setup. Please let me explain.
Shooting equipment in rainy weather
The photo shows the umbrella on a tripod facing the Kapas Biru waterfall. I put the camera behind the umbrella so it wasn’t affected by the water splashing out of the umbrella. He needs three things for this setup:
You need a sturdy tripod that can withstand the wind while holding an umbrella. If the tripod is too light, this setup can easily be blown away, even with the tripod legs spread wide open.
Get a windproof umbrella. I use a Brandt Metro Umbrella. It’s compact enough for travel, yet keeps your camera gear dry for six years.
The glue between the tripod and umbrella is the clamp. I use smallrig cheap club clamps. It can be attached to the tripod in multiple ways as shown in the function video.
Techniques for shooting in wet conditions
You may still be wondering how this setup will help you with your wet weather photography. Here’s how to use it:
Find a song using your waterproof phone. Get a cover for your phone or camera if your phone isn’t waterproof. You’ll need to know where to set up your camera later. Only a scout can tell you that.
Put it all together before approaching waterfalls like Kapas Biru. After that, head to the scouted location. Turn the Smallrig clamp to hold the umbrella between the camera and the waterfall.
Get your camera wet: Loosen the clamp and move the umbrella out of the way to fine-tune your composition. A rain cover for your camera may help here.
Put the umbrella back in place and use a lens cloth with a rocket blower to remove any water droplets on the lens.
Now you are ready to take pictures. Loosen the umbrella and hold it in your hand while maintaining its position in front of the camera.
Take a photo with a 2 second release timer and a bracket. Remove the umbrella from the camera’s field of view before the shutter fires.
Go to step 4 and repeat as many times as needed to capture all the photos you need to create a clean result.
Even with this technique, the lens will get water while you are taking the photo. But it’s only a few drops in each image. Repeat this process several times to capture enough source material. Load multiple images into layers in Photoshop and mask the water spots.
Taking pictures this way is more work than taking pictures dry. But if you want great results, put in the effort. The equipment required is not expensive, but there are many ways to use it. The image above shows the setup with the umbrella facing up to protect the camera from the rain. The second setup has the umbrella on its side. It helped keep out the insane waves that occasionally hit rocks and splashed me and my gear.
Explaining this process is much easier than writing about it, so I encourage you to spend a few minutes watching the feature video. It should answer most questions you may still have. Also, if you have a different or better setting, let me know in the comments.