Hey Everyone! Hope you had a super week! Mine? Pretty good thanks for asking. This week I want to talk about shooting in the rain and some tips and tricks to make it easier to do so. First of all why would you ever shoot in the rain? Well sometimes it just can't be avoided. Here in North Carolina the weather pattern has been nice during the week and rain on the weekend. I think it's been 9 weekends in a row now. Now if your retired like me you can wait and go when the weather is nice but let me tell you sometimes shooting in bad weather is the time to shoot! You can get lots of photos that you wouldn't normally get. With all the water and puddles for reflections there are all types of opportunities to get unique images. You may have planned a trip way in advance and the weather didn't cooperate. You still want to get those memories. You might be on an outing and the bottom falls out and you get wet you should be prepared to keep you and your gear dry. So there are many reasons to shoot in the rain or what to do to protect your gear from the rain.
Know your Gear. All camera's are not made the same. Knowing your gear and how weather proof it is , is important. Mine for example is an older Sony and not really great at being weather protected. Usually higher ended cameras are more weather resistant than entry level cameras. And some companies just do a better job at weather proofing their cameras with gaskets and just engineering of the camera. Now I'm not afraid to take my camera out in light rain or sprinkles but when the heaver stuff comes out I need to protect my camera against water damage. Some lenses come with gaskets on the side that hooks to the camera to keep moisture and water out but some don't so even if your camera body is a good weather sealed camera but the lens is not there is a potential for water to seep in between the lens and the body. So knowing what gear you have and how protected it is against the elements is a very important part of shooting in the rain.
Being prepared for emergencies is another thing that can save your equipment if the weather is bad. I was out shooting a waterfall one day I had hiked over a mile in to get to the waterfall. The weather was nice but out of the blue one of those afternoon thunderstorms popped up and I got drenched ! I had put my camera back in my bag but my bag wasn't weather proof either. So at first it would protect but after a while in the rain the bag would get soaked and damage my camera . Luckily for some reason I had a full sized trash bag with me that I put my camera bag into to keep it as dry as possible. What Im getting at is be prepared. Now in all of my camera bags I carry an emergency poncho. They are made out of thin plastic and are made for only one use but they can save your butt in case of a sudden downpour. Its about a 5 dollar investment to save your expensive camera gear.
Planning to shoot in the rain? There are many ways to protect your gear in the rain. First the simple stuff. Wear a rain jacket to keep you dry you can tuck you camera under your jacket when not shooting and bring it out to shoot. Using a small umbrella is another great way to shoot in the rain. They are quick and easy to deploy when it starts raining and they are great for shielding your camera from the rain . They make rain covers to go on your camera to protect from the rain. You can get inexpensive ones for 5 bucks or so or really expensive ones. They work great but can be cumbersome to use so bring your patients with you when shooting in the rain because it is more difficult. Another simple thing to do is carry one of those disposable shower caps like you get at a hotel. You can wrap one of these around your camera body and maybe lens depending on how large your lens is to keep it dry. Once your gear is protected then its time to shoot. Keeping your lens clean and dry is difficult. Use a lens hood on your lens it will help keep the water droplets from getting on the front of your lens. Try to never point your lens upwards towards the rain. I know it sounds simple but I always do it. Bring lots of dry microfiber cloths with you to keep your lens free and clear of water droplets. Don't change lenses while in the rain! There are just too many chances for water to sneak into your camera body once it's wide open to the elements. Be very careful even if your inside after shooting in the rain. A wet rain jacket or hat could have water drip into your camera . The goal here is to use common sense to protect you gear when shooting in the rain.
Try to enjoy the experience. With all of the water around look for reflections! The colors are more vibrant when they are wet. Using a polarizer filter can come in handy with all of the reflections out there. Experiment , Experiment, Experiment with your photography in the rain. Motion of water falling or running down a window, Puddles, People rushing to get out of the weather with a news paper over their heads. There are so many fun and unique possibilities when it's raining. I hope some of these tips will help you get out and shoot in the rain!