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Tips & Tricks

A Few Tips On Protecting Your Camera In Bad Weather | Chase Jarvis

By Kishore Sawh on September 29th 2015

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I’m currently in England for the next few weeks and for those who are in this hemisphere, autumn is here. If you look outside and squint your eyes, you can see winter encroaching. The change of seasons can be both brilliant and challenging for photographers. The cooler crisper air can make for images as sharp as Wilde’s wit, but elements like snow and rain can be hazardous to the health of your gear. So what to do?

Well, get insured is what I’ll say right off the bat, but that conversation and the details can be reserved for another conversation. More immediately implementable and practical would be to find solutions that let you shoot, but do a rather good job of shielding your prized kit from whatever precipitation nature throws at it. Chase Jarvis has a few words.

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For those of you who don’t know of Chase, you should, and are doing yourself an injustice by not being tuned into what he’s always up to. Chase is one of the heads of CreativeLive among other things, but a cutting edge photographer. Having shot for brands as big and varied as the stars, Chase has broken the mold of many standards in photography. He was one of the first to really take advantage of the internet’s broad scope to let the proverbial ‘cat’ out of the bag on photography education, and always seems to be at the forefront of new trends before they hit.

[REWIND: HOW TO SHOOT WITH DIRECT FLASH TO GET AN EDGY LOOK]

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At the base of it though, he’s a fine photographer, and his new series Chase Jarvis Raw, is great for taking in the great information he puts out in small morsels; you can just flick them on and take ‘em back like a shot of tequila. Episode #4 has a few words on how to protect your gear when shooting in very wet weather.

First, he discusses the difference between a Pro camera and a ‘Pro-sumer’ camera – yes there are differences. Shooting in the open pouring rain with no cover on at all, Chase says his D4s is weather sealed enough to do this, but it’s something you won’t find with many lower level cameras, and of course, it works for dust and other elements.

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But, and there is a smooth and pert ‘but’ coming, if you don’t have a camera that costs as much as a 2005 Accord, he suggests you bring along a shower cap. Their weird shape isn’t always the easiest to cover and the shower cap works well. The ease and low cost of this is a bonus, and an added bonus (I might add), is if you’re traveling and don’t have shoe bags, buy a pack of shower caps and use them on the soles in your suitcase.

Another tip he gives is how to deal with a really wet lens. Suggestion? Well, first don’t use your good lens cloth to soak up excess moisture. For that, get a ‘shammy’ and BLOT, not rub. Blot the excess and then use your lens cloth to finish it off.

Are these simple? Yes, but damn if the simple things aren’t the ones so often overlooked.

Rewind | How to Save Your Camera From Frost

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dustin Baugh

    I’ve had my camera far wetter than that before and it’s only a fraction the price. Shop around, dare to leave CaNikon, the competitors have been trying to fight back for so long they have a ton of pro features in their cameras by default.

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  2. robert garfinkle

    Have to mention this – While NO one EVER wants their gear to get directly destroyed by the elements, let alone bothered by dust, etc… peace of mind can come from:

    1. Get Insurance – although insurance cannot land new equipment on the spot, when you need it most, I think, at least for me, I get peace of mind knowing that if the extreme unwanted happens, I can make a phone call, and my gear will be replaced, no questions asked (almost) – for personal, not sure about business, State Farm charges $1.50 / $100 (gear dollars), for no deductible, will replace every penny’s worth of gear… this helps.

    2. Get a throw away camera (and / or lens) – Whilst not everyone can afford a 2nd body, nowadays it’s more possible, especially with how fast the market moves, either get a less expensive new camera, or look on Amazon / eBay for deals – and make it a point to use it NO EXCEPTIONS when certain conditions are foreseeable – by that I mean when you know weather will be rough and / or when you know conditions are favorable for “possible” destruction – and look to make a judgment call, asking, can I use the throw-away in this situation, do I need my best camera.

    Finally. in the same breath as me recommending a UPS with every computer I build / recommend, I am suggesting doing some prep work if possible to minimize risk / mitigate.

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  3. Duke Morse

    I always keep a couple of trash bags in my camera bag, they have come in handy more than once.

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  4. Steven Pellegrino

    It’s an interesting emergency cover, but it doesn’t cover your lens. Good rain covers can be purchased at Amazon for less than $20 and will take care of your camera, lens and your hands. I have a couple of Altura Photo rain covers that were about $15.00.

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  5. Andre Queree

    I always have a couple of plastic bags bundled up with rubber bands in my camera bag. They don’t take up much space and they’re great “just in case”.

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