Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shooting in Bad Weather

It's that time of year, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere - yes, here in Northern Virginia, along with the welcome cooler temperatures, gorgeous changing leaves, and approach of winter, we get a fair amount of rain. I try my best not to let it keep me indoors, or away from shooting.
I recently read an article on shooting in inclement weather on the Photo Blog ePHOTOzine.
(Click Here) to read the full article.
Here are some points that author John Gravett makes about shooting in the rain:
  1. Wear protective gear for yourself - a good rain jacket, waterproof pants, maybe gloves. John doesn't wear gloves, but suggests neoprene fishmerman's gloves, if you need them.
  2. Carry a waterproof camera bag. Many of the LowePro bags come with a handy integrated rain cover, for example. You can also always use a plastic bag, but it doesn't look as cool.
  3. Protect your camera when it's out of the bag. John makes the point that some gear (he mentions Nikon) is very water resistant. I use the Shutter Hat (below) for my Nikon or Micro 4/3 kits when it's really raining. I use a hotel room hair cover (the ones that you get free in the hotel room bathroom) for smaller cameras. I also use a DiCaPac cover for my Lumix DMC-LX5, which makes it completely waterproof.
Shutter Hat Camera Protector
Image Source: www.amazon.com
In terms of the photography itself, John likes to work with telephoto lenses to compress the perspective, and often uses water to provide a flow to the composition.
Rain on Branches, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, Lumix 45-200mm Zoom Lens
iso 800, f5.6, 1/125 sec
John also suggests trying black and white in the rain.I find that black and white, with a yellow or red filter to make the sky contrast more dramatic, can really work well.
Here's a shot I took in the pouring rain, using my DMC-LX5 in the DiCaPac cover.
Chesapeake On A Rainy Day, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
iso 80, f2.8, 1/320 sec
If I were to try that again today, I would certainly do it with my waterproof Lumix DMC-TS3. It's so much easier to use than operating camera controls through a waterproof cover. And there was enough light on this day that the TS3 would have done fine. The TS3 doesn't shoot raw, and doesn't have near the low light and lower noise capability of the LX5. But, in this case, convenience would have been very nice.