I sometimes take the sun for granted living here in Phoenix. When I first moved to the valley of the sun, this Seattle boy hated to see rain, and for good reason! Now, I embrace the rain and all its glory. Monsoon season definitely provides some relief from the heat during the dog days of summer. So as you can imagine it was wonderful to see the rain pour down from the skies today. It was also a great time to grab the good ol’ camera and snap some photos. It’s not often that we get rain here, so when we do I have to try to take advantage of it.
As soon as it started raining, I said to my wife, “Oh! Its raining, I have to get outside and take some pics!” Much to the chagrin of my wife, who has been battling the flu and now realizes she has to keep her eye on our son crawling around, she rolls her eyes and says…”ok, have fun.” So I grab my tripod and camera, knowing full well that I want to capture photos that give the illusion of motion (flowing water). I set up in the front porch and point to the camera to the side of my house where the water is literally running off the edge of the roof like a river. Before I snapped my photo, I had to make sure my camera settings were correct.
I grabbed my Sony A6000 with the 50mm/1.8 lens and was standing about 15 ft. away from where I wanted my focus point to be. So, I set my camera at f/8.0, which allows me to have a wider depth of field (11.5 ft. to 21 ft. is the DOF from this distance) and will capture more of the water coming off of the roof. Then, I set my shutter speed to 1/10th of a second. This is the most important factor in achieving the illusion of motion in the photo. This slows the shutter speed down and at this speed it still freezes the foliage in the front yard but allows the rain to look like it is flowing off of the roof. So, you get a good photo with the magnificent illusion that the rain water is flowing naturally off the house. Last but not least, in this photo I had my ISO set at 800. Because of the limited lighting outside and the amount of rain, increasing my ISO helped capture a better quality photo.
I used to absolutely despise the rain, being from Seattle, but its funny how things come back around. I appreciate it more and more as the years pass.
Here are a few other photos I took during the rain today with a much HIGHER shutter speed. You’ll see that the photos look like the rain has been frozen in time. I shot these anywhere between 1/1250 sec and 1/4000 sec. Check them out!