Rainy Day Photography TipsHave you ever looked out the window when it was raining and though to yourself, “what a poopy day”? Did you have plans to do some sightseeing, but now you’re afraid the rain is going to put a damper on those plans?

Don’t think like that, silly! Just because it is raining when you are on vacation, doesn’t mean you can’t still have a good time. And in some ways, the rain can even work to your advantage.

Photography, for example! Let me teach you how you can take the best and most unique photos in the rain. The next time it is raining, don’t be so quick to call it quits on your photography adventure.

Previously, I had never been to Nagoya Castle in the rain. But I happily found that visiting tourist sights on a rainy day doesn’t have to be a downer. Rainy day photography can actually be very fruitful and give you some very interesting photos.

I recently wrote a post with a few tips on surviving the rainy season in Japan. Most of the tips are ways to deal with the heat and humidity. The last tip I suggested was to go sightseeing. A rainy day might not be a first choice when you think of sightseeing, but taking photos in the rain actually holds a few advantages. In fact when it comes to taking photos, a rainy day can definitely work in your favour.

Advantages of taking photos in the rain

  • Less crowds
  • Cool weather, in summer
  • No sunburns, in summer
  • Pretty
  • Unique shots

Although I wrote in my previous post about sightseeing in the rain, I had never intentionally done it myself. Well, to my tremendous luck, it rained yesterday. So I took my own advice and visited Nagoya Castle in the rain. And I was very pleased with the final products my rainy day photography.

Also I wanted to play with my camera and practice using different ISO settings because I had recently read this post post by Fanny at Photography by Fanny. I had played around with ISO before, but didn’t really have the hang of it. Thanks to her handy chart, I think I had some success taking photos in the rain and darker light.

I am far from a photography expert, but these are a few positive things I noticed about taking photos in the rain

  • Dark, moody skies
  • Softer light – no harsh shadows from the sun
  • Good reflections – puddles and wet surface
  • No bad reflections – sun shining on something you don’t want
  • Splashes and rain drops
  • Water droplets
  • Umbrellas as a prop
  • CLEAR umbrellas as an even better prop

If you decide to try out some rainy day photography, you must remember to take care of your equipment.

I don’t have any fancy protective gear for my camera. No camera jackets or things like that, just a backpack and an umbrella. It was pretty awkward to hold the umbrella with one hand and the camera with one-and-a-half hands. If possible, try and get someone to come with you as your personal assistant – to hold the umbrella.

Below are a few of the photos I was able to snap around Nagoya Castle in the rain yesterday. By the way, I have a Canon EOS 600D that I bought six years ago, and I used the kit lens.

clear umbrella nagoya castle in the rain nagoya castle nagoya castle deer nagoya castle nagoya castle nagoya castle rainy day photography hydrangeas nagoya castle

Although Nagoya Castle was not shiny and glamorous yesterday, it had a special rainy day charm. It was a unique way to see it and was a good opportunity to practice taking photos in the rain.

Take-aways from this post

  • Rainy weather does not have to stop you from going sightseeing while on vacation
  • Tourist attractions might be less crowded on rainy days
  • The rain can help you create moody and unique photos

Overall I’m pleased with my photos from yesterday and better understanding of ISO.

Have you ever visited a tourist attraction in the rain? How was your experience?

Pin it!

Read: Koshoji Temple, a photo


Jennifer has lived in Japan for a total of seven years. She has travelled, taught English, studied Japanese, completed a Master's Degree, and travelled some more. She currently calls Nagoya her home, where she lives with her Japanese husband.


  1. Great photos Jennifer, moody and beautiful. I thought to look at your city via Google Earth the other day, such a huge city. News here says there is a typhoon on the south end.

    • Why, yes. There was a typhoon yesterday. I think it was near Tokyo, which is why it was rainy here yesterday. It started pouring and thundering toward the end of my photography practice, so I had to call it quits. Today is windy.

  2. Managing a cameral and an umbrella (or sunshade – my umbrella does double duty) does take practice! Easier with a smaller camera, of course.

    • It’s no easy feat. Especially when you want to zoom and change the various settings. Luckily it didn’t pour for the first part of my excursion. Toward the end it started pouring heavily, and it got more challenging to keep everything dry. I don’t think I broke anything though 🙂

    • Thank you. Yes! It was perfect rainy weather yesterday afternoon, and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity while I had it. Until a bit later when the rain got too heavy too safely use my camera.

    • That’s kind of you to say. That was one of the purposes of going out yesterday. It’s the first time I have purposely gone out in the rain with the intention to take photos in it and of it. It was nice too.

  3. Found your Blog interesting. I am a photographer too. Will surely try these tricks.

    Tell me how we can share our blogs. I am sharing this post on FB.

  4. My Himeji Castle experience was similar to yours, it poured the whole time I spent over there. But as you write, that does have advantages. 🙂

    • Oh, I really want to go to Himeji Castle someday! I think I would like to see it on a sunny day though. The white would be so pretty. Anyway, could you get some nice rainy shots?

  5. Different perspective. I like it! And I like your pictures too! Rain can add drama and romance. I have not done photography in the rain (always scared my cam will get damaged hehe) but during a blizzard, I did a couple of times. I also loved how the pictures turned out.

    • I’m glad you like it. The rain does add a different feel to photos. I had to be careful to keep my camera dry. Blizzard pictures must be very interesting too!

  6. Nice article! I agree with you, I love taking photographs when it rains! I never thought of shooting through a transparent umbrella. Great idea, I’m definitely buying one of these to try it. 🙂

  7. Thanks for the tidbits. Rainy days sure do have their advantages. I’ll keep these things in mind the next time I hesitate state to go explore a place on a mucky day🙂

Leave a reply!