photo by Enes Evren via iStock
There is nothing worse than being unable to shoot because your equipment isn’t good enough for the bad weather you encounter. Learning how to protect your camera gear is an essential part of fixing that problem.
Not only is it frustrating, but it can also be costly depending upon the niche of photography in which you work…
For example, if it starts pouring rain in the middle of an outdoor wedding you’re shooting, but you don’t have the appropriate gear to protect your camera, you might have damaged gear at best and be unable to continue shooting at worst.
Instead, it’s best to take the Boy Scouts motto to heart - “Be prepared.”
Here are some of our best tips for protecting your gear from the elements.
Keep Rain at Bay With a Camera Canopy
This little gadget changed my life when I first encountered it a few month ago, and it kept changing my life as I decided to partner with them on PhotographyTalk.
Camera Canopy is a small company and it shows in the quality of their work. If I were to only have one tip for camera rain protection, it’s to buy yourself a camera canopy.
For one thing, it’s under $90 and has a 30-day warranty. Not only is $90 a relatively small investment for something as important (and expensive) as your camera and lenses, but it’s completely refundable if you don’t love it.
For another, I was done messing with plastic bags the first time I opened one to try and protect my camera from the rain. Traditional methods of camera rain protection are outdated. And until Camera Canopy, the market was flooded with bad “new” products for camera rain protection.
I have yet to ruin a single camera or lens with the Camera Canopy - it simply works like a charm. The peace of mind you get from knowing that the rain won’t have a chance of getting your camera wet is worth the price alone! You can purchase one here.
If you have a mirrorless camera or use a camera with a smaller lens, there's a Camera Canopy for you as well!
This smaller, lighterweight version still offers the same great protection from the elements.
I had a chance to test it out while photographing flowers in the rain (shown above), and true to form, it worked every bit as good as the original Camera Canopy!
Carry Your Gear in a Weatherproof Bag
photo by Dougall_Photography via iStock
I don’t know why anyone owns a photography bag or backpack that isn’t weatherproof.
Maybe you live in a desert paradise, but I know that sudden storms have snuck up on me in the past, which is why I invested in a weatherproof bag long ago.
My preparation of choice is Holdfast’s Explorer Lens Pouch.
This bag attaches to my MoneyMaker harness and it does it all while looking fashionable too.
I hate traditional weatherproof bags that are really ugly. It’s hard to shoot a formal event like a wedding with a noisy, plastic-like camera bag that cheapens the look of my formalwear. The Explorer Lens Pouch not only does a great job of protecting my livelihood, but it also makes me look good while doing it!
This bag also allows you to keep organized, because it has 4 pockets, a divider, and can carry up to 2 lenses plus a flash. There’s even a bigger option if you need to splurge for more room.
Whatever you do, don’t go on your next shoot without a weatherproofed bag!
Buy Weather-Sealed Gear
photo by Sandra Dombrovsky via iStock
This one seems self-explanatory, and yet almost none of my photographer friends use it because of the initial investment.
Weather-sealed cameras and lenses are a couple hundred extra dollars up front, but if you even think of accidentally ruining one camera or one lens by not properly protecting it from the elements, then that couple extra hundred dollars will seem like a bargain.
Besides, weather-sealed cameras and lenses are often higher-end rigs that have more features and perform better than their bargain-basement counterparts.
Though you’ll spend more money up front, the durability you get out of these high-end cameras and lenses is well worth it - if you do your part and care for them properly, you’ll have a kit that will last you for years and years.
Protect Your Lens During Lens Changes
photo by CasarsaGuru via iStock
This isn’t something taught in photography schools and I don’t understand why it’s always forgotten.
You can’t protect camera from dust without shielding it from the wind.
My quick and easy fix for protecting my camera from dust and rain while changing my lenses is to change my lenses underneath my jacket.
This old-school trick is both cheap, because it doesn’t require you buy any new gear, and effective.
Pair this with getting out of the wind - in your car, behind a tree, whatever you can find - and you’ll have a much better chance of a dust and dirt-free lens change.
Work With the Temperature
photo by SbytovaMN via iStock
You can’t warm your camera up when it’s cold outside if you’re planning on continuing to shoot with it. Condensation can form and your camera will be rendered useless, perhaps even permanently.
Almost all cameras nowadays are built for extreme weather, and unless you’re shooting in the Arctic, you should be fine to leave it out in the cold and snow.
The same cannot be said of working with the temperature and your camera when it’s hot outside. Whereas most humans can easily exist in temperatures up to 120 degrees for short periods of time, your camera cannot.
If it’s over 100 degrees outside you need to exercise caution shooting for extended periods of time. If it’s over 115 degrees outside you need to protect your camera with a towel or don’t shoot at all. If the external temperature is 115 degrees, the internal temperature on your camera will likely be much higher, and those kind of temps could easily damage the delicate parts inside your camera.
With that, you have a few tips for keeping your gear safe when the weather isn’t ideal. Take these tips to heart, protect your gear, and create gorgeous photos, even if Mother Nature isn’t cooperating.