I’m just back from a trip to Kraków for street photography, in heavy rain at night as it happens! I arrived in Poland on Monday afternoon to be greeted by crisp autumn sunshine.
But that all changed on Tuesday. I awoke to torrential rain and it simply did not stop until Wednesday! But I wasn’t complaining. Rain is a gift for us street photographers, especially after dark.
Rain at Night
So, why do I like rain at night for street photography? I just love shooting after dark. You can create some moody images full of drama, simply by using the street lights to illuminate your scene. But add in some rain and we are on a whole different level, especially if the streets are cobbled. The streets become shiny and reflect back off the street lights. Dramatic light abounds, reflecting back onto faces and so on.
Many of these images include umbrellas and deliberately so. In the studio we use modifiers (such as an umbrella) to control the light. With some of these images I’m doing the same. The only difference is that I’m looking at how umbrellas interact with the street lights and rain to illuminate the person holding it.
Water Droplets on the Lens
My camera got soaked, I’m glad it’s weather resistant! Most of the time the lens hood kept the rain off the front element of the lens. But at times I wanted water droplets on the lens element for artistic purposes. Hopefully you can figure out which of these images use that effect and why I did it?
Conveying the Mood
Ultimately I set out to convey the mood on this dark and wet autumn evening in Kraków with my street photography:
Click on the photos to view full size:
This trip to Kraków in Poland was my first overseas trip for professional travel photography in nearly 2 years. My last trip was further afield to Vietnam and Cambodia, shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic. Little did we know what was to follow eh?
Why Poland? Well, overseas travel is just opening up again for the fully vaccinated at the time of writing (November 2021) and I’d been waiting for that. But I feel that long haul extended travel is perhaps a bit over optimistic at the moment. I’m well travelled over the years, with the exception of the major European cities on my doorstep. So I figured now would be a good time to rectify that, starting with Kraków.
I’ve another European city break booked for December 2021, so watch this space!
I also visited the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentrations camps whilst I was in Kraków. It’s a trip that everyone should do to learn about past horrors.
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