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.
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.
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.
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.