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Quick Photography Tips
Make it Rain

A garden sprinkler and a little imagination goes a long way

You can make it rain! Well...actually, you can make it appear to be raining in your own backyard with simple gardening tools and a bit of planning.



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What you need:
  • A digital camera, preferably a DSLR, with a moderately long telephoto lens.
  • A tripod
  • A plant or flower to use as the subject
  • A garden hose
  • A garden sprinkler
Make sure your plant is against a dark background. If the sun's out, position yourself so the sun is in front of you but slightly above or off to the side. The backlighting adds a dramatic touch.

Place the garden sprinker off slightly to one side, and aim it so its arc of water lands on your plant or flowers.

Place your tripod-mounted camera out of the range of the water but close enough for a tight composition. Choose a slow shutter speed, around 1/15 or 1/8 sec. Use a low ISO and if necessary a neutral density filter to slow the shutter speed down. The longer the shutter speed, the longer and more dramatic and "rainy" the water trails will appear.



Instant sunshower: Shutter speed was 1/8 sec, and it looks like rain. In reject shot, right, shutter speed was 1/30 sec., and the result is not as precipitous. Gear: Canon 30D with Sigma 55-200mm f/4-5.6 lens mounted on a Velbon EL Carmagne 640A tripod.

 

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