Photographic Wet Weather Protection.
Sometimes when the weather is less than desirable for humans, it can provide some very good outdoor photographic opportunities but not only do we need to think about protecting ourselves but we need to protect our gear.
Inclement weather can yield amazing images if you get out but you have to be prepared or you may come home with damaged equipment.
With the wet weather Queensland has been experiencing of late, I thought an article about what a nature photographer maybe able to do by way of protecting their gear from the elements.
Protecting you gear from the elements doesn’t mean you have to get a loan from the bank. You can be protected with very simple tools or you can go high tech with purpose built tools.
Starting with the very simple.
All nature photographers should carry in their kit at the very bare minimum a plastic shower cap and a large garbage bag. The shower cap is great for covering up your camera body when those small showers are coming across, the elastic hold the cover in place if there is a wind and if you have a clear version shower cap you can see all your dials and controls.
They are also very useful if there is sand or salt spray blowing about.
The large garbage bag can be slipped over the whole kit including tripod head if the rain becomes heavier and you want to seek shelter.
High Tech Solution.
The above suggestions will help if you are caught out in the field and inclement weather catches you out but they are not the most functional of solutions if you deliberately head out into inclement weather, for this you need to think seriously about rain covers.
Rain covers for your camera and lenses come in a variety of different styles and brands, ranging in costs from about $50 and up to several hundred dollars. Or of course if you are handy with a sewing machine you could make your own. Over the many years I have been photographing I have tried nearly all the commercial versions available and each has benefits and drawbacks in the way you attach it to your gear or how weather resistant it really was in the field.
You will have to find what works for you as each of us have different requirements and equipment that needs to be protected.
Of all the commercial versions on offer, I recently started using the “LensCoat RainCoat Pro” which I found to nearly fill all my requirements when shooting with longer lenses (from 300mm f2.8 and up).
They are a well thought out design, come in different colours, weather proofing is excellent with tape sealing, the fabric is soft and doesn’t rustle in the wind and you have full access to all your controls.
LensCoat also have smaller versions for lenses up to 70-200mm f2.8 which I will be investing in soon. A Highly Recommended accessory if heading out into inclement weather.
I also recommend every nature photographer purchase a chamois cloth for wiping down their gear if it gets wet. I must stress you want to “pad” the water not wipe as in pushing the water around. Also the cloth is great for wiping down your tripod legs after being in salt water or mud.