In autumn photography and winter shooting – or any time of year here in England – rain can be a constant source of frustration for photographers. While no one likes getting wet in the cold, getting your camera wet is probably the biggest fear.
But with a bit of preparation and creative thinking, you can keep taking photos when it’s raining. Here are six simple ways to keep your camera dry in bad weather.
01 Use an umbrella
You might be thinking that this goes with out saying, but when it comes to umbrellas, size does matter. A large golf umbrellas is the ideal size to keep both you and your camera dry in precipitation. Umbrellas can also be held at an angle to shield your camera from wind, thus preventing camera shake.
However, the challenge with an umbrella is that you need at least one hand to hold it – two if it’s windy. So to shoot this way you must use a tripod.
02 Waterproof camera covers
If you wanted to spend £50, you can buy a waterproof sleeve for your camera which covers the camera body and lens. Elements makes one, which is quite good. However, if we’re honest, as much as we like quality camera accessories, this is one area where a simple polythene bag will do the job.
Now, of course, if you plan to spend hours shooting in torrential rain you might want something sturdier than a polythene bag.
But if you’re just out for a standard shoot in light – or even at times heavy – rainfall, simply place a plastic bag over the camera and lens. Next cut a hole for the lens to poke through and secure it with elastic bands. Your camera will stay dry and you’ll come home with some awesome shots!
03 Use a lens hood
We often think of a lens hood simply as a means to reduce flare, but when it’s raining a lens hood can provide much-needed protection to your front element.
For an ideal setup, we suggest fitting a clear skylight or UV filter to fully protect the lens element. Then, mount your lens hood to help shield the front end further from falling rain.
04 Carry some cloths
Chamois leather is very absorbent and ideal for mopping up raindrops on cameras and lens barrels. Microfibre lens cloths can also be used for the same purpose and to wipe rain off the front of the lens without scratching the element or filter. Also carry a cloth so you can keep your hands dry.
05 Change lenses under cover
The last thing you want is rain on your sensor – or anywhere inside your camera. To prevent this, always change lenses under cover, either by getting out of the rain altogether or using an umbrella – or your coat – to provide cover.
06 Wear waterproof clothing
If you intend staying out in the rain you need to protect yourself. There’s nothing worse than being cold and wet, and this will only distract you from the picture-taking process and kill your creativity.
So keep yourself comfortable. Wear a waterproof jacket, trousers and a decent pair of boots.