If you’re going to be serious about your photography, you need to develop strategies and techniques to keep your equipment dry whenever the wet stuff starts coming down.
Besides, rain brings wonderful, magical change to everything-you don’t want to miss the opportunity to capture the world refracted through raindrops.
The following items make up my “rain kit” :
- Large umbrella
- Medium bath towel (not hand towel, not beach);
- Heavy-duty poncho;
- Black rubber boots, about 14″ tall;
- Rain pants.
- Fotosharp rain covers (www.fotosharp.com)
The umbrella is my favorite piece of rain gear. It won’t work if the wind is really strong, but for an average rainy shooting situation, this is the first thing you need. I take the full-sized umbrella and open it, jamming the handle into my side, and holding it there with my elbow and arm. The shaft is stabilized by my upper arm, which is also holding the camera. This works really well and will keep your camera dry, allowing you to shoot.
The bath towel is the next thing you need. Put this around your neck, under the umbrella. It’s just for general drying of gear as you proceed, making sure that UV filter on the front of your lens isn’t covered with any condensation.
The poncho is next. I like a heavy-duty poncho better than a rainsuit because I can carry my camera bag, and maybe a second camera/lens combo, under it. This really helps in windier conditions and it doesn’t tend to sweat like a rainsuit jacket will.
I’ll put my 14″ rubber boots on when needed, and the rain pants finish this rig. Decked out like this you should be able to take on most rainy situations.
Finally, I want to say a word about rain covers designed for camera gear. There are a bunch of manufacturers out there producing various “socks” for cameras and long lenses and these are all ok. The question of functionality is really what you need to look at since when actually trying to use these things, you’ll still need access to the equipment, up under the cover. Some do this better than others, and the brand that I prefer is made by a little company called Fotosharp:
I’ve used these covers in rain and in wet snow and they do a good job. The Velcro opening and drawstrings on both ends are elegant in their simplicity. And the see-through material used for the “white” covers-silicon-impregnated ripstop nylon-is really tough and waterproof. They come in a bunch of sizes and are relatively cheap. You might want to get a couple of them.
(And no, they’re not a sponsor of The Discerning Photographer!)
Finally, a new feature! Today we launch our first Discerning Photographer video. We hope to make this a regular feature with something presented each week. Check it out and please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The “Shooting in the Rain” video is available here is your reader is not loading it.]
Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog