Grin and bare it, its only a bit of rain, time to get creative.
Let’s face it the weather in most parts of the UK is not always picture perfect. Where I live on the south coast of Dorset, we have our share of rain and what I like to call grey days. As a photographer what do we do to prepare ourselves for this?
On a recent trip to Bournemouth near the coast for an outdoor portrait shoot the weather was a typical heavy mist with occasional heavy rain mixed in. Rather than putting the camera away and forgetting photography completely I took this opportunity to capture what in many ways was a unique portrait. All portraits are very different, studio lighting gives a very clean cut look, outdoor shots are predominately during early or late sunshine, but rain and grey skies can equally produce the goods as well. It doesn’t have to be all sunshine and clear skies, that would be pretty boring.
Keeping the camera gear dry while shooting is of course one of the primary concerns. While I don’t go overboard in buying raincoats for my gear I also don’t leave it sitting out on a tripod either, unless I attach an umbrella to a light stand. Normally I try to change lenses under cover of trees or cliffs or when there is a slight break in the drizzle. Often I’ll stand under cover and have my subject on the edge of the weather, depending on the shot I’m after. What I don’t do is seal my camera gear in plastic or anything else that can’t breathe as I think this will just cause more issues with moisture getting into the camera body and that I don’t want. A little air circulation is always a good thing! I’m a strong advocate of using a lens shade at all times and not just to shade the lens from sunlight and glare. These shades are also very effective at keeping rain off the front element of your lens or filter. It’s amazing how a few drops on your front element can make unpleasant blurred areas in your photos. If I do get drops or mist on the element I wipe it off with a dry cloth or tissue and wait for it to clear. You have to be patient here as it may take a while!
I'm not afraid of the weather it can make you think outside of the box, getting creative and making the shoot fun is challenging but possible.
Carl Rogers, from carlrogersphotography.
What do i do if the weather is just so awful that you don’t want to risk your valuable photography equipment, well I always come up with a few different options. My first is to shoot in the forest or another protected area undercover and concentrate on close up photography. It’s certainly easier to protect cameras without heavy rain and wind. The second is to stay at home and wait for another day. While I hate to admit defeat, this does happen on occasion. The third for me is to find a warm cafe or pub and just sit the weather out for an hour or two. The weather often changes hourly and your photography session may just have to be delayed a little, it’s all part of creating an image, patients is often required. Professional equipment is surprisingly tough, so I like to get out there and shoot even when the weather isn’t perfect, you’ll be surprised to see the final results and these memorable images become a memory that will be remembered for years to come, you will also end up with pictures that aren’t that common, making them stand out from the crowd.