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Protect your Photography Gear While Shooting in the Rain

Updated on February 3, 2013
Once water has a way to reach your camera equipment, then a rain sleeve or rain cover may be very useful and camera-life-saving.
Once water has a way to reach your camera equipment, then a rain sleeve or rain cover may be very useful and camera-life-saving. | Source

Creating images in the rain can open the floodgates for creative shots that fair weather photographers miss. Nonetheless, mother nature can be rough on photography equipment especially with precipitation -- rain and snow. Rain (water and moisture) can have a bad effect on cameras and lenses, and with that in mind, you should protect your camera and lens in a jiffy!

Grab Hold of a Protective Covering

Once it’s raining or even drizzling, grab a hold of some kind of protective cover. Probably the first line of defense is to use the water resistant cover that may have come with your camera bag. With it you can quickly and easily cover your camera and lens. Alternatively, some photographers may use large plastic bags (even garbage bags to cover their equipment. But if you are in dire circumstances, grab anything that can shield your gear from the rain.

Get a Rain Cover or Rain Sleeve

If shooting in the rain is something that you may wish to do on several occassions, or just something that will be inevitable, you may do well in getting a rain cover or rain sleeve for your camera and lens. Some rain sleeves are made of better material than the regular transparent plastic and are designed for cameras with various length lenses.

How Much Weather Sealing does your Gear Have?

The more professional a D-SLR is the more water sealed it may be. Consumer and prosumer models may not have the extent of water sealing as that of pro-grade cameras making them more susceptible to water seeping in through spaces in the camera body. So it is with lenses. But to be frank, even some professional lenses are not extensively weather-sealed. These are things that you have to know about your equipment to have an understanding of how much exposure they can take in the rain.

Use a Lens Hood

The lens hood can help to prevent water from smearing the glass of your lens or filter which may in turn affect the outcome of your image. Who likes images with those water droplets popping about?

Use an Easy Access Waterproof Camera Bag/Case

Along with covers, sleeves and hoods, a good camera bag is essential. It should be sealed with waterproof lining to keep your equipment dry. A camera bag that is easily accessible is also a feature to look out for. There are times when the rain is just pouring ultra hard -- a situation in which it may be better to just quickly pack up your gear pronto.

Umbrellas and Housings

Other means of keeping your gear dry include umbrellas and even housings. Both these may be a bit impractical in general situations. Umbrellas can be cumbersome, but if you have help, then it will be a great option. Make sure the umbrella is wide enough. You don’t want water to be pouring from the edges of the umbrella onto your camera and lens. Housings are waterproof to the ‘T’! They are great to use, but maybe they are better suited for water photography. They are good to try nonetheless, but the only issue is that they are a bit pricey.

Silica Gel Packets

Keeping your equipment dry is important, but the effect of moisture can still affect them. It’s good to invest in silica gel packets -- yep, the very same ones that you may see come with your new pair of shoes. The silica will absorb the moisture from your equipment and prevent the nasty occurrence moisture settling in your equipment. There are bad stories about photographers whose equipment won’t work because of this moisture issue.

Try not to let the excitement of shooting in the rain cause you to forgot to protect your valuable equipment from water and moisture. Sometimes, it's best just to pack away your gear if the rain is too much to handle. On another level, if you're seeking to do photography in the rain regularly, it may suit you to invest in equipment that is weather sealed -- which can hold up to the rigors of the elements.

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