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It’s Friday, so you know what that means! Another installment in the P52 series for this year. Our prompt this week was Photographer’s Choice. Our assignment was not just to pick an image at random from the archives, or even to snap a current shot and call it done, it was to choose something new we wanted to try and give it a go.

As luck would have it, I had just checked out Popular Photography’s How to Photograph Everything from the library, and it is chock full of inspiration. Each little chapter/section is about a specific type of photography—still life, travel, extreme sports, underwater, night sky, weather, the list really goes on and on. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a little inspiration. My favorite part is that it gives so many details and tips for achieving the images featured in the book. I immediately knew I wanted to try a technique for faking a rainy day that is covered in the still life section.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I love rainy days. Love them so much I kind of want to move to Oregon. Especially those perfect rainy days in the summer, when you can actually smell the rain coming long before the clouds come rolling in and a low rumble of thunder is followed by the pattering of big fat drops. Those days are my happy place. Those are the days when we have some quiet time and I get to curl up with a cup of tea and something to read.

How To Fake a Rainy Day: Photography Tutorial at

In case you want to try this technique for yourself, I thought I’d include a pullback and a few tips.

Here is my setup—try not to be too jealous of this high-end studio space I’ve got going over here.

How to Fake a Rainy Day tutorial on
  • That’s just a piece of glass I pulled out of a picture hanging in our living room. (It needed cleaning, anyway, so I call that multitasking, my friends.) And those Hot Chili Beans from Kroger? You should try them—they are delicious with tacos. Also, if you keep at this for an hour, the water will run off the edge of the table and you will step in it with your bare feet and wonder why there is water in the floor.
  • Watch your reflection. I noticed right away that my reflection was going to be a problem. I moved the table around, closed some of the blinds behind me, and tried different variations of crouching and leaning to get a shot that didn’t have my black-and-white striped shirt reflecting in it. I tried a circular polarizing filter, which is often used for cutting reflections, but didn’t have much luck. I had the best results from shooting at an angle to the glass. Also, maybe don’t wear stripes.
  • Don’t shoot wide open. Experiment with your aperture to get the right combination of in focus “raindrops” and out of focus subject. At first, I was shooting almost wide open, and found I had to close down a couple of stops to keep my scene from blurring out so much that it wasn’t recognizable.
  • Experiment with placement of your still life objects. I think this is true of any still life shoot, but when you are going for a rainy window look, try moving your objects closer to and farther from the window to see which look you prefer. The image that was my inspiration in the book had the subjects right up against the glass, and the result was beautiful, but my scene was a little different, and I found I was more pleased with the results I got when I moved the objects farther back from the glass. I also moved things from side to side, until I like the balance of objects in the frame and the way the shadows fell.
  • Watch the light on your raindrops. I tried shooting a few different angles to the window, and found that sidelight seemed to emphasize them the most. I also sprayed heavily across the top of the glass pane to make the water run down, rather than just spraying the whole pane. I got a more realistic rain look that way.

Next up on the blog circle this week is Kelley K. Go check out her choice for this week’s post and leave her a little love!

{Settings for the final image were Canon 5D Mark II,
Canon 24-70 2.8 L @ 70 mm | ISO 1600 | ss 1/100 | f4.5}


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  1. Kristy says:

    Love your shot and really appreciate the pull back. I like the library book idea. Possibly next year.

  2. Rose Jesky says:

    The pictures is beautiful! Thanks for sharing how you did it! I love it so so much. great job, I am going to try myself.

  3. Super atmospheric, and I love your pullback and tips!

  4. Well done! Thank you for sharing so much of your process with us. It makes me want to try it.

  5. Kelly says:

    This is so cool! Thanks for sharing your technique. You made me laugh when you said you wanted to move to Oregon for the rain. Be careful what you wish for, lol!! If you love rain, you will see no end of it if you move here! Anyways, lovely work and I think I need to check that book out!

  6. Justyna says:

    Wow! This is great! I love shooting through glass…it gives you a dreamy feel to your frames! Love it!

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