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 Post subject: Best way to capture rain
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:13 pm 
Hi, just found out about this site and learning a lot from it :D . I recently got a D40, experimenting with each mode. My question is, whats the best way to capture rain as if it stopped, like capturing images of the droplets of rain. I was thinking if it's similar to taking pictures of fast moving objects where I would use shutter priority and lower it to around 1" but that didn't seem to work out. Any tips? Greatly appreciated!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:24 pm 
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I only had a quick play with this myself. To clarify, you want to capture drops of rain as if they were stationary in the air?

It might depend on the rain too, but in my experiments you definitely need a fast shutter. Under natural light, I was getting something steady-ish from 1/2000s or faster.

Alternatively, use a flash. Shutter time doesn't matter then as long as it captures a single flash (no HSS mode). The speed of the flash pulse will be used to light and freeze the rain.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:37 pm 
Rain can look amazing in the form of lines...you need something like 1/25 shutter to capture that,if I recall corectly.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:40 am 
Popo - Yeah, I want to capture rain as if they were stationary in the air. I tried capturing it in Shutter at 1/2000s like you suggested but the rain didn't appear for some reason. I used flash also. Still no luck

Razvan - I tried your suggestion also, to get a line of rain effect, but the picture just came out as if it wasn't raining.

Does the amount of rain have to do with it. Cause I noticed it was only drizzling lightly outside when I took the pictures. Would I have better luck if it was raining harder??


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:56 am 
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Bigger rain does help. At any distance the drops will be tiny. Remember the rain needs to be in the focus range so consider smaller apertures for more depth of field. Manual focus to a suitable range might help.

Following are 100% crops.

Image
1/4000s, f/2.5, ISO3200
This is actual rain. Even 1/4000s wasn't fast enough to eliminate motion blur. As can be seen to get adequate light I had to use high ISO and smaller aperture, so shallow DoF means few drops in range.

Image
1/2000s, f/3.2, ISO3200
Similar to before, this isn't strictly rain but run off from my roof which is closer and much bigger. This does appear "stopped" but due to the high ISO it loses a lot of detail.

I think I tried with flash but I can't find the pics there, but from memory they weren't any good either!

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Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
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Last edited by popo on Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:59 am 
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ixzenxi wrote:
Popo - Yeah, I want to capture rain as if they were stationary in the air. I tried capturing it in Shutter at 1/2000s like you suggested but the rain didn't appear for some reason. I used flash also. Still no luck

Razvan - I tried your suggestion also, to get a line of rain effect, but the picture just came out as if it wasn't raining.

Does the amount of rain have to do with it. Cause I noticed it was only drizzling lightly outside when I took the pictures. Would I have better luck if it was raining harder??


Don't forget to manually focus on where the raindrop should be.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:31 am 
Combining the flash and small apertures is tricky. Too small a DOF and you risk getting too few drops in focus or even worse, in focus but behind other out of focus droplets. If the aperture is too small, your background ends up very dark because of the flash.

I've found it easier to go for lines rather than droplets. If it ends up looking like there is no rain at all, you may want to experiment with your shutter speeds and maybe combine a longer shutter speed with the flash.


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