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Bad Weather

I do not think of rain, snow or stormy weather as bad; I rarely shy away from difficult conditions or inclement weather because often, those environments offer seldom appreciated perspectives. As an artist, I look for landscapes that help spark my creativity. Moreover, cloudy conditions (a sky with diffuse light) allow me to work more deliberately, the light conditions change gradually and overcast skies offer even light as opposed to sunny days, where the light and shadows can be harsh. When I am not rushed, there is more time to be creative. Instead of hurrying a photograph, I can explore ideas, think things through and create an action plan.

The difficult issue is keeping my gear dry. I use a Kata brand rain cover, which fits over the camera and lens and has a clear top; I purchased it many years ago and it is an essential tool for me. I keep it in a bag that holds my gloves, hat and other extreme elements gear (wet items never go near camera or lenses). Alternatively, in light rain or mist, I use ultra absorbent microfiber dry towels and drape them over the equipment. Using a dry towel is easier than my Kata because I can rapidly move it around or lift it up.

When I return to my truck, every thing gets wiped down before going back into a bag or case; I do not want mold to grow on lenses or digital sensors. If I'm drenched, my gear needs to be air dried. To help keep things dry I keep several moisture absorbers (silica in small aluminum canisters) inside my gear cases.

I know some camera and lens brands promise waterproof or weather resistant features. Nonetheless, I still protect my gear as much as I can while working in the elements to prevent mold or fungus (both thrive in moist and dark spaces like a camera bag or trunk!). Furthermore, while the outside of a camera or lens may be protected, according to the manufacturer, when changing lenses, or even inserting a memory card, the internals may get exposed to dampness or sand. Better safe than sorry.

One last note, be careful in inclement weather and always remember, safety first.


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